November week 3 – Dabbling and Darkness

You would think education and awareness should be enough to lead us to a healthy, sustainable and earth friendly diet.  But when the spirit is willing and the “will power” is still weak it takes a little more.  I think photography will eventually be that “little bit more” that helps change my eating habits.

Wikapedia tells us that “the American Wigeon is often the fifth most commonly harvested duck in the United States, behind the Mallard, Green-winged Teal, Gadwall and Wood Duck.”

A few years ago I categorized those with wings and feathers as either birds or ducks.  Now that I take note of the migration patterns of coastal birds, I am beginning to identify them, at least by their common names.  The Wigeon is a dabbler who will often wait for the diving ducks and birds to surface and then snatch their food away.

My sighting of American Coots, Gadwalls, Wigeons and Ring-necked ducks in the ponds of Golden Gate Park are signs that their migration has begun.  Here you can also get pretty close to the ducks because this stopover seems to have taught that in this location humans are not a threat and often a source of a snack.

Photographer George Lepp once said, “don’t be a part of the problem (feeding the wild birds) but photograph of what is before you (get frame filling images of the birds).”

Low afternoon light, getting yourself on the ground to be at bird’s eye height and a long lens will be your best tools for stunning bird images.

Photography is the fine art of creating images with “light.”  Depending on the quality of light you have to work with, any ordinary subject can be transformed into a spectacular presentation.

One candle and different colored glass candle holders, photographed from below this Plexiglas table, make a wonderful “holiday” subject.

Light and darkness are two parts of a blessed whole!  Be sure to enjoy Jann Aldredge-Clantons’ hymn “O Holy Darkness, Loving Womb.”  She has posted it on YouTube with a wonderful slideshow and accompaniment by soloist Shannon Kincaid.  (address forthcoming)

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