The first time I witnessed the snow geese arriving I didn’t know where to begin to shoot. Thirty thousand birds landing en masse, squawking, flapping, and settling down on this huge pond in just a little over five minutes is a lot to take in. How do you pick a shot out from all that? How do you capture the frenzy as well as the calm with so much to choose from across such a wide expanse?
Fortunately, it was a routine that they repeated daily during their winter stay at Bosque del Apache in New Mexico. It gave me plenty of practice and by the end of my first week there I’d found the rhythm and figured out my approach.
DAWN was taken several minutes after the mass landing frenzy as the stragglers caught up with the rest of the flock. The cold temps combined with the warm bodies and the sun hitting the frigid water as it cleared the distant mountains, created a beautiful misty backdrop for their graceful winged poses.
The field of action was seventy meters distant so I swept across the pond with my 600mm and stitched the results into this panoranimal. Other than that, nothing was done to alter the image. The morning light, atmospheric distortion, and slow shutter speed, naturally combined to give it a painterly look.
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