Bar-tailed Godwit

by Bob Chappell August. 30, 2020 261 views
Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica), Titchwell Beach (Norfolk), November 2018

Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica), Titchwell Beach (Norfolk), November 2018

Sometimes when you take a photograph you know it's something special. When I took this shot of the godwit on the beach at Titchwell I sensed it would be a success. Even so, it came as a (very pleasant) shock when it topped Flickr's Explore at No 1. It's nice to feel famous for a day!

What makes the quality in this photograph? The subject in action? The detail on the subject? The composition, with foreground, centre and background split nicely into thirds and the subject on the intersection of those thirds? The simplicity of the colour palette?

A cold Norfolk beach in November may not seem the obvious place for a day out, but this session produced some excellent shots of sanderling as well as the godwits. I had rarely seen any bar-tailed godwits before (which favour the beach), but had often seen the closely related black-tailed godwits (Limosa limosa), a few hundred metres inland in freshwater lagoons in RSPB Titchwell.

I often hear photographers having long discussions about the latest version of their camera or lens, occasionally about the light, but I've yet to hear other photographers discussing the subtleties of composition. I consider one of the challenges in wildlife photography is composition - isolating your subject from the background yet showing it in its natural environment. I mull over that in every image. Perhaps that balance has been perfectly achieved in this image? Please forgive my lack of modesty.

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Tsao T-F 6 months, 1 week ago

Thank you for sharing the photo with detailed instructions.100
Yes, the image is very good, you don't need to be humble.
You reminded me of some points of composition. It enhances the bird very well.

6 months, 1 week ago Edited
Adrian Morris 6 months, 1 week ago

Great picture. It's very difficult to get all the elements of a great picture into a wildlilfe shot such as this.

6 months, 1 week ago Edited
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