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Karma – The Parakeet Auklet

As the year comes to a close I’m sitting here and reflecting on those moments that defined my progress as a Avian photographer, I had the privilege to visit places that I have always dreamed about and meet some very talented photographers. I have also met some incredibly dedicated pro’s without whom my own dreams would, well probably be just dreams. Alan Murphy and Greg Downing are two such pro’s who made this trip a memorable one.

While you may have seen this post on my Facebook page or Google + page, I’m re-posting this as an edit with an uncompressed image. I will be posting images with techniques and pointers in the coming weeks, however this post reflects emotional insight into the desire, effort and the eventual outcome involved in creating an image and how persistence will give you the desired results. Well, here is how it happened!

I’m a firm believer that things happen for a reason. It’s 9:00am and I’m packing my luggage, we have a flight to catch back to Anchorage. I’m seriously bummed out about my failure to capture a satisfying image of the Auklets in flight on this trip to St. Paul, Alaska. To make matters worse, the weather is miserable, cold, misty and rainy.

Fast forward to about 3:30pm, we find out that our flight is cancelled due to the bad weather, one more night on the gloomy island but a great group of people to keep company. Walking back to our room, I tell a few folks, may be the weather will clear a bit and we can go out and shoot one more time, for all we know this may be one of the best days ever.

It’s 6:30pm; the fog gives way to a brighter day and even the clouds breakup, letting the sun shine through. We are at the cliff making flight shots, while I was photographing the Puffins; I only had one thing on my mind, Auklets. I could see them at a distance and knew I had to get closer. It was sheer Karma that I then noticed the Parakeet Auklets repeatedly coming close and banking near a grassy platform. I made my way down and waited, within a matter of seconds a Parakeet Auklet flew by and I fired away.

“Chimping” is never a good idea when you are in the field, but with a racing heart I quickly scanned through about 8 images.


Canon 5D Mark III, Exposure: 1/1000sec, F/5.6, Lens 400mm

Man, when I saw what I had managed to capture, I balled!

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