I had traveled around the levee roads a few times the afternoon this picture was made last year. A lot of the geese had lifted off the ponds from a ‘scare’ and landed over in a field of stubble. After one more round on the levee road during the ‘sweet light’, where I managed a few nice photographs, I decided to wait it out and see what might happen if the birds flew at dusk. I was pushing the limits of the time allowed to be in there, but no ranger had come along, so I was staying until they came by. I’m so glad I did! When the geese lifted off, the full moon had also broken through the clouds a bit, and the combination was very exciting! It expressed what I wanted, the mood and mystery of how they fly at night by the full moon. I managed a few frames before they dissipated, and I went away happy out of the gate with the ranger not too far behind!
It’s the season for migrating geese, ducks, and cranes in northern and central California. At any given time, you will see flocks large and small all around the farm fields and refuges along the Pacific Flyway. There are layers of birds in the sky, going every direction, making that a rather difficult picture to make, so I was looking for ‘less is more’ photos, where all I needed were a few birds to line up in a V, or at least be close to that, and I got lucky with this one image. I won’t tell you how many you ‘toss’ because they are just a ‘bunch of birds in a mess’! I got lucky with a great sky behind this silhouetted group, I cropped this to be a more panorama format because it emphasized their shapes and brought a better balance to the overall frame. No matter how pretty the sky was, negative space can still throw a composition off. But I saved the original, so if someone really needs that space for text, I’ll have it.
Thanks for visiting. I’m planning to get out there in the next few weeks to create some fresh images of this wondrous annual event.
And by the way, I used DXO Optics for noise reduction on this 3200 ISO file from a Canon 5D MK III and it was amazing how it cleaned up the raw file. I’ll be posting more comparisons on the blog soon. stay tuned.