I’ve been trying to travel out to the refuges as often as I can recently. Laurie and I did that a couple of weeks ago and I realized that an area of San Luis NWR that I’ve been wanting to photograph in fall colors was at peak, and so I made plans to get back the next week in hopes of catching the color before it failed. Unfortunately, we had some strong winds before I got back, and that impacted a lot of the color. This tree, for instance, was in full peak in that first visit, and you can see what it was like this second trip. On the plus side, that’s a Golden Eagle sitting in the tree, and if the leaves were still in place, I doubt I would have seen it.

San Luis National Wildlife Refuge

Despite that, there were still some areas with good color, including one location that was my primary target for the trip. I think getting back there paid off, too:

Sunset at San Luis National Wildlife Refuge

(if you’re curious, that shot was taking about 15 minutes before sunset. Here’s how that same location looked about 45 minutes earlier before golden hour hit)

San Luis National Wildlife Refuge

It was definitely worth another trip out. This is now one of my favorite shots of the year.

Birds as Landscape

One of the things I’ve been considering for a while is to start a project involving shooting birds as landscape. What’s that mean? That’s a good question and wide open to interpretation, but for right now, at least, I’m defining it as shooting landscapes where birds are featured as a deliberate aspect of the composition, not just there by happenstance. In this image, for instance, the flying blackbirds in the sky were something I wait waiting for to put something into the sky to give it some visual interest.

I’ve decided this is now a project and I’m going to continue trying to shoot works that exhibit this idea and see what happens, and put together a collection of them, since I already have a number in my library. It’s clearly something I’ve been playing with for a while, whether or not I realized it.

I’m also going to be working up that image as a print soon, too.

Like it? Have thoughts on this new project? I’d love to hear from you on it.