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on Feb 4, 2013 in Wildlife Photography

The Predawn Light has Value


Light is the element we all have in common and what we seek in our photos to distinguish them from the next. Is there a place you can go and know that light will be good, like a guarantee? I think there are many one are the sands of Fort DeSoto prior to sunrise. When the sun has yet to kiss the heavens, the little light that is present bounces off the sand which does such a great job at filling in the slight shadow. That is, if you’re down on the sand at their level.


Lying on the sand with the D4 with 600VR2 in a panning plate, we can take advantage of the light with our subjects. Now we get down low to not minimize but BLOW AWAY the background! With the very soft light and soft pastel colors, I big part of the photographic challenge is accomplished, but it’s not everything!


The top photo is your basic shot and while the light and being down low make it a nice shot, we can do much better. Plying the clock, we give the birds in this case the Willets, time to get use to our presence and with that comes more poses. These poses can have attitude in them that along with the light bring a little uncommon to the common. I like that. Then when you wait for after they take their nap and the wake up, you have the opportunity to get an even more uncommon pose. In this case, after waking and preening, the Willet scratched its head. You can see how shallow the DOF is at f/5.6 but that’s perfect because just what I want sharp is sharp. There is something special about greeting dawn’s first light and often, you’ll see it in your photographs if you go looking for it.