Happy New Year 2018!I
had a chance to shoot this beautiful specie on one weekend back in August with another photographer friend, Thy Bun. We were able to get up close without stressing the bird simply because we used our car as a blind. The Prius was a prefect blind especially when we needed to get closer or change our positions because not only it was extremely quiet but also not generating heatwave that usually produces a layer of noise when shooting from inside of a running parked motor vehicle.
This type of blind is perfect for up to 2 persons, the driver and a backseat passenger although the passenger would have more room to move around and always more ready than the driver so do take turn.. Using your car as a blind is no longer a big secret.
You can actually google for using your car as a photography blind and you will find that most wildlife including birds would not flush or spook when they see a car. However, as soon as you open the car door, it would be a different story. Perhaps this is why many of the wildlife refuge such as the Sacramento Wildlife Refuge let you drive close to the birds as long as you stay in the car.
This female harrier was resting on a man-made perch which was why I decided to get closer for a portrait shot instead of my regular ‘rule of one-third’ shot. Perhaps it was raining that she did not seem to notice the car was inching toward her let alone someone inside the car to a point I had to back out as I was too close beyond the MFD (minimum focus distance).
Apparently, not only the car was perfect for a blind but also excellent as a shelter from the rain although I had to improvise the window opening using a piece of over-size plastic bag as not to get wet as well as not letting the bird to see me.