In July I was fortunate to visit Grímsey Island, Iceland, and experience 10 days of total immersion in the life of the Atlantic Puffin. On the last evening of the trip, severe wind and dark skies nearly drove me inside. But I decided to remain on the cliffs and was rewarded with an unexpected break in the clouds and an unobstructed view of a backlit, sand-eel-toting puffin hurrying to its burrow.
Each spring I visit my favorite wetland areas to photograph Yellow-headed Blackbirds and listen to their raucous calls. On a particularly cold May morning at sunrise, the birds and cattails were backlit and glowing like miniature lanterns. One landed very close to me, and through my lens I could see a burst of breath rolling in the cold wind with each call. I returned every day for more than a week trying to create a similar image, but the same conditions didn’t occur again.