A fun day shoot

Mike & I (Mike) had a free day and wanted to explore some areas close to home to see what we could find and photograph. We decided to do a little “birding” in the morning over at Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area, which is on the southern tip of the Great Salt Lake.  After a morning of trying to capture those fast flying devils we headed to Antelope Island. Besides all the crazy nasty gnats and mosquitos it was fun.  We lucked out when we found a buffalo hanging out on the shore.  It almost looked like a white sand beach, and you don’t usually see a buffalo on a white sand beach so I was excited.  After traversing the swampy and bug infested brush we were able to get a good angle and just close enough.

f10.0 @ 1/250 ISO 500

I love this classic Buffalo stance.  He was a very big animal and he wanted us to know it.  He watched us intently for a while until he realized we where not getting any closer and where not a threat.

f9.0 @ 1/640 ISO 320

While photographing animals people tend to forget about the background and the foreground.  Here is an example where it all worked out nicely.  We were fortunate enough to have the golden plants right in front of us, the subject on a very different and fun spot, and the background is fun and interesting.   Notice that the buffalo is still the main subject and the background along with the foreground both complement it.

f7.1 @ 1/320 ISO 320

You will notice that it was an overcast day with a lot of even light.  It’s nice to have the even light but at the same time the sky was very dull and bright.  To compensate for that and still make the picture enjoyable, I wanted to give it a brighter and almost dreamy look.  I overexposed the picture slightly and pushed the highlights in Photoshop.

f9.0 @ 1/320 ISO 320

Don’t be afraid to get down in the weeds to find a fun way to compose your shot.  I like the plants in the foreground but looking at it now I wish I would have moved the subject a little higher and off to the side more rather than almost center.

f13 @ 1/320 ISO 320

Be aware of you surroundings and what the weather is doing.  As we sat and photographed this buffalo we watched the weather roll in.  As a result we were able to put the dark clouds into play and give the picture a little more dramatic look.  I decided to use a “hefty” rule of thirds here to show off the location and weather.

f16 @ 1/250  ISO 500

Here is a vertical shot to finish us off today.  In order to get a slightly closer look of the buffalo and still show off the weather, mountain, and white ground I choose to go vertical.  The sun poked through the clouds for just a second allowing the buffalo to be lit up along with the white ground around him and the mountains and clouds stayed dark and moody. Play with the light!

f6.3 @ 1/500 ISO 100

We liked this picture because of the soft colors and the composition with the three birds in the corner.  They never did cooperate with us or let us get any closer. Maybe next time.

f10 @ 1/320 ISO 200

Thought we would try a fun crop with this one. Don’t be afraid to crop your pictures any way that you want in order to make it a stronger image.  You don’t have to stick to the traditional sizes.

f7.1 @ 1/640 ISO 200

These birds are extremely fast and hard to get into focus.  We were fortunate enough to snag one with a great wing posture.  The birds are flying low right next to the water skimming and searching for bugs.  Every once in a while you will see then dip down very quickly and grab a bug off the water.

f5.6 @ 1/250 ISO 100

When we first walked up to this pond there was a single pelican just waiting for us.  This was about as close as we could get to the pelicans all day.  They were toying with us.

f10 @ 1/320 ISO 125

f9.0 @ 1/400 ISO 100

This guy was a lot of fun and put on a good show for us.  This is a good example of knowing and learning about your subject.  We knew that this guy was going to start screaming and making all kinds of noise when he started to puff his chest out.


2 Responses to “A fun day shoot”

  1. Great shots I particularly like the Buffalo with Grass photos. REAL nice!!!

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