Dean M. Chriss
Rufous-winged Sparrow, Bosque del Apache, New Mexico
(Click image to enlarge)
This little sparrow landed in tall grass almost directly in front of my camera while I was trying to photograph sandhill cranes in New Mexico's Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. I was trying to concentrate on the cranes, but I had to oblige the little bird and take his photograph. Only a slight movement of the camera and refocusing was required to compose one of the nicer photos of the trip. The image was captured using the 600mm lens and 1.4x extender I had already mounted for the distant cranes. The long focal length and closeness of the sparrow combined to make the background of this image completely blurred, simplifying the scene. This is one of many cases where happenstance worked better than planning.