Patience Pays in Photography


This Friday afternoon it was quite cloudy and cool.  Ann had finished grocery shopping and we wanted to visit San Angelo State Park and see how much water had been caught in our previously dry O. C. Fisher reservoir, after recent rains.  After driving out there, we found the gates were locked.  The park was closed for use of the dove hunters.  So that will wait for another day.

After that I thought we should return to our favorite birding places near Lake Nasworthy.  We stopped at Middle Concho Park for a little drive around.  With the cool wind blowing and cloudy skies, I didn’t hope for much.  But I told Ann, patience is the key.  We may not see many birds, but we may get a surprise or two.  As I predicted we saw nary a bird, until we were about to leave that park and we saw a hawk swoop thru the trees.  We saw the approximate area that it went, so I drove towards that spot, watching the trees.  After some close searching, we spotted a Cooper’s Hawk in a tree.  It was the first Cooper’s that I had seen in several months.  I was able to maneuver my vehicle so I could photograph it from a distance with my Canon EOS 7D and 500mm lens.  Here is the result, a nice image of that beautiful bird.

Cooper's Hawk

Cooper’s Hawk

We left that park and ventured over to it’s sister, the Spring Creek Park.  Driving through there we saw this Great Blue Heron, one of my favorite birds to photograph.  It was hunting across the river.  At one moment it decided to show off it’s wings and I took this shot, among others.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

We decided to go home, but since it was early and we had extra time, we decided to drive to Twin Buttes reservoir and see if our luck would continue.  In a small tree we spotted this red-shafted Northern Flicker.

Northern Flicker - red-shafted

Northern Flicker – red-shafted

Then, lo and behold, in the same tree on another branch was this Ladder-backed Woodpecker.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

Ladder-backed Woodpecker

So when you are out in the field, thinking that there is nothing going on, just be patient.  You never know what might suddenly appear.

All of my images are cropped and post-processed in Photoshop CS5.  Click on any image to see an enlargement.

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18 thoughts on “Patience Pays in Photography

  1. Hi Bob – Like you, I find the cloudy days the best. For photography. Your hawk, heron, and flicker are excellent, but I find the woodpecker photo spectacular. The composition is perfect, great clarity and detail.

    • Hi, Babs. Yes, when the sun is blocked, there are no harsh shadows, jus nice even light. And the colors seem a bit more saturated, too. I’m glad you like the photos. The male Ladder-backed would have been nice to see as it has a red crown. As for my composition, I do that in cropping. Rarely, do I have perfect composition direct from the camera. Thanks so much for your nice comments.

  2. All picture perfect! Glad you stuck it out. Thanks for sharing these photos. Hmm, a thought: Are you a bird stalker? Sounds serious! How about wing watcher or peep peeper or feather friend? Why not call you what you are – Bob the Great!! hugs

  3. Incredible shots as always, Bob – and you’re right. Patience is the key. Sometimes I like the fact that there are fewer birds about, it makes it easier to concentrate on the ones that do show up and give them full attention. Don’t worry – lots of raptors are on their way to you if yesterday’s hawk-watch numbers are any indication.

    • Many thanks for your great comment, Lisa. I certainly can agree with you about giving them full attention when you can. I will keep an eye out for those hawks. Thanks for sending them my way. 🙂

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