Fire Birds

Jasper Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area in northwest Indiana is where Sandhill cranes make their stops on their way south during fall migration.  Thousands of cranes congregate at Jasper Pulaski marsh in any November day.

Shooting Sandhill cranes has being on my must do list for a number of years.  This year, however, I picked a wrong day to go there.  On top of being a cold, windy and cloudy, there were a lot of people partying there, so the cranes were flying far away from the crowd.  After sun set to the west, the light became too dim to photograph these birds.  I packed up my gears in disappointment, knowing there was probably nothing in the camera  worth keeping.  When I reached parking lot, I returned my head and looked back.  Oh , my God!  The sky out west was on fire!  I had less than 5 minutes to set up tripod in the parking lot and take a couple of shots before the light disappeared.  Fortunately, there were still a few cranes returning late to complement the fiery cloud.  The picture here still looks a little “unrealistically” red, even after I reduced red color saturation by 25% in Lightroom.

Every kind of weather has its blessing.  This turned out to be one of the most spectacular sunset I have experienced.  So, lesson for the day is: don’t leave the scene until you can’t see your fingers.

Fire Birds

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