Bosque del Apache

Just over an hour south of Albuquerque lies one of the premier bird photography locations in the United States. [wikipop]Bosque del Apache[/wikipop], a National Wildlife Refuge, is host to over 300 different bird species. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not normally a bird photographer, but a local photography Meetup group planned an outing there last Saturday and it sounded like fun.

This image was taken just before sunset. With the sun low in the sky, this sandhill crane was in the middle of a very bright reflection. Left in an automatic mode, the camera would have created a completely different feel than what I captured. The secret to this warm golden tone? Underexposure. Rather than allow my camera to make creative decisions for me, I spot metered on the brightest portion of the frame and set my shutter speed to 1 stop below middle. The added benefit is that there’s no fiddling with exposure compensation each time you change the framing. As Ron Popeill would say, “just set it and forget it.”


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