Our Month of March

by Kevin Shank | May 1, 2023 | 0 comments

fairy shrimp
I probably laughed out loud when I saw this foot-in-the-mouth shot. I have no idea where the “foot” comes from. Is it part of the critter?

Many of you are sending us your March submissions for the big contest. I’m sure next year there will be plenty of submissions to fill up the March issue and more. So, as I am faced with an immediate need for a photo lesson and none are on my desk, why not tell you about the month of March through our lenses?

We were so intrigued by finding/photographing fairy shrimp last year that we made sure to spend a day on them again this March.

Our photography setup included using a small clear acrylic box as the aquarium for our photographs. This would keep the shrimp relatively easy to find in the camera and to get focused on.

So that the flashed light would not glare on the side of the aquarium, we used a remote flash that shone straight down into the aquarium from above.

For a background, I placed a board behind the aquarium on about a 45° angle. On this board, I placed wet leaves taken from our water garden. They would provide a multi-toned brown background that would create a soft-focus blur. Fairy shrimp are found in vernal pools with leaf-covered bottoms, so this is a very natural look.

Once our photos were taken, the shrimp were released into a vernal pool. Hopefully we will find many more in years to come.

fairy shrimp
It was Adrian’s turn to chuckle when he clicked the shutter on these two equally-sharp-focus fairy shrimp.
Red-spotted newt and wood frog eggs
Cheryl captured this red-spotted newt taking a break from preying on wood frog eggs. But her photo doesn’t count. She got it on the last day of February. 😊
ducks and article
The trip we had planned for Middle Creek Wildlife Refuge quickly changed to the end of Oakley Street in Cambridge, Maryland, after a wildlife photographer gave us the tip and showed us some gorgeous photos he had recently taken.
Locals have been feeding the waterfowl there for fifty years. So, instead of fleeing, when the birds see you pop up over the sea wall, they come to you.
Thanks to the northerly direction, photographers can have good lighting on the birds no matter if shooting in the morning or afternoon. I’d prefer high tide and calm winds if I could have my choice.
Shooting is confined to the end of the street. The neighboring yards say “No Trespassing.”
We were late in the waterfowl migration, so species numbers were down. However, for the species that were there, we were delighted with the many close photo opportunities we had. I’ll spare you by not showing all 11,002 we took.
duck photos

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