Dunlin Silhouette

Click to view full screen

A favorite thing to try for me is creative silhouettes with shorebirds. The conditions where just right on this morning as a Dunlin was feeding in the shallows right as the sun was coming up. I concentrated on this one bird that was hanging out right around the sun and started trying to get some silhouette photos. To say this is a challenge is a bit of an understatement. First off trying to get focus on anything with the bright sun shining right in the lens is always a pain. Even when I could get focus the bird had to be facing sideways or it would look just like a blob in the water. Then lastly it would have to be in just the right spot to place it in the bright sun reflection in the water. So I required focus, angle of the bird and position in relation to the sun all to align to get this shot. I blew countless opportunities with missed focus, or I'd finally get that and the bird would move. There was a lot of cursing that morning but when all things finally worked out I got this shot. I blew the exposure a touch and the bottom part of the sun's reflection in the frame would not fully recover in post production so I cloned that part in. Other than that change and some added contrast, this is how I photographed it. The water drop was just a lucky bonus!

• Location: Southern New Jersey shore

• Exposure: 1/800 @ f/4

• ISO: 200

• Exposure Mode: Manual

• Focal Length: 500mm

• Lens: Nikon 500mm f/4 VR

• Camera: Nikon D4s

Nature photography has become a very passionate hobby of mine and whenever I get a chance I love to get outside and enjoy being outdoors. I am also the co-owner of KGM Expressions, a wedding and portrait photography business, with my wife Kim. This is how we make our living and I love that we get to do that together.