08.13.17: Geese and rising sun

Canada Geese, silhouetted by the rising sun, fly over Schrock Lake, Sharon Woods Metro Park, Westerville, Ohio. 


Technical information

Nov. 3, 2007,
8:11 a.m.

40°6’50” N,
82°57'30" W
(Show in Google Maps)

Canon EOS 7D

Canon EF 28-135 f/3.5-5.6 (28mm) 


1/60th second


I typically avoid carrying any extra equipment when I’m on one of my wildlife photo hikes. My Canon 600mm f/4 super telephoto lens, camera and monopod provide more than enough weight to carry on a four or five mile hike over hills and through fields.

But on this November morning in 2007 I decided to throw one extra lens — a normal to short telephoto zoom — into a light backpack before I left the house.

I’m glad I did.

When I arrived at Sharon Woods Metro Park I noticed the sun, somewhat obscured by clouds, was just beginning to rise behind the tree line across Schrock Lake. The trees and the patchy fog rising from the water helped separate the glowing sky from its reflection in the water.

So I popped off my 600mm super telephoto lens and replaced it with the shorter zoom to try get a shot before the color disappeared. 

The scene looked very nice through the viewfinder as I captured a couple of shots. That’s when I heard the honking of approaching geese. Maybe, I thought, they will fly in from the southeast (the right of the scene) and I can get them landing in the foreground. That would make a nice shot.

Instead, they approached from the east, with the rising sun at their backs, and landed outside the left edge of the scene. I clicked off a few frames as the geese approached, switched back to the super telephoto lens and continued my search for wildlife to photograph.

Later that morning, when I downloaded the photos from the camera to the computer, this photo caught my eye. The geese and their reflection are perfectly positioned, providing a focal point that turns a very nice, but routine, sunrise photo into something much more special.

Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.