Saturday Evening Post #26 Responding with Wonder

Every year the White-winged Terns (not very aptly named I suggest), wing their way south and a group of them visit the Western Treatment Plant.

They come in varying stages of breeding plumage from white (hence the name), to mottled black, to an impressive Jet Black. To be graced by the presence of these birds is a real highlight for me and we spend several sessions down a the WTP trying to capture them in flight.  Not always easy, as tricky as they are, sometimes they hunt on ponds that are inaccessible from the roadway. But when the light is right, they are hunting close and the action is fast and furious it is indeed a photographic delight.

After my confusing rant last week which had started out well enough on an examination of lighting techniques and the astounding work of Dean Collins, I thought I’d be a bit more circumspect this week and stick to, well, you know, birds.  And the enjoyment of images.

Seeing as Freeman Patterson explains it, is “…using your senses, intellect and your emotions. Encountering your subject with your whole being.
It means looking beyond the labels of things and discovering the wonderful world around you.”

These birds fill me with awe, they travel to us from Asia, or maybe Northern Europe. They don’t breed here, but spend their time feeding up for their trip to warmer climes.  My challenge is not to just capture their presence, but also to grasp a hint of their freedom to roam the world, not encumbering it, but making it a little more enjoyable for those who accept their invitation to wonder.

White-winged Tern in late evening light

8 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post #26 Responding with Wonder

    1. G,day David,
      They are not always kind to the photographer, perferring to hunt where the food is. I’m going to do a Snapshots page this week with more from the same evening to show the variety of their dress sense.


  1. G’day David, I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never given Terns much thought and only a little bit more attention. Your post have changed this dramatically. Thanks 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Adam, really I’m not a Tern person. Mostly can’t tell a Caspian from a Whiskered, and don’t even try on Little and Fairy. But these dudes work the WTP for just a few weeks and are quite distinguishable by their actions as much as by their colouring. I am going to post a mid-week on the encounter. Stay tuned.


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