A Bad Case of the Boolies

A juvenile black phoebe perches on a broken tree

You’d think I’d never held a camera before.

I don’t know why exactly but some days I struggle mightily with exposure, with focus, with stability, with aim, with composition, with equipment, with everything. What works for me is to work through it. To keep taking picture after picture until despite my efforts I get one that I like, then more and more until I get one I love.

This past Sunday was a fun day to be at Ridgefield, full of new animal behaviors I either hadn’t seen or at least not photographed, but I couldn’t take a picture to save my life. One highlight was spotting a juvenile black phoebe, a bird I had only seen one once before while vacationing in New Mexico. This species is normally a resident of areas well to our south so I was excited to see it once more. So excited that I botched the exposure on every picture save the last.

I never saw it again.

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