In my lightboxes:
Hanging At The Bar
- Title: Hanging At The Bar
- State/Province/Region: California
- Country: United States
- Nearest Area: Monarch Grove Sanctuary
- Nearest Town: Pacific Grove
- GPS Longitude: -121.929593
- GPS Latitude:
- Best Season: Winter
- Description: In following another local photographer's social media accounts, I learned about the best time of day to visit this area to get some good light on the monarchs. Unfortunately, it was very close to the end of the monarch season before they left the area and ventured north. I had visited this grove a couple months earlier, but got skunked by old equipment and wrong time of day. One last attempt for the season.
Early afternoon is not an ideal time to shoot much of anything. However, there are so many tall eucalyptus, pine and cypress trees that the grove ends up in shade very quickly. I always seem to shoot with a wide-open aperture, and always am disappointed that what I wanted in focus was just a half and inch off. This time I forced myself to use every opportunity to try smaller apertures to retain more depth of field—I was not disappointed. I captured this monarch feeding on a bottlebrush tree using an aperture of ƒ/11 at 1/400s shutter speed—just fast enough to retain sharpness with a slight breeze blowing and my lens cranked out to 300mm.
This ended up being one of my favorite shots. I love the texture and glimmer from the monarchs wings. While not nearly as colorful as when the wings are open, I believe the light makes up for it.
- Gear: Nikon D70, NIKKOR 70–300 F/4-5.6G
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