It Doesn’t Get Any Better!

Today’s post comes from second trip to a blind at Rowe Sanctuary, on the Platte River in Nebraska. This blind visit was on my last evening on the Platte River and I still had one goal that hadn’t been reached … to capture cranes flying in front of the sun, or in front of a waning moon. As so often occurs, persistence paid off!

As we entered the blind on this last evening, I had a lot of doubts as to the photo opportunities we would have. A cold front was coming in (temperatures during the day reached 92F, which ended up at ~45F by the evening!), along with an extremely high winds (wind speed reached up to ~50 mph). So, I wasn’t very optimistic about having a chance to reach my goal!

As we settled in the blind, the wind was making the view quite distracting … the wind was blowing so much dust around that not only was the air “hazy”, but the birds seemed to be having a difficult time maneuvering overhead as they reached the Platte River:

Sandhill Cranes returning to the river to roost, as the sun begins to set

But as the sun began setting, the winds eased up a bit, although still windy. But this resulted in better views of the setting sun and the incoming cranes:

Sandhill Cranes returning to the river to roost, as the sun begins to set

Sandhill Cranes returning to the river to roost, as the sun begins to set

As observed in the above photo, the cranes began moving around a lot, even after settling on the river. But things continued to get better! And finally … birds in front of the sun!

Sandhill Cranes returing to the Platte River to roost, as the sun sets

A few frames later, I captured what I was looking for (this next image was cropped a bit, to bring the view even closer):

Sandhill Cranes returning to the river to roost, as the sun begins to set

Sandhill Cranes returning to the river to roost, as the sun begins to set

Sandhill Cranes returning to the river to roost, as the sun begins to set

So, no “bird over moon” shot, but I went home with my “bird over sun” shot  :o)

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 5D Mark 3 body
  • Canon EF 100-400mm, f/4.5-5.6 IS lens, with Canon 1.4x TC, shot from 460mm to 560mm
  • Bogen 3221 tripod, with Giottos ballhead, captured from a blind on the river
  • ISO 1600 (all photos)
  • Aperture f/16 and f/18
  • Shutter 1/400 sec. to 1/800 sec.

 

 

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Posted in 2015, Bird Photography, Birds, Blog, Nature Photography, Sunrises/Sunsets, Travel Photography
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