As soon as I saw the local forecast for Bucks County included snow, camera batteries went into their chargers. I have not acclimated well to cold this winter, the temperatures have been too inconsistent. Warm one day (or 3), cold for a day, then warm again.

I can dress for the cold though, for the most part. My biggest issue is cold toes and fingers. It hadn’t stopped snowing yet when I got out this morning. We only had a few inches, but it was enough to make it finally look like winter. I was thinking winter birds today, so I geared up with that in mind.

After a while outdoors, I was beginning to wish I had been more prepared for landscape imagery. Truth is though that I like to concentrate on one genre of work at a time during the winter, so today was birds. The snow fell heavily at times and began freezing to my camera and lens making it difficult to gain access to all of the controls. I had to scrape away ice from my camera to access the ISO button and even the front control dial.

The image below is of a flock of Cedar Waxwings. I like how I can expose to attain a clean white background by composing against the sky. The yellow tail tips of the waxwings add a bit of dramatic color to an otherwise fairly monochromatic piece. I was also pleased to be able to compose to limit overlap of the birds. For the most part, each bird remains a distinct shape.

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8 thoughts on “Winter Flock

  1. Really nice image & you are to be congratulated for finding the position/moment to avoid the birds’ overlap.

    However what strikes me most is your comment to work “one genre of work at a time during the winter.” I assume the natural “starkness” that snow provides to an image is the driving force of this, but why birds vs landscape (vs macro, etc.)? Is your “long” lens that much of a burden to carry during landscape searches? More equipment involved that a non-birder (aka, me) just doesn’t know about? Same logic in warm weather?

  2. Thanks all, I just finished framing the first print and find I quite like it.

    Marty – you are correct, my bird imagery is physically much more demanding than working to create landscape or macro imagery. I use a heavy 500mm f4.0 lens with a fairly heavy camera body and tripod set-up. Not really meant for long hikes. Also, however, when it’s actively snowing, I am less inclined to want to change lenses. In warmer weather I tend to be able to be outdoors longer and so can deal better with the weight of more equipment, resting when needed.

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