It’s all about the light

So, I have been trying to find the best settings for bird photography.  Looking to get sharp detail on the birds where you can see detail in the feathers, a glint of light on the eye and at the same time, a nice soft background that does not compete with the subject.

I’m getting pretty good results with the apperture set at f9 but also finding that it is more about the light than my settings.  I have taken many a shot similar to this one where the light is too bright and the highlights are lost or where it is too flat and there are no highlights.  This image is the combination that I like.  The light is diffused enough so the highlights aren’t blown but there is that spot of sunshine that makes it glow.

Sadly for me, there’s nothing I can do but wait for the right moment.  Often, that means that my subject moves on before the light catches up.  Sometimes however, I get that great combination and everything just pops.  Guess I will just have to be patient and keep on trying.  Take lots of shots and only keep the good ones!!

Eastern Bluebird

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
460mm @ f/9 – 1/100 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #Bluebird #winter #Georgia #WithMyTamron

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Mourning Dove

How often have you heard doves cooing from the tree-tops or the rapid beat of their wings when startled?  The mourning dove is so commonplace we don’t pay them much attention. Up-close however, this is a beautiful bird.  I am always amazed by the texture and color of the feathers. Also amazing is how the colors they display camouflage them instead of making them stand out.

Once again, nature exhibits diversity and the ability to adapt to the surroundings.  I can hardly believe what amazing sights are always just outside my back door.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
460mm @ f/9 – 1/100 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #MourningDove #winter #Georgia #WithMyTamron

New-found visitors

I said a couple of days back how much trouble I have been having correctly identifying the yellow birds that have appeared in my backyard.  Initially, I thought everything I saw was a goldfinch.  Then I was told, no – the birds I was seeing were Pine Warblers.  Then, the goldfinches actually did show up, followed by more pine warblers.  Now, I have seen two more yellow-tinted birds in my yard.

The image above, is a Yellow-rumped Warbler.  They are somewhat similar to the Pine Warbler but have yellow below the wings and at the base of the tail.  I thought this was an amazing visit until, I spotted another yellowish bird – a Ruby-crowned kinglet at the feeder!  I snapped a shot but didn’t get it in sharp focus before he flew off.  Now, I have another subject to watch for so I can get a nice portrait to add to my list of winter visitors.

January Birds-3584

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/10 – 1/400 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #YellowRumpedWarbler #winter #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Keeping warm

I guess we all kind of huddle up against the wind and cold weather.  Birds that are usually standing tall seem to be close to the ground these days.  I guess it’s natural insulation and an attempt to retain body heat.  Certainly can’t blame them!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Alta Pro 2+ 263AB 100 tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/10 – 1/400 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #Mockingbird #winter #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Sunshine on a cloudy day

It is amazing how just a small amount of color stands out against the dreary landscape of winter.  With all the plants gone dormant, the scene tends toward washed-out beige.  Around here, we don’t even get the blanket of white to cover up the drab very often so, it is a great pleasure to see a bright little spot of life flying about.

I have to put food out nearly every day because my feathered friends are going through it rapidly but I don’t mind.  There’s nothing else out there that brightens my day like the birds do!

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/10 – 1/400 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #PineWarbler #winter #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Is anybody else COLD?

Nature always had a way to deal with the elements.  In the case of birds, you often see these little guys puff out their feathers for a little extra insulation against the cold.  Obviously, there’s a lot of puffy looking birds out there recently.  Somehow, they continue to hop around and fly from one spot to another as if there was nothing to be worried about.  Still, when I see the wind blowing their feathers out sideways, I am amazed at how they are able to deal with this weather and we live in the South!

It’s a miracle that any animal makes it through the winter in areas where it gets really cold.  Hope you all can find a way to stay warm today.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/10 – 1/400 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #HouseFinch #winter #Georgia #WithMyTamron

Constant Companion

There are so many birds that come and go around here.  Lots of sporadic visitors that we see once or twice and then they fly off.  This however, is one of the little feathered friends that is always around.  I guess that makes them one of the things that we take for granted and tend to ignore.  It really shouldn’t be that way.

I hope in this new year, to make the effort to appreciate the small things around me which make life worth living.  I’m not saying that I don’t want to see the unusual and exciting come along now and then.  I just want to be more aware of how special my everyday surrounds are and not let them go un-noticed.  Hope you can do the same.

Nikon D7100
Vanguard Altra Pro 263 AT tripod
Tamron SP 150-600mm F/5-6.3 Di VC USD G2
600mm @ f/10 – 1/100 sec – ISO 800

#BirdWatching #birds #Georgia #WithMyTamron