Weekly Photo Challenge: Ephemeral

Our theme for the Weekly Photo Challenge this week is:  Ephemeral.
Our instructions:  “For this week’s photo challenge, show us what ephemeral means to you.”

Hmmm . . . ephemeral.  Something lasting only for a short time.   A temporary, fleeting moment.  Do you know how tough it is to capture a fleeting moment when you’re looking for a fleeting moment to capture?

It’s impossible.  You have to wait for a moment to find you.

Last week, a mourning dove came to visit my backyard bird feeder.  It’s not unusual to see mourning doves at my feeder, but it is unusual to see them on top of my feeder (they’re usually ground feeders).  In an of itself, that was ephemeral — I knew he wouldn’t hang out up there for long.  Naturally, I didn’t have my telephoto lens on my camera.  This is Murphy’s Law of Photography — whatever lens is currently on your camera isn’t the one you need for your next shot.  So, I raced around (very quietly) trying to switch lenses and get my camera attached to my tripod — while mentally pleading with the dove not to fly away.

Either mourning doves are oblivious, or I’m super stealthy, because he stayed put.  And I spent the next 15 minutes trying to capture this dove moment.  I had no idea mourning doves were such beautiful birds.  I’ve always dismissed them as boring brown birds.  And I’ve been missing out!  His vibrant blue beak and the blue rings around his eyes are so striking — it’s almost like he’s wearing 80s eye shadow.

I was in the middle of being fascinated by the unexpected blueness of my pretty dove when this little junco flew up to the feeder.  He startled the dove, and I thought for sure the dove would fly away.  But to my surprise, the dove got a smidge territorial, and decided to remind the junco who was bigger.  The little junco didn’t stay long.

I held down my shutter and hoped . . . please let there be something interesting, and please let it be in focus.  I downloaded the pictures and . . .

DSC_4448-1Nikon D800
ISO 500 | 300mm | f/4.0 | 1/800 sec

I ended up with a series of pictures from that morning that I’m calling my Dove Study.  If you’re interested in seeing them, I uploaded them to my Flickr account.  Just know my Flickr page is still a work in progress — I still have no idea what I’m doing on Flickr.



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