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on Feb 28, 2019 in Wildlife Photography

Uncommon from the Common

Common Gallinule
captured by D5 / 800mm

We see the same things over and over again to the point that we don’t give them a second thought. It’s only when there is something unique about that common sight do we stop and think about them. At the beginning of my career, to say I was focused on just the glamorous species is an understatement. Those common critters I saw but didn’t point my glass at them. Thankfully, very early on in my career, it was graphically pointed out to me that most focus on the glamorous as well. There was money to be made shooting the common since nobody was. That’s when I realized that if I shot the common in an uncommon way, there would be even more money to be made. I like making money from my images. I share this very basic and simple concept with everyone I shoot with for many reasons, the main one being the photographic challenge in making the uncommon out of the common. Case in point …

Last week, we had a kinda unexciting day shooting as the temps hovered about 90 in Florida. Critters don’t like that heat any more than we do. At the very last light of the day, we came upon a couple of Common Gallinules. As their name implies, they are common and like most photographers, I tend to pass them up in ordinary light. But in this case, not only was there very sweet light just kissing the bird, but also the world around it. The dark shadow cast on the water let the ripples light up while permitting us to see underneath to its feet. Shooting with the D5 / 800mm and it’s 1.25x, I was able to isolate the Gallinule, feets and ripple in the darkness behind it to make the photo. If there is a trick to this whole thing, it’s to recognize that common item in those times when you’re seeing it in a new way. Then bring your camera on that subject and share that unqiue moment. Or as I remind those shooting with me continually, make the uncommon from the common.

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