This picture is a bit older, it’s from the early days of the Giacomini Wetlands, when they had only just recently breached the levies for the last time, returning the pastureland back to the tidal flats that it had once been. Rodents were still being flooded out of their homes by this refound inundation of the tides, and it was a hunting bonanza for many animals- coyotes, red tails, kites, and many others such as this Marsh Hawk that was coursing over the border between grasses and high tide, searching for refugees.
These wetlands are an area where the only viable access is by small, unmotorized boat (motors are illegal within the boundaries of this area of the Point Reyes National Seashore). Walking is legal, but very unfeasible. Mud so deep you sink halfway to your knees, if not nearly to mid thigh. Doable, but not very conducive to having clean camera equipment or the energy to use it. Just as I would not generally use a fisheye lens to photograph wildlife, nor would I enter the Giacomini Wetlands without a kayak (which incidentally is a remarkable tool for photography in the right location at the right time).
On this day I was kayaking an especially high tide through the wetlands, documenting the changes that were occurring to the landscape and vegetation, but also capturing the different birds and wildlife, that we could see how populations were changing as this area transitioned from pasture to bay. The rodents were having a decidedly hard time of it, but were creating a temporary increase in many types of predator. Marsh hawks for example still hunt the area daily, but in very decreased numbers. Where it was common to see five to ten in the early days, when I return there now it is to one or two birds flying over more scattered patches of land.
When I took this picture I was trying not to center the marsh hawk (aka the subject) in the frame. I wanted it to one side, and higher up. Since the hawk was on facing to the left, I wanted it on the right side of the picture, so that it was facing across the entire image. This is something I try to do with most of my wildlife images, seeing which way they face and then placing them so that they are facing towards the far edge of the photograph. It creates much better flow in the image. If they are facing the near edge, the audiences attention is also directed to the near edge and much of the photos space is lost to poor image flow.
ISO 320; 420mm; 0 EV; f/8; 1/800th