Brady Beck – Behind the Shot

I am fortunate to see a lot of natural events through the course of my work as a wildlife biologist. One such event yielded this photo of a Luna Moth. On a cool April morning I was walking through the woods to check on a Red-cockaded woodpecker nest. I happened upon this freshly emerged Luna Moth. I took a quick iPhone shot and noted the location in my field notebook. Maybe it will still be there after work, I thought. It was! I gathered my gear and waited for the sun to get low enough in the sky for the shot I had envisioned. With the sun lighting the opposite side of the young longleaf pine, I needed to use flash to illuminate the moth. Mixing the two light sources can be a challenge to yield a natural looking scene.Wildlife portraits in habitat, or environmental portraits, help tell a broader story of the relationship between the critter and its home.  Explore more of my work at:  and at One of a Kind Gallery!

(Photo geek details: Canon 5D Mark II, 17-40L, 580EX, tripod, off camera flash cord. 1/200 @ f/22, ISO 800 at 17mm)