Common Yellowthroat, Female, © Photo by Steve Kaye

How to Be Lucky

Lucky Photo


Common Yellowthroat, Female, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in How to Be Lucky

Common Yellowthroat, Female


This is a lucky photo (above).

It shows a shy bird just before taking flight. In the next frame (an 8th of a second later) the bird was gone.

Because of the way its feathers are spread out, I rate this as a once in a lifetime photo.

I’ve taken other photos of a Common Yellowthroat.

Here’s a classic view, of the female.


Common Yellowthroat, Female, (c) Photo by Steve Kaye, in How to Be Lucky

Common Yellowthroat, Female


And here’s the male.


Common Yellowthroat, © Photo by Steve KayeMale, in How to Be Lucky

Common Yellowthroat, Male


Since most people want to be lucky, here are three steps that everyone can take:

(1) Participation

That is, show up. Good luck comes to those who go out and do something.

Obviously, doing nothing leads to having nothing.

(2) Perception

Next, pay attention.

In photography, notice colors, differences, movements – anything and everything that might be an opportunity.

So be fully aware of the environment around you.

In fact, adjust your way of walking to facilitate awareness. For example, pause occasionally, walk slowly, and move quietly.

(3) Preparation

Finally, know how to take advantage of opportunities when they appear.

In photography, this requires being able to use a camera as an organic extension of your creative process.

One More Point

Did you notice that each of these steps is a choice? That is, we choose to show up, to pay attention, and to be prepared.

So that’s good news.

Because now we are all in control of being lucky.


Much success,

Steve Kaye

PS: I added names for the birds that appear in the slide show on my home page. See: Birds By Steve.


Help Birds Tip

Avoid pesticides

Why #1: Many birds eat plants, bugs, and seeds on the ground. As a result, these chemicals poison birds. These chemicals also kill bees and other critters that perform essential functions in the environment.

Why #2: Pesticides make people sick. The sad part of this is: People become sick a long time after coming into contact with these chemicals. That happens because the toxins accumulate in body tissue, eventually causing cancers or other disorders.

Here’s an article that tells more: See Pest Control Chemicals


Birding Resources

The American Bird Conservancy’s web site contains valuable info on birds plus issues that affect birds. See: American Bird Conservancy

Here’s an outstanding book about bird conservation: Bird Conservation

I own this book and refer to it often. So I recommend it.


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6 Comments
  • Susan Bulger
    Posted at 19:45h, 06 September

    Congratulations on snapping these very difficult photos of Common Yellowthroats. I love these little birds with their distinct wichety, wichety, wichety song. They blend so well in the foliage high in trees and being very small it takes great patience to see one. You are so right that it takes participation, perception and preparation to have the lightening reflexes to obtain these excellent photos. Thank you for the photos and the useful lesson.

  • jerry young
    Posted at 08:36h, 07 September

    Your 3 P;s prescription for good photography is good advice for life. Thank you.

  • DeltaT
    Posted at 08:24h, 08 September

    Wonderful photo! I love the spread of her tail and wing feathers before she jumps off her branch. She’s confident in her own skills. She knows she will fly. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all do something like that before we take that big leap? Yes, showing up, perception and preparation – great words to live by…and to take photos. Thank you.

  • Lynette M. Smith
    Posted at 16:15h, 09 September

    Loved those photos and that advice. Followed it on at least one occasion, capturing a photo of a squirrel, “taking five,” reclining on its stomach atop our backyard wooden fence railing, and with all four legs draped over the sides of the rail. I had been in the patio at the time, facing the house to photograph my husband and our granddaughter seated at the table, when I happened to turn around and saw the squirrel. Luckily, my camera was already handy!

  • Nancy
    Posted at 07:23h, 10 September

    What an amazing post! You are a great Zen teacher! Nobody who plays continually with an iPhone will be able to follow your advice! You have found that still, quiet place within you that yields gorgeous results! Bravo!

    Nancy L. Hoffmann

  • Bob Franz
    Posted at 09:34h, 12 September

    And a wichety, wichety, wichety to you Steve.

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