The Day the Earth Stood Still
In an effort to monetize my bird photography I am quickly learning about the 80/20 rule for professional photographers. 80/20 being the ratio of time spent photographing verses the time spent doing business, with the 20% being shooting time. Last weekend I had finally carved out some time to actually photograph, a whole …errr half day. I decided that I wanted to go to a great location for photographing Hawks in the Upper Back Bay of Newport Beach. My best Hawk images have been taken there, most of them during the Summer months when there are very few other large birds around.
It is not often that I get shut out but it happens. When I arrived there was not a bird in sight except for a few Finches and Mourning Doves. I refuse to think of it as being shut out though, in the end I never even took my gear out of the truck but I did spend the day improving my photography, the other 80%. First I visited the interpretive center and picked up a couple of tidbits of knowledge and they have a bunch of life size reproductions (they are not stuffed animals but look like it) of many birds. It is really cool to look a blue heron or brown pelican from just a few inches away. While waiting for the midday sun to yield to the golden hour I did a little reasearch reading about the Peregrine Falcon. A quick look around and still no hawks just a lone Great Blue Heron and a Pelican about a quarter-mile off in a inaccessible area. I decided to leave the gear and spend the rest of the day walking the trails. I wandered into an area I had never been. Honestly, it is an area right in the shadow of a high-end car dealership but I found some locations that will be absolutely phenomenal when the wintering birds arrive in the Fall. After that I finally happened upon a couple of Osprey fishing. The tide was high and large fish were literally jumping out of the water. Had I my gear with me I would have tried to eek out a few images but with out I just watched the Osprey at work mentally recording their patterns and behavior.
So, without even taking my cameras out of the bag I did four things that will help in advancing my bird photography. No images but not exactly being shut out either. Check off a few more hours in the 80% column. Man I can’t wait till that 20% time comes again.
You can see my wildlife galleries here.