Three Ross’s Geese, Blue Sky. San Joaquin Valley, California. January 21, 2013. © Copyright 2013 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
Three Ross’s geese directly overhead against blue morning sky
These Ross’s geese obligingly flew directly over head against a blue sky and in morning light… and, no, they did not drop any, uh, payload on me. (That has happened. It comes with the territory. Someone told me that somewhere in the world – Europe? – it is considered good luck to get “bombed” by a goose. I could write much more on this topic, but I’ll restrain myself. You may thank me later! ;-)
In any case…a difficulty when shooting birds passing overhead is that the light source is often higher than the bird, thus putting the parts of the bird facing the camera into shadow. But in very early or very late light – near sunrise or sunset – the sun is so low that it can cast light on the undersides of the birds, as in this photograph. When shooting this critters as they pass overhead in flight, while I can and do think about their positions in the frame and relative to one another, in the end I have to take what the birds give me. There is a lot that I cannot control about this kind of photography. It comes down to being observant, being able to work quickly and intuitively, and a whole bunch of luck regarding the birds, the light, and the weather.
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.