Monday, December 7, 2009

Being In The Right Place At The Right Time

Black Crowned Night Heron

There have been many times this past year that I have been able to take photos that I look back on and think, wow this photo stands out. Sometimes a photo stands out because the image is technically great, while also capturing a powerful moment. There are other times when in some ways, including weak sharpness, the photo isn't technically the best, but it captures the moment in such a way that some of those lost elements do not matter as much.

Today I was out at the bird sanctuary with a member of my family and we enjoyed the walk around the quiet trails. It was a cool afternoon (about 2ºC/35ºF), which is likely why so few people were around. We saw a Bald Eagle, some Great Blue Herons, along with numerous hawks and falcons. The picture in today's post is from last week, not today, although we did see the Black Crowned Night Herons, they were not very active due to the cold weather. One of the best parts of quiet days out on the trail is seeing the more sensitive birds coming out of hiding more often. Small birds the would normally be in the underbrush tend to pop out far more often on days like today. The water in the marshes was frozen over, and only at around 2PM did the ice start to break up. The frozen water meant that birds that rely on fish and other small water creatures for food, went hungry for most of the day. That meant that most of the water fowl were sleeping, including numerous mallards out in the middle of the frozen marsh. At one point a Bald Eagle flew over and dozens of the mallards few off in a panic stricken state. 

Now what does that have to do with being in the right place at the right time? At first glance, not much. If you think about it though, I could always sit at home waiting for just the right conditions before I go out to take photos, but I would miss a lot of potential shots, and just memories in general. The best way to be in the right place at the right time, is just to be there! If I only went to the bird sanctuary a few times a year, I would miss a lot, because day time temperatures, and changing migration patterns all effect what you may or may not see on a given day. So always be on the look out for new things in places that you have been many times. Sometimes what seems uninteresting to you at first, may be very interesting to others, or even yourself on second glance.