Saturday, January 5, 2013
Like all photographers, I have my dreams…one of which is making a great shot of a chickadee. Trust me, I haven't set the bar too high. I'm not looking for the spectacular—just a modestly good image. Merely a picture of a chickadee—Carolina or black-capped, we have both here and either will do—sitting on a limb, in nice light, with every feather sharp and showing detail, plus a catchlight in the eyes.
That's my chickadee dream. A quintessential image. Something not all that different than shots I've taken of cardinals and bluejays and red-bellied woodpeckers. I see such photos on other blogs all the time. Sometimes I look at them and mutter enviously. I'm a reasonably competent photographer. I have more than adequate gear. I know how to compensate for various light. And Lord knows, chickadees are neither shy nor uncommon—so it can't be lack of opportunity.
Fine. Then what's the problem?
Luck? Karma? Some self-blocking conflict of inner psychological turmoil stemming from a youthful nightmare involving chickadees and the bogeyman? I flat don't know. I've made dozens of photo attempts, perhaps hundreds. And I've come close…but close, as they say, only counts in hand-grenades and horseshoes. The photo at the top of this post certainly doesn't qualify. In fact, when I came upon it while sorting through my latest endeavors, I almost gave it the ol' delete click for banishment into digital purgatory. But then I thought…hey, this kinda sums up my chickadee dreams frustrations.