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New York Photography “Workshop” 3 | Migration

Continue to stay the course. It doesn’t mean do what you normally would have done had the corona virus pandemic not occurred, but it means keep working at the goals and plans that you had already made. It means adapt those plans as best you can to fit into your life and your businesses in the way we have to operate now.

My commitment this year was to work hard to grow my photography business this year. The ultimate goal for me being that it is no longer my side hustle, but it is my career. Merge my career and my passion.

A big part of that plan and growth meant expanding to offer new services I had always wanted to offer but never felt like I had the time for. But now I was committing to them. I had been working to plan workshops to work with photographers to learn more about our craft.

Now with stay at home orders and social distancing in effect offering services that involve gathering with other people just isn’t possible right now. It is very easy to fall into despair over the ruin of my plans. I have had many moments when I have fear and doubts about how I am going to make this happen now. What I am doing to overcome that is to focus on the things that I can control.

I can control my photography. I can control going out and creating images. I can control getting out and practicing my craft. I can control talking to my community here and showing you the work that I am doing to inspire you to go out and hone your craft as well.

Since I was not able to go out and gather people together to enjoy a workshop and learn from each other, I still made it a point to go out and work on my photography at that venue and experience what it is like to be there trying to create the same types of images that we would be working on at the workshop.

There was not great light for photography. The sky was cloudy and dreary. There were a group of double-crested cormorants on Eldridge Lake and more and more kept arriving as I watched. Cormorants are very dark colored birds, essentially black , so it is very challenging to photograph them in a way that shows much detail without good light, but I did the best with what I had to work with. That is all we can ask of each other. Do the best you can with what you have.

The cormorants didn’t venture close to me while they swam around the lake and I watched. They did however present some opportunities for photographs when they arrived and when they took off from the lake. I had to make the most of those opportunities.

It didn’t seem like I would have much variety in my photography on this trip as it was just the cormorants and the usual mallards and Canada Geese at the park. Then to my surprise I was able to see my first Osprey sighting for the season as one arrived at the lake , made a few quick passes around the lake stooped and dove into the lake. The osprey made it catch and flew off immediately with its meal.

It all happened pretty quickly but because I was being observant looking out for any opportunities that may arise I was able to take advantage and capture some photographs. The sky being rather drab does not make for the best in flight photos of a bird flying over head, even a bird as magnificent as an osprey.

Eventually the light shifted and brightened illuminating the pond more from one direction. I moved to the side of the pond that allowed for the best light with the light behind me. I continued to watch and wait for opportunities to create images to arise. Eventually another, or the same, osprey showed up and circled the lake. I could hear osprey calls overhead which indicated to me that there was more than one but I didn’t see a second at first. I captured some photographs of the osprey that I did see as it circled then as it turned to fly away I saw the other osprey also flying off with a fish that it had caught.

One thing that I am learning on this journey is something that I always struggle with in my craft and that is patience. Patience is important in wildlife photography, but has never been a characteristic I poses much of. If I arrive on a location with a plan to create images, but the light is terrible and it doesn’t look like there are any interesting subjects I am likely to move on quickly from that location without even clicking my shutter once.

This social distancing is teaching me to have patience. Most of the images I have created at this location over the last three weeks would not have happened under normal circumstances for me. If I was there under normal circumstances I would have arrive and not seen what I wanted and I would have left. I would have missed out on photographs I could make. I would have missed out on the simple joy of watching wildlife and our local parks.

Don’t miss out. See it through. Be patient.

Join my community and learn from my mistakes so you don’t have to make them yourself.

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Check out a few more of my Cormorant photos in my Waterfowl Gallery. You can clearly see the difference between sunny day cormorant photographs and ones created on gloomy days.

See a few more Osprey photographs from this trip in my Birds of Prey Gallery. See the difference in the blue sky photos and gloomy background photos.

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