Friday, June 21, 2013

Photographing Bluebirds

When I see a blue streak and flutter out of the corners of my eyes, I will neglect all else in life to let you know the bluebirds are raising their second brood of the 2013 season in my bluebird box.

At a day course taught by a Missouri state nature photographer I learned that to photograph wild creatures I should make myself inconspicuous. Animals are threatened by the human shape, so he used to shoot photos from his truck with a huge telephoto lens. With my simpler equipment all I did was put on a hat and baggy clothes of that greenish-brown worn-out sort, and set up my tripod. "What's the difference between an amateur and a professional photographer?" he asked rhetorically. "A tripod." And -- as he advised us -- I waited. He said "If the animal was there before, it'll come back again. So just wait." Sweat  and wait, sweat (94 degrees; but how hot must it be inside the bluebird box?) and wait. This, my best bluebird photo yet, was fortuitiously taken on the day of summer solstice. Happy summer solstice!

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