Last night, while reviewing recent images, I stopped when I came to the above image of a Roseate Spoonbill in flight. I stopped because the spoonbill’s eye was brightly lit, sharply focused, and looking at me when I shot the image. One of the essential goals of wildlife photography is focusing on the eye and, ideally, capturing the image with a catchlight in the wildlife’s eye. A catchlight is a reflection/small white dot caused by the sun’s light or the camera’s flash, when one is used. The wildlife’s eye is what most people immediately focus on. If the eye is not sharp or covered in shadow and not clearly visible, the image is not a “keeper.” This image was photographed with a Nikon D800 and a 80-400mm lens at 370mm, f/8, 1/800 sec. at 400 ISO.
I also discovered the following two images of Great Egrets. The first image is the same egret that I posted in my previous blog article, but taken on the following day. The egret was in the same general area and was putting on a dramatic mating show, standing and stretching its neck straight up in the air and then falling back down into a crouching position. (Nikon D700 and 600mm lens at f/5.0, 1/400 sec. at 800 ISO)
Below is another image of a Great Egret that was returning to its nest with nesting material. The sunlight was brightly glowing through the egret’s wings, making its wing feathers clearly visible. I used a flash (Nikon SB-910) to light up the egret’s underside, which otherwise would have been dark and shadowed. (Nikon D800 and 80-400mm lens at 180mm, f/5.6, 1/2000 sec. at 280 ISO.)
If you haven’t already done so, I suggest clicking on the images to see them in more detail.
I have hundreds of images from this spring and summer that I have not reviewed or processed, but expect to get caught up shortly and will post more to my blog as I proceed. Like most nature photographers, I love being outdoors shooting images more than being indoors processing them.