Sandhill Cranes at Sunset

The refuge at Bosque had just begun to flood the large pond at the Flight Deck before I arrived, which left a residue from the cuttings. This location is a highlight in the mornings for the Snow Geese blasting off. It’s also a popular place late afternoons. The Sandhills start gathering in large numbers for the overnight roost. This was just before sunset when the birds were settling in.

7D Mk II, 400 DO F4 +1.4x on Wimberley I, ISO 400 1/125 f9 0.0EV

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

A nice group shot with great light, Bill. Since it seems to be rare (I don’t recall seeing it) I think I’d crop this and adjust the lighting a bit to emphasize the drinking crane. I think you could take quite a bit off the bottom at the same time as it doesn’t seem to add much compared to the foliage in the background.

I am always conflicted on how to compose these group shots when there is no natural point of separation. The colors and light here make this a very pleasing image.

Hi Bill,

Try a panorama crop if you have enough pixels. Lighting looks good and you have some nice subtle colors in the comp…Jim

@Dennis_Plank and @Jim_Zablotny, I completely agree that the pano crop works much better. I tried cropping up to exclude the neck reflections but it looked too crowded, so here’s the option. Dennis, large group shots of Sandhills with a telephoto are quite common in the Bosque.

I like your new cropped version…Jim