WPY 2011

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2011

Creative Visions

Arthur Morris, USA

Snow and geese

Huge numbers of migratory birds, including snow geese and white-fronted geese, refuel at the Lower Klamath National Wildlife Reserve in California on their migration south. In turn, the spectacle attracts hundreds of birdwatchers and photographers. Arthur was one of them. 'Every so often a mass of them would take off, for no obvious reason, but perhaps scared by a coyote or eagle,' he says. 'The noise of the blast-off was incredibly loud, like honking jet engines.' Suddenly, a heavy snowfall hit. Arthur would normally have opted for a slow shutter speed to blur the movement, but this time, with the wind behind him and the birds flying towards him, he chose to use a fast speed to capture the extraordinary pattern of legs and wings. 'I love the way their feet all dangle down and the strange perspective caused by the birds in front being less obstructed by the snowflakes than those above and behind.'

Technical specification

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV + 800mm lens; 1/640 sec at f6.3 (+ 2.3 e/v); ISO 400.

Klamath Falls, Oregon, USA: latitude 42.2249, longitude -121.782 Klamath Falls, Oregon, USA: latitude 42.2249, longitude -121.782

Klamath Falls, Oregon, USA

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