Monday, July 05, 2010

Eastern Sierra Light Rocks Again

Avocets at Sunset, originally uploaded by Jeff Sullivan.

I've been pursuing great light in the Eastern Sierra for many years. But it's only occasionally that you find an interesting wildlife subject willing to let you capture a few frames during that great light. So when I came across these American avocets feeding in brilliant orange sunset light, and they let me approach within a reasonable shooting distance, I had to shift focus from landscape to wildlife, or at least make the wildlife a key component in any landscape images I shot. So I focused on the avocets until the light faded signifcantly and their movements started to blur.

I was shooting with only one camera, so I didn't have much time or flexibility to switch between 200-400mm zoomed shots and much wider sunset landscape shots. So I chose to shoot the birds towards the sunset light, I did miss some incredible color on the clouds overhead and behind me.
Fortunately after the main light show subsided, there was still a lot of nice saturated blue light, and a subtle echo of sunset light re-emerged as well. I was able to productively shoot until nearly an hour after the "official" sunset time. All in all it was a great evening!