My Wife is my best (worst) critic.
The one thing I look forward with winter photography is the Pheasant and it’s beautiful colors. Against a white backdrop of snow the male Pheasant colors have an incredible luminance. The snow acts as fill light. It’s hard to get a bad shot of a Pheasant. If luck is on your side. If your as focused as a single cell under a microscope. If you have a very long lens. If you have a very fast firing speed on your camera. If your lucky. You may be able to catch a pheasant in flight. I was very lucky!
This day I sat quietly and still. A gutsy Pheasant came within about eighty feet of my camera. The light was almost perfect for a close capture. The smart little brat soon realized that I was not a mannequin of a whale rather that I was one of his two legged enemies. As he ran back and forth I was fortunate to capture him running both directions.
Note in the two photographs above the difference in the eye of the Pheasant. There is a catch light in the one where the Pheasant is running towards the late sun. In wildlife this can make or break a great photograph. The catch light gives life to the animal in the final capture.
Now to my worst critic.
I have carried a camera around for about 30 years. Carried is the key word. Yet in those 30+ years I have taken many hundreds of thousands of photographs. Easily a million. What’s my odds of getting a positive nod from my worst critic from over a million photographs. Zero. Zip. Not one.
She came into my man cave to inform me that dinner was waiting. I was narrowing down the photographs of the Pheasants. On my Wacom was the following photograph of a Pheasant. One of those lucky shots I keep talking about. A photograph I dream about and hope to capture. It would be better if he was flying at the sun. This particular capture has the details of the feathers as his wings and tail are spread in flight. With a very quick quip she said “I love that shot”. For a moment I thought of needing smelling salts. I stared at the screen and wondered if my mind was playing mind games on me. It was like my first kiss. Ok my second or third kiss. Anyway this was proof that everyone has a threshold. An internal, genetic way to see life. To like or not like a photograph. I may print this photograph and carry it in my wallet to remember this day…….. Love Ya Honey!