One of the highlights of photographing Sandhill Cranes along the Platte River is photographing from one of the Rowe Sanctuary blinds. The blinds are located right on the Platte River and usually gives one a front seat to a wonderful morning, or evening with the cranes as they either leave the river (mornings) or return to the river (evenings) for roosting. The cranes roost in the shallow waters of the Platte River, where they are protected from predators like coyotes. My favorite time in the blinds is in the evening, where the sun sets out in front, or just to the side of the blinds, allowing for some wonderful photo opportunities (mornings can also be wonderful, but the rising sun cannot be photographed from the blinds).
Today’s post is one of several that I will publish from the blinds. In this post, the sun is not yet over the horizon, but very low. The entire area is softened with the wonderful light of the low sun. Here are a few of my favorite images captured as the cranes were beginning to return to the Platte River:
Early in the sunset, the birds were landing a ways upriver from the blind. But as the sun began to set, the cranes began landing closer to the blind. I’ll share some images of close-up cranes in upcoming posts.
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 at 385mm to 560mm
- Bogen 3221 tripod, with Giottos ballhead, captured from a blind on the river
- ISO 400 (top photo only) to ISO 1600 (last 3 photos)
- Aperture f/9 (all photos)
- Shutter 1/320 sec. to 1/1000 sec.