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Just like at the range, except now I am talking cameras and photography. For me, there is little better than looking through a viewfinder and knowing I am nailing a picture exactly how I want it/envision it to look. Shooting nature and wildlife, those sorts of moments happen, partially relative to the time you put in. Not an every day event, they just happen when they do, and you seize the moment or minute. Perfection (or something as close to that as you'll ever get) doesn't come easy.
This is in stark contrast to the flip side of this coin, when everything is almost right. The things that are not, sometimes they are small details only the photographer will notice - glaring defects to him or her, otherwise not seen by anyone else - and other times pretty much anyone can notice the problem. Too many stops between lightest and darkest highlights within a frame, movement, stray objects in the frame, or how about this one: you see a perfect view or stance and click as fast as you can, but the picture isn't even close, because the critter is just moving way too fast and that great posture or view is long gone in the 1/10th of a second it takes you to press the shutter when you see it.
You can't do much about them. The mind that controls that shutter finger is a lot faster than the finger is. The great digital SLRs we use and the lenses are still far inferior to what the human eye can see, especially when it comes to light conditions. Even the latest top shelf bodies by Nikon, Canon, or others are sometimes absurdly primitive when it comes to dealing with highlights and shadows within a photograph.

here is one that is all right, one of my perfect moments. I was scouting moose a couple of years ago in preparation for the moose permit I had won. This is called "sweet light", meaning all is lit the same. There are no shadows, so nothing will be lost within them, everything is evenly lighted. 15 minutes fast forwarded and the sun is high enough to put an end to this condition. The sun just had come up, the meadow still in full shadow, the frozen dew all over the fall vegetation. The foreground leaves in red and yellow I purposely blurred, by adjusting the f-stop, to put some really nice color splotches in to the frame, and the result is right and exact to what I knew it would look like. You can shoot all day long sometimes in good sweet light on heavy overcast days.



No point in posting an all out failure. You'd all know. People like me, we shoot boat loads of pictures and toss most of them out, or reject them with a simple look while we edit our own work. It takes a lot of crappy pictures to get one like this moose. Then, there are those others I was typing about. Here is an osprey shot I've posted before:



yeah, I know its a good shot. But this demonstrates why we don't like sunny days. Look at the loss of detail in the shadowed area under it's wing, and look at the white-out wash out on the bird's leg and shoulder, in the white feathered area lit up by the full sunlight. All feather detail is gone. This also demonstrates what I mean about the eye seeing what a camera cannot: the human eye viewing this bird landing will see the feather detail in both of these spots I point out, but no camera technology exists to make this picture look like what your eye would see.

A couple of days ago while taking a quick 5 minute break from work, I looked up in to the blue, sunny sky. Soaring about 300 feet up was a pair (!) of light morph, red-tailed hawks. They were backlit by the sun, while the bright sunlight reflecting up from all the fresh snow lit them from below perfectly. Tails fully fanned out, light pink in color like this morph's tail is, jeez! It was a dazzling scene, and I was about crying that I didn't have my camera with me to shoot a ton of photos. Its amazing enough to see 1 light morph like this, but 2 together! I could have gotten both of them together in a single frame several times as they circled over my head. I've been watching wildlife for my entire life and I've never seen 2 light morph red-tailed hawks together before. Circling above the Merrimack River, pretty much over the center of Concord, NH. They wouldn't be migrating, and so I am going to try and find them again, but an opportunity like that probably won't happen too often.
This demonstrates the other sort of "miss", which is someone like me sure does miss having a camera sometimes! But, who knows, it'd be a miracle, but maybe I can get them sometime soon.
 

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beautiful photos. You have a real gift. I would have never noticed the imperfections with the Osprey, until they were pointed out. I can only imagine the gratification in stalking your subject, and capturing the perfect image...I don't have the patience, but then again, I have never tried.
 
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