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on May 31, 2014 in Wildlife Photography

Real Slow can be Real Cool


Water birds, surf birds, while the both have H2O in common, one is still water and one is moving water. If you shoot with a fast shutter speed, in your photo the still water and moving water are both frozen looking the same. Freezing the wave breaking on the shore, folks know it’s a wave. Blurring that same wave breaking on the shore and folks feel that water. Which do you want, them knowing or them feeling, the brain or the heart? If you’re like me, you’re going straight for the heart.


Lying on the beach again this morning, great way to spend a weekend. I was all pumped for some great bird photography. The sun hasn’t even come up yet and there I was with my usual rig D4s / 800mm on the Panning Plate. The American Oystercatcher you see here was walking up the shore foraging so like usual, I put myself in its path and it all worked out, he’d walk right up to me. Now here’s the deal, I wanted to communicate the movement in my still image. I wanted the oystercatcher stride in my still. I want the moving water to touch the heart. So I shot at ISO 100, 1/25 f8, and shot, and shot and shot. It is a low percentage shot but by shooting at the peak of action of its stride, you increase your odds. Now this isn’t for everyone. Some want everything frozen and tack sharp like a livemount in a museum and that’s just cool. Me, I want the life oozing through the frame. Real slow can be real cool.