"Thirty spokes will converge in the hub of a wheel;
but the use of the cart,
will depend on the part of the hub that is void.
With a wall all around a clay bowl is molded;
but the use of the bowl,
will depend on the part of the bowl that is void.
Cut out the windows and doors in the House
as you build; but the use of the House,
will depend on the space of the walls that is void.
So advantage is had, from whatever is there;
but usefulness rises, from whatever is not."
Tao Té Ching (The Way of Life),
With its rugged Ozarks, rolling plains, big rivers, and wetlands, Missouri offers a diversity of habitats for native birds, and its location along a major migration route attracts many avian visitors. More than four hundred bird species call the state home, and birders from all over flock to Missouri to add to their lists of sightings. Missouri in Flight is an invitation to Missourians to reacquaint themselves with their native birds. Wildlife biologist and photographer Mundy Hackett offers more than one hundred spectacular color images, along with his thoughts on the beauty of birds, the subtleties of their behavior, and all of the elements that make them the ultimate photographic subject. Along with interesting facts about the various birds of Missouri, he shares tips on how amateur shutterbugs can improve the overall quality of their photos. Whether considering a sudden, silent appearance of a barred owl or the migratory patterns of ruby-throated hummingbirds, Hackett shares moments that keep him heading into the wild to pursue his creative vision and, through his lens, interpreting the wonders of nature. Birds may be a challenging subject, but, as these breathtaking images show, the time, energy, and frustration are more than worth it. And sometimes all it takes is going into your backyard with a camera, picking a spot to sit and watch, and waiting for the moments to materialize.
Mingled with his amazing photos of coots, crows, kestrels, and more are Hackett’s thoughts about choosing cameras, taking photos from cars, visualization, composing an appealing scene, using contrasting colors—a host of practical tips that can help birders and photographers better capture those elusive images. He even passes along suggestions on the most challenging of photos, those of birds in flight. Missouri in Flight is a testament to the skill of an artist and the beauty of his subjects. Through its examples and subtle instruction, the book can help readers record their own timeless moments and rediscover the beauty in the skies.