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California / Hawk / Nature / Photo Log / Photography / Point Reyes / Wildlife


December 8, 2018 — Point Reyes National Seashore

Mr. Red Tail sat on a rock about fifty yards down a ravine, in perfect view but with his back to the camera. I waited. And waited.

With scant warning he took flight, heading out to sea before turning a tight one-eighty and coming right at me. No. Not at me. At his next perch.

He picked his spot. Flared. And grabbed his rock. He gave me not one look.


(Nikon D500, Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E ED VR zoom. RAW processing in DxO PhotoLab 2.2; Editing in Adobe Photoshop.)

The Author

California based fine-art photographer featuring abstract, impressionist, and minimalist seascapes — near and distant — and floral-based images. Fine-art photography can be seen at All original images on this blog are copyright 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 Michael Scandling. All rights reserved. No images on this site may be copied, duplicated, reused, published, or re-purposed in any way without express permission from the copyright owner, Michael Scandling.


    • Both my camera bodies are configured for back-button focus. Just smashed my thumb down on the button and held it while keeping the subject centered, which is quite a challenge at the equivalent of 750 mm with an 8 pound camera/lens.


      • Photography is its own built-in exercise program. I thought long and hard about those branches. I finally decided to leave them in to give landing a bit of context. It would be cleaner visually without them. It’s kind of a coin toss. There was one really ugly branch that I did remove.


  1. Excellent, Michael – both pictures beautifully caught, and the lower one in particular looking very menacing – but unless you were near its active nest, I don’t imagine it would be a threat. A 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic. Not something I could do on my I-phone. 😉
    Though I understand the newer models have much better features, still retaining the small volume, weight and max discretion.
    Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Sigh… 🙂 I lived in East Africa as a teen. Had an Instamatic… Then I got an Asahi Pentax for my birthday, with a 50mm, a wide angle, a 100mm and a zoom. Still have it. Night and day for animal photography. Congrats on the shot. The equipment is but a fraction of the final result.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely. And to know how to use it. I suspect modern equipment also helps with shutter speed, thinking on a bird’s flight. And since we’re no longer limited to 36 exposures, we can click away a dozen shots and select the best 2. Cheers Michael.

        Liked by 1 person

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