The lucky moment – Geese in flight

A picture of two geese in flight with their wings pointing in opposite directions
The lucky moment – Geese in flight

There are some pictures which are planned and there are some which are the result of a lucky moment. This picture was a mixture of both.

We were on holiday in CenterParcs at Elvden Forest in February 2012 and we went to one of the lakes to have a walk round the shore. I saw that this presented an opportunity for some nature pictures so I fitted my Tamron 70-300 mm telezoom to my Pentax K-r and we started to walk. There is an expression I’ve heard which I think came from press photographers in the 1960’s – “f8 and be there”. That is, set f8 on the camera and make sure you are where the action is and you will get the shot. I followed that advice and had the camera set on f8, but I also enabled the 6fps mode on the camera so I was ready to take a series of shots if required.

As we walked along the shore I saw a couple of lone geese flying across the sky and quickly raised the camera to my eye and started shooting. The Pentax k-r, although capable of 6 fps will only maintain that rate for a couple of seconds, so I knew I’d get about 10 to 15 shots before it reduced to about 2 fps. As the geese flew across the sky I tracked them until the camera stopped shooting, but I suspected at the time that I’d managed to get at least one shot where the geese’s wings were in opposite phase.

Because we were on holiday, I couldn’t produce a full size version of the picture until we got back home and I could look at all my shots in Lightroom. It turned out I had a total of 11 images of the geese and right in the middle was this picture with the birds separated and their wings up and down. I had to add about 1 stop of exposure because the image was a bit under exposed and apply some shadow correction, but overall I’m pleased with the result.

So was this good luck or good planning ? A bit of both I’d say.

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