So, after about three hours at Pier 19, my final set of shots turned out to be exactly what I thought they'd be -- egrets feeding as the sun disappeared on the horizon. The only problem was that I had spent so much time with the skimmers and shooting the golden light on the Voyager that I really started shooting the backlit stuff way too late. My shutter speeds ranged from 1/40 of a second down to 1/2 a second, so any movement by the bird created a blurry image. And if there's one thing you need for a good silhouette shot it's a sharp subject. The shot above was about the best of the bunch. I shot a similar image to this about a year ago at this very spot, only in that photo the egret was standing on a rock looking left. I ended up using it in the Featherfest photo contest this year, and it won second place in the first week of the contest.
So, this ends my series at Pier 19. There are other photos in the group that may get worked on one day, and there were plenty of skimmer shots that got deleted at the scene or later on the computer. As comfortable as you can be with a shooting environment, like I feel I am here, sometimes things can surprise you. It's incredible how quickly light changes, and how limited a window you have to make an image before it's gone. Even as hard as you may be trying to work a scene, it's like a voice in your head tells you at a certain point --"the light's gone, the magic is over." And it's nice when that happens just before the mosquitoes start to swarm.