Tip #24. Working with the wind

Tip #24. Working with the wind

Although light is extremely critical for a good image, sometimes the wind can be beneficial as well. When arriving at a wildlife photo location, I often throw some grass or other foliage into the air to see which way the wind is blowing. Since birds land into the wind, I try to position myself upwind from them so I can photograph their heads, rather than their butts, as they take off or land. Unfortunately, that is not always possible. I was watching a pod of pelicans feeding on a fairly windy day when I noticed that when they turned from going into the wind into going away from it, the wind literally ruffled their feathers. The ruffled feathers provided some interesting texture to the image which was not there when the same pod turning in to the wind. If you’ve never watched pelicans feed, it is quite interesting. Pelicans often group together to feed when they are near shore. They drive schools of small fish into the shallows and then in unison they dive or “tip over” with their butts in the air, scooping up the fish in their fleshy throat pouches.