Skimming in Your Face

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One of the most challenging bird-in-flight photos I've tried to capture this year is a close-up of a Black Skimmer as its skims the water. The challenge is how fast they are when they get close. When they are out at 30-40 feet away it's not that bad keeping up with them and keeping them in the frame. When they make a close pass around 20 feet or less like this, it's near impossible to keep them in the frame. It's incredible just how fast they zip by. I wish I hadn't clipped the close wing but I just loved the light and action on this shot. You can really see the ridges in the bill that help the water flow over it and I got lucky and nailed focus on the eye for this shot. I'm already looking forward to trying this again next year.

• Location: Southern New Jersey marsh

• Exposure: 1/4000 @ f/4

• ISO: 250

• 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.