Shorebirds are one of my favorite subjects to photograph! Often, beach goers do not pay too much attention to them, which is quite a miss. They are usually small in size, but if you come down to their World you might see a few amazing things.

Rudy Turnstone at Fort Desoto - Florida

Rudy Turnstone walking along the beach – Fort Desoto, St Petersburg, Florida.
ISO 640 | f/8 | 1/8000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens (Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM review) coupled with the 1.4x extender, the Canon EOS 5D mark III handheld while laying flat on the sand.

When I photograph shorebirds, I strive very hard to be as low on the ground as possible. To the point that I would almost go to the point of digging a whole in the sand for myself! What I love with shorebirds’ images is a very low angle, which makes everything blurred but the bird. The photograph above is great example of what I aim for. I also try really hard not to lose the feet in the sand.

Sanderling Fort Desoto, Florida

Sanderling running in the surf – Fort Desoto, St Petersburg, Florida.
ISO 640 | f/8 | 1/8000 sec. | Manual mode | AI servo rear focusing
This photograph was created with the Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM lens (Canon 600mm f/4 L IS II USM review) coupled with the 1.4x extender, the Canon EOS 5D mark III handheld while laying flat on the sand.

The creation above is another great example of the lay low approach. This Sanderling is in the middle of changing direction during its run, adopting a tilted position before heading the other way. You would not think, but shorebirds can run quite fast on the sand and keeping them in the frame is sometimes quite the challenge!

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Steven

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