Photo of the Day

a sandhill crane at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico
January 17, 2015

Morning Takeoff

“Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico is a well-known winter home for thousands of migrating sandhill cranes,” writes Your Shot member Aijing He. A particular pond in the refuge hosts a large flock of cranes at night. “Every morning they fly out, one by one, to the nearby grass field to feed.”

On a cold December morning, He waited patiently for the cranes’ morning takeoff. “At around 7 a.m., they started their daily routine. The early morning light was still very dim, so I decided to reduce the shutter speed to 1/30th of a second to give a blurring effect to the flapping wings, and with some panning techniques, I managed to make the eye and the red crown stay well in focus.”

This photo was submitted to Your Shot. Check out the new and improved website, where you can share photos, take part in assignments, lend your voice to stories, and connect with fellow photographers from around the globe.

Photograph by Aijing He, National Geographic Your Shot
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