Cranes and Geese, Morning Fog. San Joaquin Valley, California. January 21, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Sandhill cranes and Ross’s Geese in flight through clearing morning fog, San Joaquin Valley
While I still cannot resist the challenge of trying to get a good, sharp photograph of a bird filling the frame, more and more I’m interested less in individual birds and more in their environment and their place in it, along with trying to evoke a sense of what these places are like. I think these photographs are meant more to be suggestive than descriptive, and I’m happy if not everything is quite clear to see. (I can tell you that being in these places, not everything is clear either!)
The fog was playing interesting games with us on this morning. This location often seems to be foggy, even when nearby areas are clear, probably because it is low and very wet. Compared to some mornings, it was not as foggy as it can be when we arrived, and it was possible to see some distance as we drove the gravel road that circles the marsh. We found a likely area to stop and photograph birds, including cranes, geese, pelicans, ducks, and more. Close to sunrise, it suddenly became more foggy, to the point that many nearby objects were obscured – even though the fog was so shallow that birds flying just above it were illuminated by weak dawn light. This photograph is one of a series I made as small groups of sandhill cranes came towards us from across a pond. Handholding the camera I tracked them as they approached, trying to make exposures as they moved into position against any sort of interesting background. Here that background turned out to be a few other birds – mostly geese – and some clumps of reeds barely visible in the fog.
G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer and visual opportunist whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.
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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.