When Good Shots Turn Bad

Photographically speaking, it was a tough week. I’ve actually been out birding, a.k.a. walking, twice this week and haven’t managed to get a single shot I’ve liked. There still doesn’t seem to be nearly as many birds as usual so there are less opportunities to get a shot.

Even when there have been opportunities, I haven’t been able to capitalize on them because of lighting conditions. On Wednesday’s walk through Nisqually the skies were overcast most of the time, making it nearly impossible to get enough light into the shade where most small birds like this Ruby-Crowned Kinglet disappear into a murky blob, despite the wonders of Aperture and Photoshop

Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

and it’s pure luck if you can manage to capture a Ring-Billed Gull by panning as it flies by.

Ring-Billed Gull

Friday’s walk at Theler Wetlands in Belfair was blessed with bright skies but perhaps even fewer photo opportunities. As I’ve noted before, though, bright light can be nearly as challenging as low lighting. I liked this shot of a Gold-Crowned Sparrow, but the shadow on the head was so dark that it distracted considerably. Even some fancy cutting, pasting, and dodging could only create a “passable” shot,

Gold-Crowned Sparrow

but the shadows weren’t nearly as bad as those on the Bald Eagle that flew by even closer than this

Flying Eagle

but right out of the sun, leaving little more than a silhouette. Of course, this shot’s only slightly better than the one I deleted.

Unfortunately, things got even worse this weekend when I got so caught up in Gavin’s soccer game that I entirely FORGOT to take pictures, even when he finally scored a goal. Never try to photograph anything you’re emotionally caught up in!

Still, if I had to choose between living life or photographing it, I’d choose living it every time.

5 thoughts on “When Good Shots Turn Bad”

  1. Photography can serve purposes other than pictures. I’ve given up on my photography a long time ago. I only take pictures now out of habit. And because it makes me slow down and really look at things.

    But don’t sell your work short. These are quite good, including that fat little Kinglet.

  2. I’m afraid that plateaus frustrate me. I feel like my photography hasn’t improved much in the last 6 months or so.

    Of course, it always seems easier to improve when you’re new to something, and I think I thrive on that kind of improvement.

    The hard thing is trying to tie various improvements together to create any real growth.

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