Greater Sandhill Crane captured by Z 9 / Z400f4.5 w/Z1.4x

There is a very simple saying in wildlife photography, don’t photograph birds against a gray sky. Be it flight, perched, on water reflecting gray sky, just don’t do it. Why? That’s a great question! It’s all about light and when shooting up in those conditions, the range of light is greater than what the camera can hold. The shadow under the bird eliminates a whole lot of information. But here’s the deal, this long lived “guidelines” comes with “exceptions” you might say. One is, gray is referring to a slate, flat gray sky of the overcast kind. It’s not referring to a broken gray sky like you see above. It also assumes the sun is overhead and not just coming up on the horizon like in the photo above. But it has everything to do with celebrating the joy of flight. You know the saying about feeling gray. Well gray skies play right into that saying. Remember it’s your photograph, your story and you need to bring it to the viewer your way. Guidelines like about gray skies are there as a starting point, not ending point. Like everything, when you come up against such things, just FEEL it through and you might say, never – gray skies?

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