I filmed this video in January 2013 during a brief two-day visit to the Bosque. As a personal challenge, I never used more than a 200mm lens. Rather than using a 500mm lens w/ 2x teleconverter and featuring the nose holes in the beak of a Sandhill Crane, my hope was to share the electric colors and otherworldly sounds of the Bosque as if you were right there with me.
What you witness is one evening "fly in" and one early morning "fly out," also know as a "blastoff!" There's no way to adequately describe the emotional power of this thunderously beautiful cacophony of waterfowl wings pulsing into the air. I will tell you that on my first of several visits years ago, the whole team took to the sky right at the peak of sunrise color, and I'm pretty sure I cried. That means I probably had an icicle on my cheek, since it is always sub-freezing before dawn in the Bosque. Thankfully, temperatures generally warm to a pleasant and sunny 50's and 60's the rest of the day.
I will also say, if you've only shot landscapes with your camera, and you've never played with shooting birds in flight... ohhh boy are you missing out! It's the difference between playing chess and playing football!
That said, landscape photography certainly has its place in my heart as well. Especially when the world's largest expanse of snow-white gypsum sand dunes are just down the road. The images in this video were made during one sunset and one sunrise the following morning. The white purity of these wave-like dunes causes them to reflect every little fragment of color in the morning and evening sky. My company's 2014 tour to this area will coincide with the full moon. I'm more than excited about that!
More info about Bosque:
Bosque del Apache is a 57,000-acre National Wildlife Refuge nestled in the Rio Grande valley. The word Bosque means the "woods" of the Apache. It boasts an impressive wetland network of ponds that draw waterfowl from thousands of miles away. During winter, as many as 10,000 Sandhill Cranes and tens of thousands of Snow Geese migrate South to the Bosque. Located just 85 miles South of Albuquerque in Socorro County, the Bosque is right inside North America's "central flyway." Flyways are like highways in the sky for migratory birds. Learn more about all this at lightfinds.us/product/photo-tours/
Tech stuff for those who care:
- Canon 5D Mk II w/ 70-200mm f/2.8 and 16-35mm f/2.8 lenses
- ContourHD POV Camera used during blastoff
- Audio during blastoff recorded with Zoom H4N
- All other audio using Rode Videomic onboard the 5D II
Video by Paul Hassell of LightFinds.us
Music by Balmorhea balmorheamusic.com/