Sandhill Crane (???) – Luminar

I just returned from a weekend photographing Sandhill Cranes near Othello, WA.  The cranes are on their migration path from central California, where they winter, to Alaska.  I am relatively new at bird photography.  I practice a lot to get decent images.  I took around 3500 images over a three day period.  My “decent image” percentage is about 2%..  The following sequence is what we went through to photograph the birds.  #1 – Find the birds.  The first day we spent about 4 hours before we saw any Sandhill’s.  #2 – Position myself  to get the sun behind my back.  Hope that wind is coming from the same direction.  The birds land and take off into the wind.  #3 – Have a lot of patience.  Don’t get excited and take hundreds of images of birds on the ground not doing anything or birds that are flying off way in the distance.  #4 – Wait for the birds to do something interesting like taking off/landing or “dancing” on the ground.  #5 – Anticipate, be be ready.  You do not have a lot of time to focus and shoot.  #6 – Make sure you are focused on the bird before you shoot.  I had a lot of blurry images (I meed a lot of practice).  #7 – Pray that you captured a few good images.  My success rate was not very good.  #8 – Shoot with someone who knows what they are doing.  Thank you Jack!!!

The above image was not my best, but it had some interesting lighting.  It was a good opportunity to do a little post processing.  I will include sharper images in future posts.

After looking at this, I laughed at myself.  This is not a sandhill crane … it’s a Canadian goose.  It is still a beautiful sight though.

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