I’ve been to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge many times because it’s right down the road from my house. It’s a fun challenge to try to find new compositions each time I go to a familiar place. This is probably the first time I’ve gone in January.
I am also getting better about being critical of my own photos. I took a lot of photos of birds this last time, but only the one above has any artistic value, in my opinion. Nice lighting, bird isn’t a tiny blip in the photo, being backlit helps the subject stand out from the background, etc.
I should probably point out that this is basically a snap shot. If I was going to do a shot like this justice, I’d put it on a tripod to eliminate camera shake, shoot with aperture around f/13, manually focus with Live View. But I was walking with the family and church friends, and the amazing image stabilization in the EF 70-300mm EF/4-5.6L saved another shot. I like the layers in this shot, going from muddy beach to open water to frozen water to tree line to another tree line to sky and mountain.
The sun was just setting during this last shot, at 4:30 PM. But I am learning that the dramatic lighting resulting from low winter sun in the afternoons means I can get more pleasing lighting earlier in the day.