Day 4-6 – Arizona and New Mexico Photo Shoot

We’ve been in Socorro three days now and the photography at Bosque del Apache is excellent.

Bosque del Apache, which means “woods of the Apache” in Spanish was originally named for the people who often camped in the riverside forest. Today, it is more widely known as one of the most spectacular Refuges in North America. The refuge straddles the Rio Grande Valley in Socorro County, New Mexico, and covers some 57,000 acres. Here, tens of thousands of birds including sandhill cranes, snow geese, and many kinds of ducks -gather each autumn and stay through the winter. Snow geese erupt in explosions of wings when frightened by a stalking coyote. At dawn and dusk, flight after flight of geese and cranes can be seen flying between specially prepared corn fields and their roosting areas in the marshes.

The following images are just a small selection of the many species of birds that I’ve managed to photograph over the past  three days.

Snow Goose Preparing for Take-off

Sandhill Cranes at Take-off

Snow Geese in Flight at Sunrise

Bald Eagle

Sandhill Crane in Flight

Red-tailed Hawk in  Flight

Great Blue Heron

Snow Goose in Flight

Equipment used included: Canon EOS 7D and 5D Mark II with Canon 100-400mm f4.5/5.6 L IS Zoom lens and Canon 400mm f5.6 L telephoto lens. All images were shot in raw mode and processed in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3. Lightroom 3’s new noise reduction algorithms were particularly helpful in dealing with the luminance noise present in images shot at high ISO values (i.e. 800 and higher). Where necessary image retouching Adobe Photoshop CS5.