Cindy Marple  

Stilt Family by Cindy Marple

July 2024 - Stilt Family

July 2024 - Cindy Marple


About the Image(s)

Black-necked Stilts are more-or-less regular nesters at my local park. Typically the young hatch late May -first of June, so when I didn’t see any in that time frame I thought they hadn’t succeeded this year. I was wrong, but only 1 of 2 “late” nests seems to have survived. These chicks are about 2 days old, the next day there were only 2 left (but now a few days later there are still 2..) I went out at first light, 5:30 AM to beat the heat and was rewarded with them being quite close to the viewing spot. Mom came in to the spit of land to brood, and the chicks tucked in and went out several times over about 20 minutes. The area was in shade and as the sun started to come in (and more people arrived) they moved off further away. The color is reflection of bushes on the opposite side of the water.

Nikon Z8, 600mm, 1/1000 f/8 ISO4500.

Processing: crop, increased exposure, cloned a couple of annoying bright patches, adjusted the white balance (I shoot in daylight fixed), brightened the faces.

As a side note, I did do some playing with f/stop and the whole question of everything in focus or some elements soft so I have some more for discussion next month if we go that way!

1 comment posted

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Lovely image, it almost looks like fine art. I think this has a strong nature story. I love how the adults gather all the little ones underneath their bodies. I also like your crop. The birds and so crisp and sharp, the background is really lovely but the reflections on the water and those bright highlight I find to be really distracting and annoying. In the past I've been corrected so many times about reflections needing to be darker than anything else in an image that I feel compelled to mention it here. I wonder if a polarizer would make a difference here. You mention that you have differing DOF usage for shots like this. It would be interesting to see this with a sharper background, But in the end, I doubt anything would look better than this. This is one of my favorite birds to photograph---love those "bubble-gum" colored legs.   Posted: 07/12/2024 13:46:28


Please log in to post a comment