Monday, September 12, 2011

Heading South

Anhinga with Catfish, Pantanal, Brazil

I was in a small boat on the Rio Pixaim in central Brazil when I spotted this anhinga struggling with a small fish along the edge of the creek. It was the middle of the day, a time when I rarely even bother taking pictures, but the bird was swimming along the edge of the shadows and was illuminated by the reflected light off the midday water. The result was this surprisingly soft light on a bird I have never really worked with before.
The challenge here was keeping the bird in focus: with that thin neck, my camera kept missing the focus point and locking onto the background. Yes, I have a lot of shots of  nice crisp leaves - and a very blurry anhinga. Happiy, I got this one to work.
I leave later this week for a month in Brazil, where I will be photographing in 3 distinct ecosystems: the coastal cloud forest, the southern Amazon, and the Pantanal wetlands, where this was taken several years ago. As usual, I will be concentrating my efforts on threatened species, which, in the dwindling habitats all over Brazil, will likely be almost every animal I am likely to see.

Nikon D2X and 300mm lens