Downy Woodpecker captured by Z 9 / 800f5.6 w/1.25x

If you combine photographing a creek as “milky” along with a kayaker shooting its rapids, well that’s kinda what photographing a woodpecker in falling snow is like. We were experiencing bands of snow moving through The Ranch when I was out shooting. One moment, it would be coming down in beautiful curtains and then the next, a flake or two. I positioned the Z 9 / 800f5.6 so I had a darkish background behind the Downy Woodpecker so the falling snow would show up. The challenge is the right shutter speed to show it falling while keeping the movement of the woodpecker frozen. It’s not like there is one magical shutter speed for capturing this action. The snow falls at different rates so we need to either slow it down or speed it up the shutter speed so we see the snow. But you go too slow, below 1/125 or so and the woodpecker blurs. Go to fast and the snow doesn’t look like it’s falling. I got a sharp “Woody” but no real snow. Here’s to hoping for a white Christmas and more opportunities to nail the shot!

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