The Loons Call to Me

As I mentioned in the previous post, as we were leaving Ft.Flagler the fog was finally burning off. We weren’t more than five miles down the road where I stopped at Mystery Bay State Park because I’ve often seen loons there. We didn’t see any when we first stopped, but after we heard a loon calling to me I decided to walk out onto the dock to see if I could find it.

Before long, this Common Loon


surfaced in the inner harbor next to the dock. At first, I thought I would get great shots because of the sunshine, but as is often the case when shooting birds with black and white colors the whites were overexposed and attempts to correct that resulted in underexposed areas on the head and the neck even though I was shooting in RAW format. In the end, I had to “burn in” the white areas in Photoshop to put the stripes back in the neck area and to refine the white checker shapes on the back and “dodge” the head areas to restore the remarkable red eye.

Photography not only forces you to really “see” your subject, it also makes you appreciate the miracle of human sight and just how adept our eyes (and brain) are to adjusting to different lighting conditions.

Luckily, for the fifteen minutes that I spent on the dock observing the loon(s) I wasn’t even aware of the work I would have to do to correct the camera’s exposure problems. No, I was busy watching the loon paddle around looking for


a flounder.


Apparently this loon was used to people because it continued to float nearby as I snapped shot after shot.


Apparently it’s mate wasn’t bothered by people either, because it turned out I was probably photographing two different loons, which I wouldn’t have realized until I saw the two of them together.


I probably should have known the loon wasn’t calling to me when I got out of the car.