Portfolio

Red Sun Rising

During the California wildfire season, I made multiple outings to Shoreline nature preserve with the intent of capturing the impact of the fires on wildlife. I framed the rising sun—hued red with smoke—silhouetting the Black-necked Stilt; both the sun and bird were reflected in the water. This photo is not edited.

Black-necked Stilt | August 19, 2021 | Shoreline Nature Preserve, Mountain View, CA

Willit find a sand crab?

Prone on the cold, wet sand, I was engrossed in the feeding behavior of a flock of willits. Upon discovery of a sand crab, they would shake it—sometimes washing it off in the seawater—then toss it up in the air… gulp. I applied a black-and-white filter to my image to emphasize the details—the serrated bill, the intricate, patterned plumage, the wrinkled skin on the legs. The exposure and color of this photo is corrected.

Willit | August 11, 2021 | Miramar Beach, Half Moon Bay, CA

U-Tern

In this fleeting moment it hovered, facing me and the sun, catching the golden light in its wings.

I noticed this lone Forster’s Tern displaying incredible aerial agility while plunge-diving for dinner, and I knew I wanted to capture the tern’s rapid geometric movements. I positioned myself between the sun and bird, allowing experimentation with light and composition for the tern isolated in the sky—the result is a unique shadow on the wing cast by the head. The exposure and color of this photo is corrected.

Forster’s Tern | March 30, 2021 | Baylands Nature Preserve, Palo Alto, CA

Hunkered Down

I found this juvenile Dark-eyed Junco sheltering behind a car tire in a rocky parking lot. The setting of the young bird evoked a sense of sadness in me—I wanted to convey that feeling. In my photo, the bird is vulnerable, the tire and rocks representing human encroachment on natural habitats. I used an aperture of f/5.6 to increase light and focus on the junco while preserving the industrial context. The exposure and color of this photo is corrected.

Dark-eyed Junco | May 21, 2021 | Portola Valley, CA

Morning Sentinel

Stark against a mist-shrouded island, the Forster’s Tern and pilings reflect in the motionless water. The tern’s gaze, shortened against the edge of the photo, brings interest to the pairwise horizontal symmetry of the pilings; normally, the subject of the photo is positioned to extend their view across the image. The exposure and color of this photo is corrected.

Forster’s Tern | August 19, 2021 | Shoreline Nature Preserve, Mountain View, CA

Puzzle Piece

I spotted this little songbird climbing up a redwood tree searching for insects. I love the matching yellow and brown colors and how the curves of the tree align perfectly with the belly and beak of the brown creeper. The creeper and the tree appear to fit together like a puzzle. The exposure and color of this photo is corrected.

Brown Creeper | October 14, 2020 | Los Altos, CA

A Flaxen Bowl

I discovered this nest hidden in my yard last year. I was fortunate to capture this moment, as the chicks matured enough to leave the nest soon after I found it. When taking this photo, I was careful to give the nest space and respect the junco family as much as possible. The sad stories of abandoned nests still with eggs become ever more common as birds are forced into urban environments prone to upset. The exposure and color of this photo is corrected.

Dark-eyed Juncos | July 25, 2020 | Los Altos, CA

Anna's Hummingbird

During spring and summer, I often see male Anna’s Hummingbirds performing their courtship displays overhead—climbing 100 feet in the air and then swooping to the ground. A perfectly executed Wronski Feint for the Harry Potter fans! This photo was taken at 1/800 sec to ensure sharp focus on the body but allow wing movement blur. The exposure and color of this photo is corrected.

Anna’s Hummingbird | April 3, 2021 | Los Altos, CA

Painting Waves

As the tide came in and the seawater washed over me and my tripod every seven waves, I started jumping up and down to keep warm. This was my first experiment with long exposure photography. I learned to wait until after sunset for the necessary low light, to time the shutter with the waves to capture smooth lines… and to wear layers!

I took this photo at 1.3 seconds, ISO 100, and f/29. I minimized the ISO and aperture to allow for the longest possible shutter speed consistent with light. The exposure and color of this photo is corrected.

June 5, 2021 | Ocean Beach, San Francisco, CA

Rushing About at Water's Edge

I took this photo on a beach trip that started out gray, cloudy, and drizzling. However, the sun soon came out, and I followed this playful group of sanderlings along the beach, watching them venture boldly out after each wave in search of lunch (sand crabs) and come racing back as a new wave crashed in. I used a fast shutter speed and wide aperture to capture the birds as they ran. The exposure and color of this photo is corrected.

Sanderlings | March 19, 2021 | Miramar Beach, Half Moon Bay, CA