Last month I had a raptor infused sunset experience that ranged from the last rays of golden daylight to the desperate blues of the night creeping in. The experience of literally watching the world turn never ceases to be a completely awe inspiring and humbling one. What made this particular experience more interesting was that we had a strange alignment of colour, with the help of two of T&T’s predatory birds.
As the sun began to dip lower and lower in the sky, the light gets more and more golden. This has given rise to the term “golden hour” – only here at lower latitudes we only have a few minutes with this perfect, angelic light. The warm tones of this Savannah Hawk seem to complement the temperature of the light perfectly.
Immediately following the golden hour is the blue hour, often considered the favourite time of day by landscape photographers for its rich, deep blues and purples. At this time, there are lots of subtle colours in the sky, but very little light, of course far too little for any reasonable avian photography. But scoping out a migratory falcon in the distance made me at least give it a shot. I pushed my ISO to 6400, accepting some level of grain and painfully focussed. Easing my breath out, I fired many shots at 1/40th of a second. This was the only keeper of the lot, a faraway Aplomado Falcon on an eerie dead tree, the steel blue light transforming the bird’s feathers to an almost Prussian blue appearance.