Jan 6, 2011

Wildlife Beach Photography

Recently I visited Naples beach where I was looking for suitable nature photography objects. The seascape scenery was painted by the late afternoon sun and beach shells made for great macro photographs. While going about my business I encountered eight ibises that were looking for dinner on the beach and in the incoming waves. Once I became aware of the birds I quickly decided to pass them at a safe distance. I then composed a seascape photograph using the birds as an interesting foreground with the historic Naples fishing pier and beach in the background. I kneeled in the sand to obtain a low perspective and laid the focus point on one of the closest ibises. I then fine-tuned my composition using the waves and pier as leading lines before releasing the shutter for my first photographs. Since the birds kept on wandering in my direction I decided to pause and keep shooting while they moved closer and closer towards me and my camera. In my final images the ibises provided beautiful filling foreground photography objects while the waves and pier provided leading lines that guide the viewer through the photograph almost always returning to the wading and feeding birds. The moment I got up from my knees, ready to move on I noticed a woman trying to capture the moment with her own camera. Unfortunately two young kids came running along the beach and chased the birds away. I felt sorry for the lady but happy for the kids having a blast and myself to have captured the moment. The camera aperture was set to f/5.6 providing a fast shutter speed of 1/320 second. I underexposed by 2/3 stops and adjusted the polarizer for full impact which in return provided beautiful color saturation. In the post processing steps I removed dust spots, minimally adjusted lighting, contrast and color saturation before sharpening the final wildlife photograph.