In the ShadowsThe stump of the dead berch tree in which the woodpecker family had (the chicks have long fledged) its nest cavity is forked. The two parts of the fork line up perfectly, one part preventing the early morning sunlight from hitting the other part, but for only five minutes a day.

I figured I could create an interesting image if the warm sunlight were to light just the woodpecker and nothing else. That meant the woodpecker would have to visit the cavity somewhere between 6.49 am and 6.55 am, when the sunlight would just peek around the front part of the fork. Any earlier and the light would not illuminate the woodpecker at all, any later and the berch would be lit as well.

The male woodpecker returned to the cavity to feed the chicks about every ten minutes, but sometimes the interval was a lot larger. I decided to take my chance and posted at the cavity for three consecutive days. Only on the third day did everything come together. The male posed in the sweetest of light and even the bill of the chick got a splash of light. Very dramatic lighting, much more interesting than the hundreds of fully illuminated shots I got during the rest of the three days.

Great Spotted Woodpecker with chick; Canon 1D Mark III w. 500/4 IS and 1,4x; 1/800s at F5,6 and ISO 200; Gitzo tripod