I saw this picture by Glyn Lowe and thought, “this needs to be shared.” Night herons aren’t easy to find, even though they are common to the area. They’re mainly nocturnal and one generally only sees them close to sunset when they’re out looking for food. But you can find them if you know where to look. Glyn not only found one at the National Zoo, but took this sweet close up. As I’ve said before, focusing on the eyes increases the impact of a wildlife shot, and it’s perfectly demonstrated here. She even has a beautiful bokeh background which keeps your eyes coming back to the eyes of the bird. Look closer, and you can see the wonderful detail of the feathers. Truly a magnificent photograph.
There’s a great video (after the jump) of Gabe Horchler of Cheverly MD. Mr. Horchler (the father of one of my friends from Cheverly) has been commuting to work on the Anacostia River for the past 14 years. The video is full of breath taking shots of the river and a great narrative by Gabe. It definitely makes you think about the river and what it means to our city.
I can attest to how amazing the Anacostia is. Back in 2009 I spent a lot of time kayaking along the river, launching out of Bladensburg Waterfront Park. Unlike the Potomac, few people are on the river; this allows a small sanctuary for wildlife to thrive. I’ve seen Great Blue Herons, beavers, snakes, Ospreys, Egrets, and even a Bald Eagle. It can be an amazing experience; I highly recommend going out if you can.
Check out the video after the jump along with a bunch of photos taken along the River. Continue reading
The eyes, the eyes, the eyes. I’ve said it before: to get a good wildlife shot, you have to aim for the eyes. Now, Pablo’s shot may not be a strictly true wildlife shot (wild flamingos not be native to the DC area, especially in the colder months), but it certainly is an excellent animal shot. And once you get beyond staring at the eye, you start seeing the wonderful detail of the bird’s feathers and beak, which is nicely highlighted by the black background. A shot to be proud of, that is for sure!
Wildlife photography: the art of taking photographs of wildlife. I’ve had the impression that it is generally underappeciated in the digital age of photography. But when you really look at it, this is an incredibly difficult art form. You not only have to find fascinating subjects, but you also have to learn how a specific species will behave. This is important so that you have an idea on what they will do next, unlike with humans.
Phil demonstates many of the key skills of a good wildlife photographer with this shot. He’s been following the osprey, which take up residence at this nest in Belle Haven VA, for years. He also patientally waits for the bird to get into a dramtic, noble pose. And lastly, he aims for the eyes. This last point is most key for wildlife shots, for the same reason it’s important for human shots: we’re drawn to the eyes and it’s a window into the soul of the animal.
Heads-up to those of you who were hoping for a nice, relaxing wade in the cool, green, avian botulism-infected waters of the Capitol Reflecting Pool: the National Park Service has drained the Pool till Aug 29th. NPS had considered draining as a quick, immediate protective measure to wildlife — cheaper and faster than installing a water circulation and filtering system, but not quite as aesthetically pleasing. It looks like they went ahead with the draining plan, or perhaps it coincided with what the sign on the fence says is a “routine cleansing.” It’s ugly, but less so, I guess, than piles of duck corpses.