Sacramento NWR + redo

And the rework:

This is from the archives, in November 2009, when the Snow Geese had returned for the winter. You can’t usually get much from the tour road here, and there are only 2 places you can get out, but can’t walk farther than across the tiny parking areas. But it’s legal to fly over refuges at 2000 ft above ground.

Specific Feedback Requested

All comments welcome! It feels top heavy to me but darkening the bottom and making it more blue didn’t really help.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Canon 5D2, Canon 70-200 f/2.8 at 200, f/8, 1/750 sec, ISO 400. Reprocessed with today’s LR tools but no major difference. Nothing drastic in LR, into PS for NR, which would barely show at this size.


Yes, by definition, wildlife refuges limit where the people (photogs) can go, but then many allow hunting around the edges…go figure!’s all Pittman-Robertson funding act. This aerial view has a nice touch of abstract, with the geese, their shadows and the islands of grass. I’m not getting the top heaviness, but do think that a bit of mid-tone dodging to bring out the darker birds in the top would add more interest up there.

A fascinating image - one feature of the abstract quality for me is the illusion that the grass islands are clouds while the underwater dark green plants are forest far below. The paler lower part brings out the bird shadows nicely. If this isn’t wetlands in the best sense, I don’t know what is.

Thanks @Mark_Seaver and @Mike_Friel – I think I worked out what my objection was by doing a gradient lighting toward the top – I think the exposure was a bit heavy there, and the lightening added some atmospheric perspective. I’ve posted the redo next to the original.

Really awesome arial photo! I love the huge group of geese flying and the little pieces of land in the water. It makes me think of the film winged migration.