Michael Weatherford  

Greater Sage Grouse by Michael Weatherford

May 2021 - Greater Sage Grouse

About the Image(s)

Here it is. A grasshopper’s final view of a Greater Sage Grouse.

My last month’s image of a Dusky Grouse in Rocky Mountain National Park reminded me of another image shot in Yellowstone several years ago. This shot is an example of just happening to be in the right place at the right time. While I was hiking a section of trail cut into the side of a hill, the grouse appeared right at the top of the bank. I was able to get a quick shot from below before the bird saw me and ran away. The view is certainly not eye level, but I like this unique perspective of the bird and its prairie environment. I was fortunate to get good focus on the eyes and pupils. I used a Pentax K-30 (cropped-sensor) DSLR with 300mm lens. No filters or exposure adjustment. 1/320, f8.0, ISO500. Processed primarily in Lightroom, cropping about 30%, adjusting exposure, highlights and shadows, sharpening, and selectively lightening the grouse and darkening the sky. Used Luminar 4 to increase feather detail.

4 comments posted

Jason Stewart   Jason Stewart
What a cool perspective. I love it. The best part about this is you were close enough to get both eyes nice and crisp. If I were to nit pick about anything it would have to be the branch at the right upper corner and the stem that comes up the birds left side. However even that runs almost perfectly parallel to the animal without crossing over the body.   Posted: 05/02/2021 18:16:00

Todd Grivetti   Todd Grivetti
Definitely a bugs eye perspective. It's like a surprise moment for the grouse. Beautiful connection with the eyes and the reflections are sharp as well. Might be a little harder to crop out the upper right a little more as I think it would offset the image too much.
Nice tones and capture of the plumage in the neck, sharp and well detailed. Very nice capture.   Posted: 05/06/2021 07:51:43

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
A most startling and strangely impactive image. By capturing a view seldom seen the image has a feel of originality and that is always a plus. The abundance of grass showing doesn't bother me at all and even the piece the parallels the body on the right is fine. What does annoy me at the two bright white "eye" that appear in the lower parts of the grasses. Those could be cloned out quite easily. If the material in the upper right hand corner bothers you, a bit of cloning and some final clean up with Content Aware Fill would easily solve that problem.

The uniqueness of the image carries the day.   Posted: 05/10/2021 13:00:40

Richard Matheny   Richard Matheny
Wow what a perspective of this bird. I'm just glad you weren't the bug. I could suggest some minor changes but with the WOW factor when first opening this image you never see anything that distracts you from the Big Bird looming overhead ready to pounce. Your right this is about being in the right place at the right time. And I never take that as a lucky thing. You were the one that took the time to be there at that time.
congratulations.   Posted: 05/11/2021 15:20:03


Please log in to post a comment