This Northern Harrier was content to just stand in the field of newly mowed grass. A bale of hay is visible in the background at the top left of the image. Many times when I see a harrier (or any raptor) standing on the ground, I’ll wait for it to take flight with the hopes of getting an interesting action flight shot. The problem is one never knows how long the bird will sit there before it flies. The bird did finally take off but in a direction away from me, leaving me with no flight shots of this particular encounter. I liked the low level illusion of this image though.
This image makes it appear that I am shooting from a ground position (low point of view) but in reality I am shooting from my vehicle window (about 4 feet off the ground). Reasons for this ‘illusion’ are: 1) The distance between the camera and the bird is pretty long–likely over a hundred feet. The further away the subject is from the camera the less I have to point the lens downward, i.e., the lens is oriented closer to horizontal than it would be if the bird was, say, only 15 feet away from my 4-foot high camera; 2) The height of the grass/ground between the camera and the bird creates an artificial ground height high enough to make it appear the camera is positioned close to the ground and shooting nearly horizontally. I really like the bird’s expression, too.
Photographed July 20, 2015, at the Ridgefield NWR in Washington state.
Canon 7D Mark II, 1/1600, f4, ISO 500, 500mm, 9:09 a.m.