Illinois Outdoors at
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Chris' Camera Bag

A Photo Web log by Chris Young

Blizzard of snow geese

March 01, 2010 at 08:24 AM

Illinois hunting and fishing

It’s becoming an annual spectacle at Lake Springfield - tens of thousands of snow geese arriving in late February and early March to rest and refuel. It’s jaw-dropping when they take off en masse, peeling up from the surface of the lake like an old section of carpet being torn up from one end of the room to the other.

When they take flight together, they even obscure the far shoreline. I worked with the smokestacks from the power plant as an identifiable landmark and as something large and simple enough in shape to be identifiable through the dense flock of birds.

Illinois hunting and fishing

Either of the top two photos would make a challenging jigsaw puzzle, I think.

The photo below shows both blue and snow goose color phases. Snows and blues once were thought to be separate species, but now are considered to be the same bird.

Illinois hunting and fishing

When photographing any scene, it’s important to shoot a variety of angles and perspectives. I shot the picture of the birds at rest from the Lindsay Bridge. The bridge deck gave me some much-needed elevation. Scene setters are important to fix an image in the viewer’s mind as to what the scene looks like. Offering only the artistic version leaves out the perspective, essentially leaving the viewer with blinders on. Watch any movie and notice how they set the scene with an establishing shot before moving in tight. You should do the same.

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