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Western grebes diving on Klamath Lake

Western grebe at Stoney Point on Klamath Lake. Click above to see larger.

Western grebe diving. Click above for larger view.

Western grebe and baby. Click above for big view.

Western grebe diving, black and white front view.

The four photos above were taken within a few minutes of one another in late afternoon from the pier at Stoney Point on the northwest shore of Klamath Lake in southern Oregon. Which is best?

I think it's easily the fourth image. Why?

The first image is a sharp and colorful but the bird isn't doing anything. Anyone with a telephoto could (or has) get this shot. 

The second image is strong. It has color and action. 

The third shot. It looks like the baby is telling mom to do something -- go this way, I'm hungry, etc. A better view of an eye on either bird would make this stronger.  

The fourth photo is best. It's a different shot of a fairly common bird. There are several nice elements. The stretched out neck. The radiating water. The black and white. The reflection. The glassy and reflective water. It just works.  

Funny thing is that I wanted it to be a color shot. But the sun was at a tough angle, sort of behind the bird and the neck was shaded. I couldn't recover enough detail of the neck in processing without introducing a lot of digital noise. So I converted the image to black-and-white and discovered it works perfectly well that way. 

I shot all four images with my Nikon D5100 and the Nikon 70-300mm telephoto lens at 300mm. On the fourth photo, the settings were: 1/500th shutter speed, f/10 and ISO 100. I shot the photo in RAW and processed in Lightroom 4. 

Prints and digital downloads of this image are available from my SmugMug site, which uses a very good print lab (Bay Photo) and my prices are very reasonable because I'm a hobbyist and not a full-time pro. An 8 x 12 print with a metallic finish (which I prefer) of the above photo is $10.95 plus shipping. People tend to buy my photos as gifts for others and to decorate second homes and condos; SmugMug also offers framing and ready-to-hang mounts. I appreciate your patronage and pump any money made back into my photography and maintaining my web presence. Thanks! 

Here is my SmugMug homepage. Pick your poison and follow me on TwitterFacebook and/or Google+.

Related posts you may dig: Common murres at Yaquina Head, Oregon ducks at Hosmer Lake, Upper Klamath Canoe Trail.


The above photo is ©Steve Hymon and may not be used on the internet or elsewhere without my advanced written permission. All rights reserved.

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