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Dipper (Water Ouzel)


Dipper -- Photo  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com



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I enjoy making images that reward and surprise those who decide to inspect them closely. Individuality is one of these; this is another. Viewed from afar, one sees a sunlit ridge reflected in a lake in Oregon's Eagle Cap Wilderness at dawn. But those who look closer will notice a Dipper (Cinclus mexicanus)—also called a Water Ouzel—perched on a rock, leaving ripples on the lake where he recently surfaced.

Dippers get the name from being in constant action, bobbing up and down as they exercise their legs. They are great swimmers, so maybe they squat to build strong leg muscles. While I set up the camera to take this photo, the bird wasn't visible. When he popped out of the water I hesitated for a moment, believing the bird's motion would be blurred. I was thinking of waiting for him to leave. But suddenly I saw that there was a chance of a great picture, so I snapped the shutter and hoped he was still during the shot. The noise of the camera on that quiet morning scared him off, but I got a wonderful photograph. The remaining ones of the sunrise without the bird were not worth printing.

At an exhibit I sometimes get a chance to watch others view my "surprise" images. Some don't notice what makes them so special. But those who do are filled with a rush of joy and discovery that is the goal of my photography. When I see the same reaction in others I felt when making the photo, this moment of shared experience makes it all worthwhile.


Info:  Chromira digital print of cropped Velvia 645 chrome, Fuji Crystal Archive CD paper

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