201 7—Heading Off

In the brisk mornings at Bosque del Apache, when the Sandhill Cranes left their overnight resting place at the Train Ponds to fly to the farm fields to forage during the day, they would often fly right over our heads.  Photographing them with big glass and panning vertically instead of horizontally and keeping the birds in the frame as they charged through the air was a real challenge.  I have lots of photographs of heads entering the bottom of the frame and even more of feet leaving the top of the frame when I didn’t coordinate my panning movements with the bird’s flight speed.  But, I find it exciting to try new techniques and even more exciting when I succeed.  This is one of my favorite photographs from this trip to Bosque.  The bird’s placement in the frame gives it a sense of urgency; the bird is on a mission with some place to go.  And, the morning sun lights the crane’s face and under its wings as it heads east to its feeding grounds.


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