It can take a lot of work to find the right perch sometimes. It can be a branch, a stump, some barbed wire, or in this case a rock. Once you find the right perch then you have to start working on the background and seeing if it works with your perch. Then there’s the light, is it better lit up in the morning or afternoon? So many decisions and things to figure out. Least of all is getting the subject to land on your perfect spot, or at least the spot you think is perfect. Is it worth it? Well, the photograph, in the end, will tell you that. I spent a long time sitting on the bank of the Missouri River watching the Sparrows fly around me before this one individual finally went to the spot I had picked out. I thought it was a good afternoon, photo could still be better though.
There is a stigma in photography that every shot you take has to be the best. I never really understood this because every shot is a learning experience combining everything from the last shot up to that point. Thus every shot taken couldn’t possibly be the best. Photography is all about learning and the only way to learn is to make mistakes and try again. If every first time you’re out in the field you manage to get that one amazing shot then what would be the point? Photography would eventually get boring. That thrill of mastering the next thing is what makes it exciting and a true challenge.
While out shooting Vesper Sparrows along the river bank I was having a tough time in part because they wouldn’t hold still. I try not to shoot down on a subject because it makes it look small and usually critters don’t like it but in this case the blue river makes a much better background then any of the rocks. Is this the best image? No. But it’s a start and as long as I keep practicing I can improve on it and that’s what matters.