Sunday, June 7, 2009

Night at Pier 19 #4

Here's a sequence of photos that shows just how fast the skimmers are. I looked deep into the metadata at these images and there was exactly .23 seconds in between these frames. The top one shows a black skimmer cutting through the water; the bottom one shows the head bent completely backwards with a caught fish in his mouth. I'm posting these slightly larger, so you can click on the images to see what a difference .23 seconds makes. This is what makes photography fun for me -- stopping the action (some would even say abstracting the image) so you can pick out fleeting moments that in real time aren't noticeable. I wish I could post a third image in this series, but unfortunately in this location the lighting conditions vary greatly and the next couple of frames were in shadows. There was also a pelican in the background, so the images were pretty unusable -- but in those you can see the skimmer flying off with fish in mouth. So, I post these today not as if they are great nature shots, but because they show an interesting moment in the life of a skimmer. And for me, the photographer (who didn't realize I had even captured this until review on the computer), it's what keeps me coming back for more.


  1. The second image with the skimmer's neck bending back so much is really impressive! That sure is not something a human eye would normally see. I like how the tip of the wing is bent up also. The white areas in the water are somewhat distracting, I think it would improve an already fantastic image if they were cloned out.

  2. The only problem with the bottom photograph is that I am worried that this guy is going to hurt himself!

    As great as our eye and brain is, we cannot "see" this shot. We need the stop action capabilities of the camera to really see what is happening. Good lighting, good timing on the shot.

    Keep'em coming.

  3. Where's the fish? I'm blind...I don't see it! I think that's why I like macro so much, Steve, because it shows everyone what the naked eye cannot see. I love both shots. I didn't realize what a neat looking bird the skimmer is!

  4. Great photos Steve!

    Thanks for posting shots of something I probably would never have seen if I hadn't seen it here!


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