Snowy Egret, Anna Maria, FL
This fellow had a challenge on a breezy day balancing on a pier piling hoping to snatch some discards from a fish being cleaned on Rod and Reel Pier in Anna Maria. He was never lucky, though, as the fisherman tossed the remains to the pelicans below. For this week’s theme of “Balance” where the left and right halves of an image draw the eye equally, I used this image as an example of an ‘imbalanced’ image where the visual weight of the egret is on the left where your eyes are drawn primarily, with nothing on the right to counter the ‘imbalance’ of the photo. Had there been a fish in the egret’s mouth or another egret’s head popping up from the right lower corner would have helped put this image into a more balanced pose, making the difference of a great shot versus an average one as is this one.
Brown Pelican diving at Anna Maria Island.
One of my favorite places to capture my favorite bird, the Pelican, is on Anna Maria Island. Oftentimes there are many parents and juveniles, hunting and diving for food off one of the piers, as they were in the above image. The juveniles are similar to the adults, but have a brown neck and head with a grayish bill. I love watching their take offs and awkward landings. Sadly, I noticed one juvenile had some fishing line flowing off his foot when in the air. Not good.
I thought for the ‘Starburst’ challenge, I would cheat! To shoot successful sun flares and starbursts, one needs to use a narrow aperture such as f/22 and for best effects, something physically blocking part of the sun, like the horizon or buildings or trees. I have practiced a bit in the past but with the holidays upon me, I’ve had little time to get out and capture a starburst. So …. as I said, I cheated. I used a great iPhone app called LensLight which has a wide selection of interactive lights such as bokeh, lens flares, light leaks and sunbursts. I don’t use it often, but on the few occasions, it can really pop an image. I hope you think so too.
Happy Holidays, friends.
Sunset at Anna Maria Island.
One of our favorite places for sunsets is on the north end of Anna Maria Island. The sunsets are spectacular and the sugar white sands are an important habitat for an incredible array of wildlife. On many many occasions, we have shared evening sunsets with herons, sandpipers, ospreys, cranes, seagulls, skimmers, egrets and my favorite, pelicans. During various times of the day and year, you’ll see different species of shorebirds, sometimes hundreds, congregating at dusk for an evening feed.
What I always find fascinating, that at some point, as darkness nears, the congregation rise collectively and fly off to their evening roost, wherever that may be. I love that moment of unison against the setting sun.
(This was shot with an iPhone and edited in Snapseed. The sunburst was added with the LensLight app.)
Anna Maria, Florida
Our favorite holiday to celebrate with family is Thanksgiving and this year we decided to spend the week at our beach house on Anna Maria. Each evening presented us with a variety of sunsets, never failing to bring out the ‘awws’ in us as we watched our grandson dodge the gentle waves.
I thought the above iPhone image was perfect for this week’s theme as we journey out for another afternoon sunset. Each sunset is always a “Wildcard” as the day turns to dusk.