Jim Salge Photography Blog

Images of New England captured in dramatic light and atmosphere

Loon Dream Shots…

When I moved to New England about a decade ago, I was struck by all things iconic New England. Covered bridges, cold trout streams, rocky coast lines, old mills. In the natural world, I don’t think anything gives me more of authentic not in New Jersey feeling than the call of loons at dawn from a misty lake.

I was given some great information last week that a loon had hatched on a local lake, and was eager to show off the chick to kayakers. I am not a wildlife shooter, but will take any opportunity to experience exceptional natural events. I’ve always wanted to see a loon chick riding on its mothers back, or see its father bring food over. I had no illusions that I’d be able to get a shot, but just wanted to observe.

The fog was thick when I arrived, and only getting thicker. I found loons by following their haunting calls, and also found myself alone with the birds for a bit before other photographers arrived. Much to my delight, they were willing to continue their normal behavior despite my presence. And all of the behaviors on the life list took place right in front of me!

The images I captured I think are rather unique, considering how much quality loon photography is out there. I used the fog to set a serene scene of solitude. I shot the birds as I would a fresh snowfall, overexposing to render the fog white instead of gray, and let the dark tones on the birds fall as they may. The result was a peaceful, and to me, pleasing, high key scene. I can’t wait to see how these print up, as these are shots that I want on my wall, captures of some iconic moments of idyllic New England.

Loon and Chick Moving In

Loon and Chick Moving In

High Key Loon and Chick in Fog

High Key Loon and Chick in Fog

Feeding Time

Feeding Time

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