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Mark Casebeer
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Mark Casebeer PHOTOGRAPHY

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Sandhill Cranes

It was cloudy, and I thought, "it's the perfect weather for photographing cranes." As I was driving and got closer, the clouds started to dissipate, and the blue sky was all I could see. It looked nice, but it was still cold. The sunny conditions pose a problem as it creates harsher shadows on the underwings.

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I found this spot while out for a motorcycle ride a few years back. It's on W drive just past Vicksburg. There are wetlands on both sides of the road. The Northside is larger, but to my surprise, most of it has dried up, and I didn't see any cranes.

I turned around and parked on a side road South of W drive. I've parked there before as there is a railroad track that runs between two smaller wetland areas. As I got out, I could hear the cranes in the distance. I slowly walked the railroad tracks, and as I approached, I was surprised that there weren't that many cranes. Usually, the wetlands are full of cranes.

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The cranes didn't like my presence and started to move around, and some flew off. I positioned myself between the two wetland areas on the side of the railroad tracks. I knew from experience that they would come back as I settled down and stayed still.

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As I waited, I could hear them in the distance. Slowly a few pairs started to fly back into the wetland area. I was in the perfect spot; the railroad tracks made a perfect opening to photograph them. Some flew directly over me into the larger wetland area.

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I spent the next few hours watching and photographing them. I'm a little rusty shooting (BIF) birds in flight; they are a little harder to track than the grandkids playing sports!

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Photography should be fun! It's not about the phone or camera brand you're using. Always remember, your best photographs are the result of one thing, making an effort to get out and shoot.

Comments always welcomed.

Mark

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