It’s January 11, 2013, at the Ridgefield NWR in southwest Washington state. I’m back for another round of photos and a video. Today’s weather was cool, crisp, and mostly sunny, yielding some nice water shots but introducing the higher chance of harsh shadows. It’s so true that no one weather situation can give the best results for all types of outdoor shooting. There is always an advantage and disadvantage to whether it is sunny, cloudy, overcast, snowing, raining, etc.
Not long after sun up I come across one of a gazillion American Coots but this one is in some nice morning light by marker 11. (8:44 a.m.) ISO 800
[Please click once on these thumbnails to download a larger, more detailed version of the images!]
Not far away from the Coot is this Bufflehead, who is not interested in paddling closer to me. This left me with a heavier crop and lower quality image than I would have liked. But I got some of the nice coloring on the bird’s head. (8:48) ISO 800
Here’s a portrait of Henry, our resident immature Red-tailed Hawk that let’s you drive right up to him. Henry was aptly named by one of my Ridgefield photographer buddies, Steve Parsons. (8:50) ISO 800
Ducks were all over the refuge today. Here are some I was able to capture.
Hooded Merganser drake. With the sun fairly low in the sky still, and not so overly bright, I was able to retain some of the detail in both the whites and the blacks on this bird. An overcast day can be a better time to photograph these black and white birds. (9:10) ISO 1000
Mallard Drake. (9:13) ISO 800
Another shot of the male Hooded Merganser, this time with its sleek flat hair style. (9:15) ISO 800
Here’s the female Hooded Meganser with hair slicked back. (9:16) ISO 800
And here with her brand new hair style! (9:16) ISO 800
A female Ring-necked Duck looking pretty. (9:19) ISO 800
While I was photographing other ducks in the small wooded area just past the photo blind parking lot, this immature Bald Eagle decided to bring its fresh catch of Coot up to a branch just above the road maybe 60 feet from me. I drove closer to where I could get the branches out of the way and shot a bunch of frames and a video. With the bright sky for a background and the low light on my side of the bird from within the forested area, I had to crank up the ISO to 3200 to get a 1/1000 shutter speed. Even at that, the thing that saved these shots was the post-processing in Lightroom 4, Nik Color Efex Pro 4 and Viveza 2.
(9:33) ISO 3200 Warning-these shots are a little graphic!
And the video of the eagle with catch.
A Great Blue Heron flies like an aircraft over the road. (10:03) ISO 1250
Another shot of Henry. He looks a little puzzled at what I’m doing here. (10:22) ISO 800
A Great Blue Heron coming in for a landing, this time with some serious backlighting. I liked the wing spread so much though I just had to post it. (12:26 p.m.) ISO 800
A lone Great Egret not far from the road was in hunting mode as I approached. Within a couple minutes the bird had made a plunge for the vole and was successful. Another backlit situation. (2:12) ISO 800
Taking a look!
That will wrap up this session of The Blog for today. I appreciate you taking the time to view my shots. Take care and see you next time!