In nature photography, the subject, its surroundings and other elements are joyously [some would say frustratingly!] unpredictable -- lighting, background, foreground, etc -- are all in unplanned and random disarray. Rarely does the photographer get the "upper (creative) hand", as they would, for example, in the studio.
Sometimes, however, the field affords conditions that merit the level of an improvised studio; and, in this post, the fortuitous sighting of a Red-shouldered Hawk within "petting" distance from the boardwalk has most photographic elements in favor.
After this session, having seen and photographed many Red-shouldered Hawks before, this particular series, in my view, will set a standard that I believe will remain unsurpassed by my future endeavors.
[All images shot with natural ambient lighting at ISO 1600 and 3200 at F5.6. Sigma 300/F4 lens with 1.4X extender].