Okay, here’s a quick rundown of some shots I took Dec. 16, 2013, at Ridgefield NWR. It was ‘dark’ and foggy and I didn’t stay very long, which is very unlike me. Conditions were poor for photography and wildlife activity was at a lower level than usual.
These first ten images are of an encounter between a Red-tailed Hawk and a Northern Harrier. Please excuse the quality as I had to bump up the blacks in these to make the birds more visible through the dense fog. Fog is a natural contrast reducer in photos so major boosting of the blacks in post processing can counter this but it can also have other negative consequences for the image. This series is truly a ‘documentary’ series and nothing more. 🙂
When I drove up to this spot the Red-tailed Hawk had already found something of interest out in the marsh. I never did see evidence of a fresh kill so it must have been something left over from a previous kill by another creature. The action was happening about 150 feet away which put a lot of fog between it and my lens. I snapped some shots anyway. To be able to stop action I had to boost the ISO to 2000.
Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1000, f4, ISO 2000, 500mm. (8:51 to 9:00 a.m.)
Moved closer to the water.
A little wider crop of the situation.
Then there appears an interested Northern Harrier.
The Harrier lands nearby.
The hawk leaves and the Harrier checks out the scene.
Here the Harrier flies off with a morsel of something in its bill.
I’m in the woods and spot another Red-tailed Hawk checking out his nails. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/500, f4, ISO 2000, 500mm. (9:11 a.m.)
And lastly, a Golden-crowned Sparrow poses for me. Canon 5D Mark III, 1/1000, f4, ISO 1250, 500mm. (10:48 a.m.)
That’s it for this quick trip to the refuge! Until next time, take care!