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on Aug 2, 2013 in Wildlife Photography

Willit Will iT

There is something good for the soul laying in the sand at the edge of the sea! It’s even better for one’s humility as you lie there with this giant lens and folks walk by, scare off the bird you’ve waited 20min to come close, than stop and ask, “Whatja doin?” I’ve been lyin on the beach for a long time and truly enjoy photographing shorebirds this way. And the Willit is a favorite subject of mine. It’s probably because of their personality which they seem to have tons of!

Willet 1559

Why lie on the beach? While I like having sand between my toes, I don’t like a ton of it in my photo (or my gear for that matter). By getting down low, your depth of field is so narrow that the critter flies off the page. At the same time, when you get down low, the shorebirds tend to come right up to you. You have to pick your background carefully because once down, you’re committed for while. You can see this technique in action on my Kelby Shorebird class. Well, I used this same still technique to shoot the video. It worked out pretty well except those times when folks came up to ask that darn question!

Willet 1546

Shooting with a D4 , 600VR2 with TC-14e attached (to maintain Auto Area AF) mounted on a Walt Anderson’s Panning Plate inside a freebie, the DP-6 made a HUGE difference in following action and smoothly especially with your neck all bent lying on the ground. Needing reading glasses these days, this really, really helps! This is an edited down from the 5hrs of video shot to just 5min. I did the editing on the iMac with all the vid residing on the ioSafe N2 and doing the editing right in Premiere Pro CS7. The final video once completed will be much longer than this clip. The goal is to show the comical, methodical approach they have to foraging the tide while maintaining their peaking order. They always leave me with a question, will it? Mother Nature is just amazing!