Patience is a pain in the neck Virtue.

Yesterday during the late morning I went out to take in the sights from the deck. Earlier the wind at 25mph carried a chill with it. Cool nights accompanied with hot days creates a perfect environment for wine grapes; it has to do with the sugar content of the grapes. Naturally due to the wind the slough was not overly active, however there were a few visitors.

I am able to see across this valley to the Diablo Range 16 miles to the West. There are times as with the image of this Hawk that I am able to see the birds between here and Mt. Diablo. I watch while waiting for them to come into range. It will take them a long time to slowly work their way towards me while performing the never ending spirals. At times they will disappear further West or when they fly South with the wind they are gone. Taking photos of wild animals requires patience, some times a lot of it.

This morning my patience was tested while taking images of the small birds. Tracking of them is not as tedious compared to the Hawk in the picture above. The test of patience enters the scene when waiting for the the birds to either fly into my range or take off from a perch. I’m not sure if using the bird feeder is cheating or not but that’s what I did. They will perch for a few minutes prior to taking to the air during which time the camera must remain focused on them.

There are times when it takes them 5-10 minutes to present an opportunity for an image; I stay tuned into them. At least tuned in until my arms get tired and have to set the camera down; of course within a few seconds they take flight. At that point I let out a quiet curse and continue waiting. The birds are numerous, that doesn’t present an issue but what does is waiting for them to do something. An inactive bird attracts little attention but one being snatched by a Hawk is huge.

The main visitors lately are the Red Headed Sparrows they seem to be every where. I take what I can get much like the Canadians flying in then sticking around for a month during the hatch.

Photo taken last week, the others are more current.

Equally as testing is taking images of birds in flight in and around trees as displayed above. A degree of planning must be employed which slows down the process due to it being centered around the composition. Deciding on the background with the bird is fairly straightforward, the trick is waiting to combine the entire composition together. As the photo I took last week of the Robin it all worked out, after a long wait.

A good example is the photo above, it literally hurts my eyes to look at it. The background is very bad, it is way too busy, the colors are wrong and it should be more of a solid color or at the least smoothed out a bit. The colors should be melded together much better; this is a good example how the background can ruin an otherwise good image. It was a mistake with no amount of patience or editing able to correct it, mixed with a bit of poor planning and it creates recipe for doom.

I tracked the Hawk in this photo for 5 minutes; a fairly short time when they are involved. He suddenly rose from the far side of the Levee presenting an opportunity for me which worked out. This image was taken this morning as well.

Track/Focus/Snap, the only missing ingredient is Patience; grab a cup of coffee, your binoculars and camera then settle in for what may be a long wait.

Jacques Lebec Flutter Shutter

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