I'm back! I upgraded my computer back in March. I went with a solid state drive for the operating system thinking it would be more reliable than a conventional drive. Early in September, it crashed. While I didn't lose any personal stuff - I keep that on another drive and backed up - it was still a blow. All the programs had to be reloaded and reconfigured. Programs like Photoshop and Lightroom have a lot of presets and other plug-ins that had to be reloaded. It was very discouraging.
It also made me rethink whether or not I wanted to continue to blog. I didn't just quit blogging during this time, but I also took a hiatus from shooting birds. Sometimes you just get burned out.
Reviewing images in Lightroom, I realized how much I miss being out on the river. And I also realized the blog gives me a chance to share that with you. So, here I am. I don't know if I will be as consistent as I was before (daily), but I am going to aim for a least a couple of entries a week.
This series was taken Saturday morning. I have been to the river a couple of times, but have hardly seen any birds to engage with my camera. But, that is okay. It is still so beautiful and the photography gives me a good excuse to stand there and enjoy it.
I'll bet I heard near fifty shotguns go off this morning. I am not sure if it is duck or goose season, but the hunters were sure out in force. I don't have any concerns about getting shot because pellets don't carry that far and there wasn't anyone near me.
These two guys are hunters. They came up the river, looped around in the big bay formed by the oxbow out in front of where I stand and returned back downriver. I believe they probably hadn't had good luck in their first location and were looking for another.
I am not averse to taking pictures of boats if nothing is going on with birds. In fact, I enjoy taking them and would love to be able to send them to the guy who owns the boat. Wouldn't you like to have pictures of your boat if you were out there enjoying the day? Maybe I will see them again. I'll try to flag him down and get his email address.
Autumn air, with its lower humidity creates deeper shadows and brighter brights and also creates more saturated colors. I took the opening image where I knew the boat would stand out against the dark shoreline because of the wake it was kicking up.
Profiling the people against the wake helps to center the viewer's attention on the hunters where it belongs.
This one doesn't succeed as well because the wake hides the hunters, but as far as the setting and the disturbed cormorant goes, I had to take it anyway.
Here you have the gorgeous fall colors, their reflections in the water (which had been disturbed by the boat in it's pass upriver), the colors smeared by the water's motion, and the lighter boat standing out against the darker shoreline.
I wanted to include the dead fall in the background as an additional point of interest and I wanted the boat to be off center and their own wake has created an interesting pattern in the water reflections.
A classic shot of two hunters headed out in the fall.
Chiaroscuro is a type of art where there is strong contrast between the light and dark parts of the work. It is something I try to incorporate into photography when I can. I could have lightened the shadows, but I think it would have killed the interest.
There weren't any second takes. There was one chance to take some meaningful pictures of two guys hunting. I have tried to communicate some of the thinking that went into the decision about when to shoot and what to include.