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The Last of the Light

Thought this would be a rather over-dramatic title, but then again – it is a magical time, that moment when the light is fading quickly around you, and scenes you had grown accustomed to in the harsh heat of the day have now spread themselves across the entire spectrum. I enjoy shooting in the early morning as well – but at sundown I’ve already located all my subjects and don’t have to spend time fumbling and bumbling in the darkness, trying to locate creatures that have seen me from miles away.

Those who know me would be well aware of my penchant for playing with light. After all, it’s not like I have a studio, so I must “make do” with what nature provides. As if that’s a bad thing.

Put that last light together with my other habit of including tons of habitat – and well I’ll just stop here and let you see for yourself. Willing subject: Striated Heron.

striated heron at sundown

 

 

 

 

 

I remember a time not too long ago when I seemed to be shooting at ridiculously slow shutter speeds almost all of the time. Light seemed to be a rare commodity then. These days, I find myself shrinking away from the scorching heat of the day. Once the clock ticks past 7am, my skin begins to tingle. By 9am, I usually am some shade of toast.

Anyway, eventually cool days will return. Right?

Purple Gallinules are not birds you want to photograph in poor light. Their rich plumage is rendered best in bright overcast conditions or direct sunlight – so I was really going out on a limb when I decided to create some images of this bird. The reason? Well, you don’t always see these waterbirds in trees. And perhaps due to this very fact, the tree presented a very uncomfortable perch for this bird. Ever so often, it’d slip and flap its wings in a panic. I knew that in the dim light I’d have to go slow, and flapping wings turn out pretty fancy with a slow shutter. It definitely helps that the wings are this gorgeous shade of tropical ocean.

purple gallinule after last light