Tom and Cree Bol like to celebrate the great images created by their photo community by selecting a Photograph of the Month. For November we chose an image of a Sandhill Crane at the Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Refuge created by Riley Brissey . We hope you enjoy Riley’s images as much as we do!
Congratulations to November 2021 ‘s featured photographer – Riley Brissey
The Story …
This was day one in Bosque. That evening we had crazy clouds. The whole time we were there cranes were flying in from the left and the right. They never stopped.
Most of the people were photographing birds in flight. I felt like I should be doing the same. I kept looking at the reflections in the water and was thinking how beautiful it was. I wanted to get something in there too.
I started focusing on the water. I was sitting in the grass beside the road, looking for a cool pose or something really neat that would be worthy of putting on the wall.
This crane was a bit further away, probably 12 yards from me. I saw it walking towards the golden light of the reflected clouds and knew I needed to get ready. I was also watching several other cranes and their position. This was the one that was right where I wanted it.
I lowered my exposure to keep the red channel from blowing out. Tom had mentioned this earlier. Because it was a moving subject I kept my shutter speed relatively high for the light conditions. I always like to shoot birds at wide open apertures and I just let the auto ISO do its thing…..
Nikon D850 with a Nikon 500mm PF lens
F5.6, 1/1000 sec, ISO 2000, exposure comp of -1
Manual mode with auto ISO
About photographing on at Bosque Del Apache in New Mexico
It is a very interesting place. The way the refuge managers have handled the drought is great. They adapted to the conditions this year and still kept it a beautiful place to photograph. They gave the cranes new places to feed and roost.
If you go there any other time of the year, it would not look nearly as beautiful. I came back to Washington after the sunshine in Bosque and it was cloudy and forecast to rain for the next week and a half.
Riley’s tips for photographing Sandhill Cranes:
All these things I managed to catch came down to being observant. Blink and you miss it.
On the first morning, I missed the mating dance of two cranes in good light. I was looking to the right and completely missed it.
Keep an eye out all of the time. Put the camera down and look around. There’s only so much you can see from the viewfinder.
Be really attentive and observant of the moment.
On Riley’s Horizon
Lake Tekapo in New Zealand. I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan
Backpacking in Germany
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Thanks for reading our posts and congratulations to Riley!
Tom and Cree