Sunday, December 4, 2011

Behind the Image: Willet

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 300mm f2.8 w/TC14 @420mm, SB 800 flash,  f5.6, ISO 800, 1/2000

Ever since I picked up my new computer a week ago I have been flying through my photos. I have mentioned it before, but one of my favorite things to do is go back through older photos to see what I may have missed.

This photo is from my trip to Pensacola Beach Florida last April. I woke up before the rest of the crew I was with and hit the beach at Fort Pickens State Park. All along the beaches you can find various species of water birds. Throughout my week long stay I saw a number of Willet's but was unable to get close enough to photography one.

On my last morning of the trip I found a Willet that didn't seem to mind the presence of people. There was a couple of guys fishing nearby. I was lying on the beach waiting for the Willet to come to me, so it wouldn't scare off. After a few minutes, I was firing off shots while the Willet was fishing for shrimp. 
I was shooting for only 10 minutes before it flew away. That's pretty good since I usually only have a few seconds before a bird takes off on my.

The morning of this shoot it was cloudy and foggy. To help bring out the colors out in the bird I attached my Nikon SB 800 flash. Flash really helps in situations like this where you need just a little bit more light on your subject. Earlier in the week I was using the flash in bright light to fill in the shadows created by harsh light.

Check out previous blog post on fill flash!
Fill Flash for Bird Photography
Fill Flash pt. II


  1. Derek,
    Great shot! It's always great when the nature will come to you and stay around for a while. I was out about a month ago and a deer walked right up to me. It was an awesome moment.

  2. Thanks for the comment David! A opportunity like this is why I love nature photography. You just never know what's going to happen!!