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Silhouetted at Sunset | by Seth Patterson
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Silhouetted at Sunset

As I was leaving Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge just after sunset one cold and windy November day I happened upon a pair of Crested Caracara. Not a particularly unusual sight as they are rather iconic of the South Texas Coastal Plain and old dead trees are favored roosts. However this particular encounter, being silhouetted against such a spectacularly colorful sky, was superb!


Of course the conditions which made the scene so ideal also made capturing it extremely difficult! With the light fading fast and the wind howling I decided to use the inside of my truck as a wind-block. I rolled down my driver's side window, setup my tripod inside the vehicle and fed the remote-shutter cable out the closed-passenger's side window. Sneaking around to the outside of my vehicle I was able to get a few shots off before my light vanished. Luckily, and In spite of shooting at 1120mm with a shutter speed of 0.6 of a second, I managed to capture a few sharp shots!


Amazingly my driving around and scurrying about never seemed to phase these two, who looked on curiously the whole time.

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Taken on November 3, 2008