In November and December I attended a bird photography workshop in Bosque del Apache led by Scott Bourne. Over the past ten years I would continually see him share beautiful photos of this area and decided that it was time I gave bird photography a try. It is a subject that I had never given any serious attempt or study, and I learned a lot of bird photography tips on light, composition, and even post-processing that I plan on sharing in another article.

I enjoy creating videos with my work and putting them to music, so in-between my still images I snuck in some video footage as well.  If you are considering a trip to view or photograph the birds, this gives you a good feel for what to expect. All of the footage you see below was created using the FUJIFILM X-T2 and 100–400mm lens (with 1.4x).

One thing that struck me most about this trip was the sound of the birds. The cranes have a beautiful song, which you can hear early in the morning before the snow geese arrive. But the volume increase when the geese are flying in to land in the pond. And then, when the geese blast off all at once (which we witnessed almost every single morning on this trip), it’s like a train passing over your head. (If you watch the video below you’ll see this even happen at around 1:46.) Overall the trip was a fantastic experience and I am considering another trip next year. And, one of the few advantages of living in Nebraska is that we will also have another sandhill crane migration in a few months, which will give me an opportunity to photograph the birds in a different environment. I have been told that the location is much more strict and not as “photographer friendly”, but I’m excited to see the birds again and look forward to putting my newly-learned skills to use again.


Watch the Video

View footage of my trip to Bosque del Apache, New Mexico:

Music by Kai Engel


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