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Ross's Geese Take Flight, Dusk

Ross's Geese Take Flight, Dusk. Central Valley, California. February 8, 2012. © Copyright 2012 G Dan Mitchell - all rights reserved.


A flock of Ross's geese take flight at dusk above a Central Valley pond, California.


Yes, another photograph of geese taking flight above a California Central Valley pond. I can't help myself! :-) After photographing the dwindling flock, as they left in large groups during the hour before sunset, at the point of most beautiful light there were only a few left. This group was among the very last to depart from this pond, and at this point it was dusk and the colors had gone from the crisp blues of an hour earlier to warm pinks and reds and purples. We were lucky enough to be very close to this large flock for at least an hour.


I'll use this photograph to make another technical observation. I made what might seem like an odd choice regarding exposure for this shot. Here I wanted to try to stop the motion of the birds as they lifted off. (In other photographs of this subject I intentionally allow the motion to blur.) This meant that I needed a relatively short shutter speed. Even after raising the ISO to 400 and opening up the largest aperture on this long lens, the result was still going to be underexposure. for what I had in mind for this sequence of shots, I wanted to avoid using an ultra-high ISO with the attendant increase in noise. So I choose to deliberately underexpose these shots by perhaps a couple of stops, trusting that I'd be able to compensate for this in post since I shoot in raw mode. In other words, if you are the sort who scans EXIF data for exposure information and then tries to make sense out of it or even use it yourself... you have been warned! :-)


G Dan Mitchell is a California photographer whose subjects include the Pacific coast, redwood forests, central California oak/grasslands, the Sierra Nevada, California deserts, urban landscapes, night photography, and more.

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Text, photographs, and other media are © Copyright G Dan Mitchell (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from G Dan Mitchell.

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Taken on February 8, 2012