The Red Winged Blackbird and a Matter of Position


Sometimes us photographers can be fussy. I mean real fussy. We often stew about a certain color or position of something in our photograph and forget to look at the whole picture.

I am no different. Often times I sit and can’t decide which version of a particular shot is better. I look at each discriminating detail trying to sway my decision one way or the other.

One such situation are these recent photos of a male red winged blackbird singing and displaying while perched on a cattail stem. Both are similar shots of the same bird taken at the same spot, one quickly after the other.

One portrays the bird on the left while the other one portrays the one on the right. Both have similar backgrounds and positions of the bird. Both, in my view, are great photographs of this beautufil species of bird. Shown separately each photo would be a great display of this birds springtime song and displaying ritual but shown together, for us fussy photographers, it is little more than a decision making headache.

We photographers often forget to step back and stop looking at each minute detail and look at the overall shot and what it portrays. Most people looking at photographs, either to buy for their wall or just to casually observe, don’t fret over small, ever so small details between two similar pictures. They look at which photograph grabs them immediately so why do us photographers do it? Why do we sit and stew over such small details?

I don’t have an answer. I wish I did but I don’t. I will say, however, I have finally decided which one of these I do like best, a decision which didn’t come easily or quickly. A decision which I have finally made after hours of comparison and critiquing. Wait a minute. Now it’s the other one. See, I told you us photographers are fussy creatures.

red winged blackbird
A displaying red winged male blackbird perched on a cattail.

red winged blackbird
A singing red winged blackbird.