The Secret Garden 20"x30"
Featured in the 2023 Cape Fear Living Photographer of the Year contest.
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. Here, far off the beaten path at Airlie Gardens in the Cape Fear region of Wilmington, North Carolina, there is a perch that overhangs a lake. The challenge here is to move stealthily enough with brush underneath my feet and branches, briars and other obstacles to maneuver, and work my way to a place where I can find focus through these obstacles that separate me from the subject. Several species are often perching here, and in this capture a Great Egret becomes my focus. Another challenge is lighting. When encompassed by shaded trees and brush, but with your subject far away and in light, the setting become an ever manipulated challenge! This preening photo of this perfect white beauty set against the Spring green thrills me.