Gary Schafer  

American Black Skimmer by Gary Schafer

October 2020 - American Black Skimmer

About the Image(s)

Photo is of an American Black Skimmer. Every June, about the second week, a sizable number of these birds arrive on Lido Beach near Sarasota Florida to nest and raise their young. These birds I believe are near endangered and the Audubon Society goes to great lengths to protect them while nesting as this is only one of a few sites where these birds congregate to nest. I accidentally discovered them in 2018 while we were spending a few days visiting a relative. This was quite a sight to witness. The birds were very active as soon as it was light enough for them to start fishing. They skimmed the water with the lower part of their beak submerged. When it encountered a fish it closed, sometimes catching the fish. Sadly, I did not get to witness a catch but was only on the beach for a couple of hours before we had to leave. Interesting to note that even though the birds are mostly black they still blow out so shooting opportunities for me did not last but a couple of hours. I struggled with compensating for the brighter light. I processed 2x3 producing 23.81 MB image that of course reduced to 731 KB for display on PSA. That reduction causes loss of image quality and adds a bit of noise and softness.

Details: Camera used was a Canon 7D Mark II. Lens was a Canon 100-400mm F4-5.6 L IS II with 1.4 x, Manual Mode, AI Servo, High Speed, AF Case 3, fl 348, taken on 6/10 at 7:04 AM.

3 comments posted

Tage Christiansen   Tage Christiansen
An exciting story about an exciting bird. I imagine it flies pretty fast. The location of the bird in the picture is good, with plenty of space in front of it. I can see that there is a bit of a noise picture. I wish the image was a little sharper, but that's probably hard.   Posted: 10/18/2020 09:02:21

Margaret Frazer   Margaret Frazer
Love the way you captured him as he hits the water. The splash back creates added tension. I do find the focus a bit soft. Great catch.   Posted: 10/22/2020 06:51:48

Glenn Rudd   Glenn Rudd
You choose a challenging subject. It is very difficult to get this perfectly captured, but practice and experience are the key. This image is a little soft and the splashing water is also obscuring the details. The composition is excellent. You did not mention the shutter speed, but it should have ben at least 1/2000 second to insure sharp focus.   Posted: 10/22/2020 11:20:56


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