2015—Costa Rica—Green Kingfisher
On our second kayak outing on the lagoon in Costa Rica, I saw a male green kingfisher, the second smallest of the kingfishers and a bird I’d not seen on our previous outing. I maneuvered my kayak into the water plants so that I was just a few feet away from him. Mindful of Moose’s admonitions about composition (keep the subject out of the center of the shot); background (be aware of what’s behind the subject); and gesture (capture an interesting movement or action from the bird) I photographed this bird for about ten minutes hoping to get it right. I took 113 shots of in that time. He hardly moved. According to one of my bird books, kingfishers are “sit and wait plunging predators” and this was one very patient kingfisher. In a one second period, however, I did capture three frames as he turned his head and looked in my direction. That was the only “gesture” he made so I finally abandoned my hopes of capturing his take off or his plunge into the lagoon and paddled away to photograph the more lively jacanas. I think my composition is good with a leading line from the reed, and the background is uncluttered. But sadly, there isn’t much emotion or interest in his modest gesture.