Least Tern Pastels at Dawn

Click to view full screen

You can never predict the conditions you will get when you arrive to a location. Sometimes they work against you, other times they are simply magical. This particular morning was one of those magical mornings. There was barely a breeze, perfect temperatures, and the atmospheric conditions were creating some lovely tones in the sky before the sun had risen. There was even some rain drops still hanging on the dune grasses that gave it just that extra touch. I often forget to use the stitching technique when you photograph multiple shots and merge them together and thanks to my great friend Scott Keys for recently reminding me of that technique and that is what I did here by stitching together 4 horizontal photos to create this vertical image. The main reason I did that was to include more of the beautiful sky colors in the background. The best part of this morning was at the same time I was photographing this bird I had a remote camera set up on another bird on its nest and I was able to take those photos at the same time. So I was simultaneously photographing this bird with the sun rising behind me and the other bird with the sunrise behind it. Two lighting styles at once!

• Location: Southern New Jersey shore

• Exposure: 1/125 @ f/4

• ISO: 400

• 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.