I have a lot of bird activity in my garden at home in Canada and often have hawks, eagles and falcons swooping by for brief viewings. Rarely do they stop and rest in the yard. On occasion they rest on the fence some way from the house, but usually they are just chasing prey through the air.
This week was different, not only did this beautiful Merlin take rest in the garden, he did so right on top of the bird feeder within a few feet of the dining room window. Obviously I grabbed the camera and fired off dozens of shots in both landscape and portrait formats as he posed for several minutes.
I chose this one to share because it has great separation from the background and a real intensity in the stare as well as some nice feather detail. Not my usual thing but could any photographer resist such an opportunity?
We can't always choose our day or time to go out and shoot, sometimes we go when the client can make it, and that often means a daytime shoot in uncertain conditions. It's easy to be negative about this and feel you can't make any good shots because midday light is horrible, but that's not the case.
You can always find something to shoot, and if you maintain that mentality instead of the negative one you will find images out there. You need to focus on what is possible given the conditions, rather than what you could do 'if only'.
Most of all you need to work hard on your composition, when the light is bad, good composition will save you. You can't make a silk purse from a sows ear, as the saying goes; but you can turn in a good image or two by remembering the rules of composition and applying them appropriately.
The image below shows the Wedge Pond beside highway 40 in Kananaskis at 2 pm on a bright sunny afternoon earlier this week. We walked around the waters edge and then waited in a known spot for the wind to drop, during that time I talked about what I was seeing and envisaging, what light is better here and why. I talked about techniques and tools and answered questions about composition. when suddenly a brief calm fell across the pond. I crouched down and made two images to demonstrate the symmetrical composition I was making and we nailed it before the wind returned just a minute or so later.
So, don't give up on harsh daylight, just trust yourself to apply your knowledge of composition to find the images that are out there.
You can read more about me in the 'about' section in the menu above, on the homepage, or by clicking here