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Brad Reed\'s Day 32 of 366
Brad Reed's Day 32 of 366
Nikon D850. F6.3 at 1/125, ISO 12800. 60-600mm lens at 600mm. On a tripod without a flash. February 1, 2020 at 5:32pm.
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Winter Spark
I can’t imagine how many shots of songbirds I have taken in 50 years, but I can unequivocally say this is by far my favorite and most artistic. The moment this male cardinal, in all its glory, landed in this spot, I realized this was the perfect bird in the perfect position in the perfect place at the perfect time. The bright red bird rocketed out of the monochromatic background of the rocks and fresh snow.

I couldn’t have designed or painted a better background. Click. Mission accomplished, not because making that image was my objective; it wasn’t. I got out early that morning because of the gorgeous blanket of snow that had fallen overnight. I drove to Ludington State Park and hiked across the foot bridge to the far side of the Sable River and found a spot to hide myself, my tripod, my Nikon camera and 500-millimeter telephoto lens amidst some young pine in hopes of catching some shots of a mink or two coming out of an opening in the rocks as I had observed on a previous hike. Just as I had anticipated, a mink soon emerged. I was all set to capture the moment the mink’s splendid coat would be framed against the snow.

Photographers dream of what wildlife might do. As in this case, sometimes you can even visualize the finished picture on the wall. But of course it is up to the wildlife to decide for themselves where and how they present themselves and the course they will travel. We can’t pose them. For more than two hours I watched mink occasionally come out and go back in. Never did one of them set foot in the snow. I was getting more frustrated and colder by the minute. Suddenly a cardinal flew in. Fortunately, my camera was already trained and focused on the spot because cardinals almost never stay still for more than a few seconds.

Because I chose to get off the couch, because I got out early to take advantage of the fresh snow, because I had paid my dues spending a lot of time at the park, because I had previously seen the mink along the river in that location, and because I overcame the great disappointment of the lack of cooperation from the mink, because I stayed, I made a completely unexpected but better image that will be most pleasing to me for the rest of my life. Many of my favorite images did not come easy. That makes them especially rewarding.
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Rachel\'s Day 49 of 366 - February 18, 2020
Rachel's Day 49 of 366 - February 18, 2020
Nikon D810. F6.3 at 1/250, ISO 3200. 60-600mm lens at 600mm. On a tripod without a flash. February 18, 2020 at 8:23am.
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Wednesday May (2232)
Wednesday May (2232)
Wednesday May
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Brad Reed\'s Day 103 of 365
Brad Reed's Day 103 of 365
Tonight, I drove to my Grandpa and Grandma Reed's house to photograph some of the birds that frequent their beautiful yard. As I pulled into the driveway I spotted this male cardinal. Luckily for me, he stayed put for about 10 minutes, which allowed me to get in just the right spot to make this photograph. F4.0 at 1/200, ISO 1000, 600 mm lens at 600 mm
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Love Interest
Love Interest
All primped after taking a bird bath in the Red Cedar River, a female cardinal awaits the arrival of a nearby male cardinal that has been pursuing her on the Michigan State University campus this spring afternoon. F6.3 at 1/1000, ISO 1600, 80-200mm lens at 200mm
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Mating Call
Mating Call
A male cardinal tries to pinpoint a nearby female cardinal's "mating call" in a botanical garden at Michigan State University. The alluring call is actually coming from an application on my son Brad's iPhone. F7.1 at 1/800, ISO 800, 80-200mm lens at 200mm
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Todd Reed\'s Day 321 of 365
Todd Reed's Day 321 of 365
I find cardinals and blue spruce trees both to be among the most beautiful living things. At this moment I am hoping the flighty cardinal stays still long enough for me to pull the trigger on this shot from my blind. Click. F2.8 at 1/400, ISO 800, 300 mm lens at 300 mm
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Christmas Cardinal
Christmas Cardinal
After spending Christmas morning at home with my mom, wife, and kids, I headed out around 1:00 p.m. to finish shooting the last Tuesday of our year-long project. My first stop was my in-laws' backyard on Lavinia Street in Ludington. Don and Shari feed the birds all year long and I knew several cardinals were frequenting their yard. F4 at 1/640, ISO 800, 600mm lens at 600mm
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Muted Beauty
Muted Beauty
As is true for many other bird species, the female cardinal is much more muted in her coloring. They are harder to spot in the wild compared to the flaming red male cardinals, yet they are equally as beautiful. F4 at 1/2000, ISO 800, 600mm lens at 600mm
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