Much to my wife’s chagrin, I am constantly asking why. To me, that’s the most interesting question that really gets to the core of the issue. How am I going to over analyze things if I don’t ask probing questions?
So why do I like this photo? Seven words come to mind.
Beauty. I see beauty in the intricate feathers curving gently at the tips, the hooked beak and the overall form of the hawk. I also find a different sense of beauty in the hawk’s stern look and purposeful flight.
Power. I love the sense of power as the hawk spreads its huge wings and powers its way up into the air. What must it be like to do that?
Action. Still photography allows me the incredible opportunity to freeze a split second a time – I never tire of that. Those extended wings and trailing bits of straw will be forever captured in time. Or until my hard drive crashes.
Light. In this case, I like the light coming from behind, creating shadows on the wing and the bale. The light almost seems to be propelling the hawk forward.
Setting. I like the natural setting with the out of focus trees in the background – it even sounds quiet if a photo can. OK the bale has a little human influence but it is the natural spot where I look to find hawks.
Familiarity. All through the late summer and fall, this scene gets repeated thousands of times and I have the good fortune of catching a few. The repetition only serves to increase the appeal and gives me a sense of home and familiarity.
Composition. I like the open space the hawk is flying into, the shape created by the hawk crowning the bale and the overall positioning of the elements in the photo.
I could go on about texture, colour and other elements but I’ll leave it there before losing the remaining readers.
So you may ask why I’m making such a big deal about this hawk photo and not all the others in my collection. OK I confess, it’s really all about those bits of straw trailing the hawk – nothing else. That just seemed like too short a post.