Magpie In Flight And The Varying (and unpredictable) Effects Of Fog

I’ve become quite interested in the effects of fog on some of my avian subjects.  Often I don’t like those effects but occasionally I find them visually interesting.

 

black-billed magpie 4801 ron dudley

1/2500, f/6.3, ISO 800, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

I photographed this Black-billed Magpie eight days ago on Antelope Island.  The fog was constantly changing from thick to thin and back again but at this moment it was quite dense.  I’ve rarely (if ever) even attempted to photograph a bird in flight through this much fog but when the bird took off instinct took over and I fired off a burst, fully expecting to trash the shots but I actually think this one’s kind of interesting.  Even though the detail is muted by the fog, it’s still there in all of the blacks except for parts of the head and neck.  In fact, I seldom get detail in this many of the blacks of a magpie, even in good light.  I suspect that without the effects of the fog I might have had some pretty spectacular iridescence in this shot.

I was also pleasantly surprised that the bird was sharp under these conditions.  The sun burning through the fog behind me provided an extra-large and bright catch light in the eye.

 

 

black-billed magpie 4707b ron dudley

 1/1600, f/6.3, ISO 800, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

Less than five minutes earlier the fog had been much less dense (though some was present, enough to have an effect on the image) and the results were quite different.  There’s much more color and even detail in the background and less detail in the blacks of the bird (though what detail is there has not been muted much by fog).  I think it’s interesting that the backgrounds of these two shots would have been very similar without the presence of thick fog in the first image.

I realize that foggy images won’t appeal to everyone.  But as a photographer I like to explore this kind of thing and my blog is my outlet…

Ron

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Antelope Island Burrowing Owl

I’m always thrilled to find a cooperative Burrowing Owl on the island.  It hasn’t happened often this year.

 

burrowing owl 1656 ron dudley

1/4000, f/6.3, ISO 640, Canon 7D, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

I photographed this one in early May of this year as it perched in nice morning light.  The background is the mudflats of the Great Salt Lake (you can see hints of blue water at the top of the frame).  I sometimes think images of owls looking directly at the viewer with their (often) brightly colored eyes can be overdone but dang it, there’s just something about those big, bright eyes boring through you that pierces the soul (especially when the pupils are small).

 

 

burrowing owl 1670 ron dudley

1/3200, f/6.3, ISO 640, Canon 7D, Canon EF500mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4 tc, not baited, set up or called in

At the last minute I decided to include this photo because it amuses me.  When I took this shot the owl had looked up momentarily to check out another bird flying overhead (probably a Common Raven).  Every time I look at the image it fools my brain a little because it looks like the beak is a nose and there’s a dark, open mouth beneath it.

Perhaps my brain is easier to fool than most.  In fact, I’m fairly sure of it…

Ron

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