I love to shoot images of animals at or below eye level (their eye level, not mine). Putting yourself on their level just creates so much more of an emotional connection. And with a long lens, it really helps to minimize the depth of field and soften up the background so that only the bird (and its eyes) are sharp.

I shot this image from a floating blind in an ephemeral pond here in Dallas’ Great Trinity Forest, so I was in the water and my lens was as low as it could go.

Black-Necked Stilt

Black-necked stilt, Lemon Lake, Great Trinity Forest near Trinity River, Dallas, Texas, USA. Canon !D Mark IV. Canon 500mm + 2x teleconverter. ISO 800. 1/320 @ f/9.