Sunday, April 27, 2008

Ramah SWA - Part 2

On Saturday April 26th I returned to Ramah. This turned out to be a good decision because I added 2-4 new birds to my life and photo list. Two were easily identified Plovers and 2 were Sandpipers that i'm still working on. This turned out to be the best shorebird photography experience of my life (probably because I live in Colorado and haven't taken a trip out of state since I started doing wildlife photography).

After a slow start I found myself laying in the mud surounded by plovers, sandpipers and phalaropes.

After a few minutes of photographing sandpipers I noticed this Semipalmated Plover.

Then this white plover came running by. I knew that it was either a Snowy Plover or a Piping Plover but wasn't sure which. Either way I was extremly happy because both are rare and I have never seen either reported at Ramah. It turned out to be a Snowy Plover.

Photography Note: The white around the eye in this photo is slightly over exposed. When photographing small white birds against a dark background it is important to make adjustments so that the subject is not over exposed. In this photograph I used -1 exposure compensation to compensate for this but it wasn't quite enouugh. With Canon DSLRs there are two ways to check if you have over exposed areas. The first is to enable highlight alert. The second is to check the histogram. The problem that I have is that the flashing area of the over exposed spots, when highlight alert is enabled, can be very difficult to see outside on a sunny day. This is especially true when the overexposed area is very small.

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