Great clouds, for me are just as essential as a great subject. No two are alike,kind of like humans. I just never know what kind of clouds will be hanging around near sunset? During the day there may be excellent clouds around but come sunset,they may not be there? So I keep a good eye on the satellite feed to see what’s coming my way and what I can expect.
Whether I go out on a shoot, is very dependant upon the clouds. I want Goldi loks clouds…..not too many (overcast conditions) and not too few,………..just right!
These shots are of my fine feathered friend,Romeo! I think the clouds enhance his beauty.
There are 365 days in each year and given that you will live to the ripe age of 80 years,this means you would have lived 29,200 days. If you could some how photograph the same spot each day at sunset for your entire life,you would see that no two sunsets are the same. A sunset is like a thumb print,each is unique. Now that doesn’t mean that each sunset could be called “beautiful”. After all beauty is in the eye of the observer.
Personally, for me clouds are very important. They colour the background,like wallpaper. A good picture should be layered with foreground,mid-ground and background. The foreground works best to invite the observer in to explore.
This is the moment I was waiting for (with Romeo)……….but a interloping eagle from a northern territory decided to invade and trespass! Which made both Romeo and Juliette take off in hot pursuit to intercept!
Eagles guard their territories to the death! I’ve seen this eagle flying into Romeo/Juliette’s territory many times. I suspect Eagles are constantly testing neighbouring boundaries? One day, there may not be any eagles to intercept …… and they now own the territory!
I saw Juliette coming back but not Romeo. He probably perched in a tree close by to the interloper and just stared at him. At any rate, just when I wanted Romeo to be around he was busy elsewhere taking care of business.
The camera didn’t record the light colour accurately. The true colour can be seen in the waters reflection. It was a pinkish orange.
I was surprised to find that The Daredevil/Delilah had built a new nest on another island! About the only reason why that happens is because the old nest fell down. Probably during a windstorm?
The good news is that If it did fall down It didn’t happen while they were nesting! I saw the Daredevil take a fish up to the nest. Which means he has hungry mouths to feed! I could just barley see where the nest is.
He seemed very animated and very active! He hasn’t had eaglets for several years,so he must be excited!
Both Romeo and Juliette came out to do a fly by when I arrived! By the time I got to Romeo’s place the sun had set. I had spent too much time with The Daredevil….but who could blame me! Time flies (no pun) when I’m with my friends!
You can see that frontal system moving in. Snuffed the light BIG time! Before I left tonight I checked the satellite feed. I saw it coming but went anyways! I needed to go see my friend and just get out and breath the fresh air!
Most of you are already know, the entire west coast has taken up a bad habit…..smoking!
California,Oregon and Washington State all have major fires burning right now. The smoke from a forest fire once in the Jet stream can travel for thousands of miles! The smoke is composed of tiny pieces of ash. The thickness of a smoke layer varies. Basically the thicker the cloud, the less light will get through. Until its so thick that the sun is totally blocked.
Another thing that happens with forest fire smoke are surreal sunsets! The sun goes to a deep orange, than to a orangey red, than to a reddish pink and finally to a neon pink. The contrast is very muted because of the low light conditions. Exposures can be tricky.
I wanted to line up those gorgeous clouds in the background with the Heron in the foreground but this Heron was wise to me!
I had to beach the boat and walk in the shallows. I am constantly taking shots as I walk. I call them “Safety” shots. If the animal takes off before I can get to that “special spot” at least I have something. Ten percent of something is better than one hundred percent of nothing.
So this Heron took off before I could reach that spot unfortunately!
August for many birds is molting time. Which makes sense when you think about it. If you were going to undress you’d want to do it in the hottest month!
Romeo dropped a large primary feather tonight!
As a photographer I do something most do not do. I keep both eyes open when I shoot. Watch anyone taking a shot and 99% of them will be closing one eye. My photographic instructor is the only other person I know of that shot with both eyes open. The advantage of doing this is you can see far more on the periphery! (my dominant eye is my right with my left being secondary)
I bring this up because If I had my left eye closed I would never of seen the primary feather drop! As Romeo went past my right eye was tracking/shooting him but my left eye saw that primary feather fall.
A eagle has over 7000 feathers but there are only 5 large feathers on each wing . They are called the “primaries”. There are also 12 large white tail feathers.
I’ve looked at my shots and figure the feather that fell was the second primary on his left wing.
I consider it a honour when one of my eagle friends gives me a feather but of course they do not chose to just get rid of it. It’s just shear fluke to be honest! At any rate I love recieving them!
I also play a game at this time of year. When one of my molting friends zips past there is usually a light fluffy piece of down released! It drifts downwind. The game I talk about is me trying to grab that piece of downy fluff before it hits the water! I missed two of them last night.
I was able to get out on a evening shoot tonight. I originally wanted to go looking for bears but it turned out I left too late. I did see a bear on my way out close to town. I normally do not see any bears on Meares island but tonight there was one grazing in the tall grass. It was shallow where it was and the tide was coming up, so I wouldn’t of gotten stuck. Some flat bays empty quickly!
Only time to visit both the Daredevil and Romeo tonight. Juliette did fly over to say hello as well!
It was sunny all day,so I thought I’d go out for a evening shoot. The almost full moon was coming up and it was low tide so I knew the bears would be out and about too!
So I headed out into the sunshine! It took me 45 minutes to get up into Fortune Channel where the bears are. I found a bear almost immediately! I got two shots off and the light went bye bye! I looked to the west and saw a huge cloud bank moving in and knew my gorgeous light was history!
If I do not have the light,I do not have the shot. Its as simple as that! So I basically made lemonade.
I love sunsets…..sunrises too but am too lazy to get up that early. Besides,looking to the east here is poor. Too many trees and hills blocking sunrise! Plus the only body of water one could go for a sunrise is Kennedy lake and thats too far away.
I like shooting Chestermans beach (Chesty) at sunset. I found out over the years what works and what doesn’t.
I need the right clouds,tide,lots of rain. The clouds need to be Goldi Loks…not too many (overcast) and not too few. The tide needs to be low around sunset,that way more beach is exposed. It needs to of rained for several days (easy in Tofino) and than break! The rain leaks out onto the beach creating a huge mirror!
Than If your lucky a few surfers will walk past. I do like a subject but in this scenario they are always like chickens teeth.
It was so good to see my friend flying out to greet me today! He cannot see me until I come out from behind a near by island. I always watch to see him jump when I come around the corner. Most times he doesn’t disappoint,but sometimes he’s either not there or not feeling sociable.
I’ve missed him very much! It seems like I haven’t gone to see him in years! The weather has been so poor that I haven’t been able to get out for 6 weeks!
We got one day of sunshine today and I certainly took advantage of it!