Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Tuesday's Bird Photos

I'm trying to get myself more disciplined in photographing the birds that show up at my house. So . . . while I do my morning time on the porch, I've been setting up my 300-800mm lens. I write my morning journal, read my Bible scriptures for the day, and right now I'm working through the Artist's Way book. When a bird shows up, I break and attempt to get a photo.

Today was a somewhat cloudy day, not too dark, but I knew that I was going to need the flash to make anything work. I'm still experimenting with fill flash. I want it to look natural, not "flashed." The theory is that you set your exposure for the ambiant lighting and then use the ETTL setting of the flash at -1. (I'm not an expert here . . . and I'm still trying to find settings that work for my lighting and equipment.) Some of my images this morning were way too dark (I had the exposure compensation set too dark) and then when I set exposures to make it brighter, then I got that "flash" look.

But I had two photos that came out in the OK range.

With a gray sky, this is not a great shot of one of my white wing doves. I darkened the leaves a little using a layer of Selective Color. But that gray sky really pulls my eye away from my subject. But it was one of the "better" shots of the morning.

The blue jay has been amazingly camera shy. It seems to sense when I have the camera and lens pointed in his direction and immediately flies off. Since I cut off his tail (remember I had to be quick . . . no time for careful framing here) I decided to crop in and attempt more of a portrait feel. Here the flash worked pretty well adding light without that over bright look.

Neither of these is likely to get submitted anywhere, although the blue jay might make a good notecard. But I've learned in the past that when you set up regularly, some days don't yield any great shots. But . . . every now and then you have a great opportunity.


Liana said...

Great photos! I love birds and the way you depict them.
Would you like me to host you on my blog? http://lianastories.blogspot.com

liana said...

You can email me at lianametal@yahoo.com, thanks,