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Wilmington Wild Cards

Her Grace 32"x40"

Her Grace 32"x40"

Featured in the 2023 Cape Fear Living Photographer of the Year contest.

One of my favorite subjects to capture, the anhinga draws my focus whenever I happen upon one on my photography hikes. I caught a quick glimpse of this female, lakeside at Airlie Gardens with thick foliage blocking a clear shot. This is heaven for me, as I strive to find opportunity to capture the beauty of a bird in tandem with atmosphere, light and environment. I love the challenge of shooting through heavy foliage to find focus on the eye of my subject, capturing texture in the density close to the lens creating a soft brush stroke-like movement in the foreground, using color, light and proximity as active tools in creating the aesthetic I have come to admire in my own work So I stealthily worked my way through overgrowth as not to alert her to my presence to find the right composition. Once settled I had to go onto my tiptoes to find an opening big enough for the lens to focus through and started shooting. Many fine captures came from this session. But the look of grace on her face alongside the trademark outstretched wing detail in this moment were breathtaking. I decided to desaturate the capture (instead of a true black and white) to take focus on the enormous amount of bright green surrounding her, and to help accentuate the contrast in her stunning plumage.

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