Rain… in August?

I can’t remember the last time we had rain in August in Santa Barbara.  I’m certainly not complaining, since I’m happy to have something other than boring fog and low clouds.  A chance of thunderstorms was predicted for yesterday but we only had some light sprinkles and generally overcast skies for the bulk of the day.  This kind of weather can lead to some interesting bird sightings, especially during the beginning of the fall migration.  Lately we have only had mallard ducks at Lake Los Carneros, so I was surprised to find a lone Ring-necked Duck yesterday.  These generally shouldn’t arrive until much later in the fall.  In addition, there was a Kingfisher very actively hunting and calling.  This was the first time I had ever seen one make multiple dives without landing.

“Silvery Skies”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

“Black-crowned Night Heron”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

“Ring-necked Duck” – Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

“Floating in the Rain”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

“Wet Duck”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

“Pied-billed Grebe”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA

“Sun Returns”  –  Lake Los Carneros, Goleta, CA


4 Responses to Rain… in August?

  1. Your lead photo is marvelous. How did you balance out the sky, land and water? I tend to get blown out skies or underexposed land when I try.

    Nice photo of the heron, too.

  2. wildphotography says:

    Hi Scott,
    Great observation. I used a 2-stop graduated neutral density filter to lower the dynamic range. There was still some hot-spots in the sky and water, but a little work in Lightroom fixed those quite easily. I find using GND’s much easier than blending in post and always having to carry around a tripod.

  3. Thanks for the explaination, Barry. Time to head to the camera store and see if I can pick up some neutral graduated filters. Though Aperture 2 handles the blowouts well, the photos tend to be not as crisp and colorful as I remembered them to be when pulling back the highlights in post-processing. Seeing this photo, I know it can be done better.

  4. wildphotography says:

    I recommend starting with a 2-stop soft edge graduated neutral density filter. Don’t mess around with the filter holder contraption. A lot of pro’s just hold them against the front of the lens. If you try out a cheap one and start using it a lot, I can’t say enough about upgrading to the Singh-Ray GND’s. They are a bit pricey but are definitely the best (absolutely neutral in color and really well made).

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