May, or May not

Canada geese Branta canadensis taking off in dim light, blurred by slower shutter speed
For our month-end abstract for May, we have two offerings, because I had two that I liked taken within the month – actually, there were three, but one is a little too similar to another posted just a few days back, so I’m keeping that one for later on. For these two, we have a theme anyway.

Above, we have some Canada geese (Branta canadensis) taking off from the nearby pond just after sunset, when the light was dim. I was tracking their progress, waiting for them to cross the sunset colors in the sky, but fired off a couple of frames before they’d made it above the treeline. With so little light coming in from the deeply-shadowed frame, the shutter speed dragged a bit, producing a bit of motion blur both from tracking the camera and from the geese flapping their wings. It actually came out kinda cool, so I cropped it a little and saved it for now.

The same conditions produced the same effect for the next one, though in this case a long focal length contributed.

immature white-tailed deer Odocoileus virginianus doe during long exposure
While getting the images of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) seen here, I had more than a few discards – and one wonderfully cubist abstract. In fact, I would easily have said it was a multiple exposure, because there are three distinct images visible therein without notable blurring, but this was just a trick of conditions, and possibly the image stabilization of the lens (actually, that’s the most likely culprit in my eyes, now that I think about it.) The shutter speed had dropped to 1/4 second, while I was shooting at 550mm – too much for the stabilizer to overcome, but it tried. Nevertheless, the end result was compelling, so I saved it for today as well.

And this image prompts me to provide a follow-up to that linked post, because a few days back, The Girlfriend called me out of the office right before sunset; it seems the same deer were now traipsing across our front yard, just a handful of meters from the glass storm door. As I was getting the camera, however, a passing cyclist and car spooked the trio, and they beat a retreat down the path alongside the house to the backyard, again. We went out there, and as I was standing in the middle of the backyard, the same doe that had approached The Girlfriend so fearlessly marched through the open fence and approached me this time – very clearly aware that I was there, and her proximity was definitely intentional. I am left wondering if someone is feeding them in the area, or if she’s just remarkably complacent (the other two aren’t as inclined to approach.) It’s a bad idea to encourage wild animals to hand-feed, or even get too habituated to people, so we’re just observing at this point, but if it continues we might start gently discouraging this kind of stuff, as interesting as it is. They’re better off maintaining a healthy distrust of humans.

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