Archive for bird

Wildwood Trust

Posted in photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2009 by overread

Recently managed to find some time to revist a wildlife centre which I had previously been to several years before, though without a camera at the time; and not only did I have time to visit, but also attend with a great group of photographers from EPZ forums – got a chance to meet some faces from the site for the first time and take a few snaps along with them. But not only was it a great chance to meet some faces, but there was also a competition as well to be had. Each member got to select a single photo from their days shoot, the collected shots would then be judged by the staff from the centre. However there was a catch, the shot was not to be edited in any way, save for anything done in camera.

The day was bright and cool, though a little darker and cooler in the centre itself since it really is in the woods. Though we were lucky that many of the trees had not regained their leaves, the cool weather meant that many animals decided to hide up and sleep the day away, something that made getting shots a little tricky. Still there was more than enough wildlife moving around to be shot and even sleeping animals work well in a shot. So with many a camera and tripod we invaded the place!

Wildwood Trust website

Ephotozine (EPZ) website:

All photos taken with:
Canon 400D
Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L
Canon 1.4 teleconverter
Canon speedlite 580M2 + Lumiquest softbox — flash was used considerably over the whole day since lighting was often shaded and poor

Red Fox

Sleepy Fox
f5, ISO 200, 1/125sec

This little chap stayed in that very same spot all day! This shot was tricky, the inside had a decent view, but the glass was very dingy to shoot through, so this was taken outside. Now the pen was hidden by a bush and fence, so getting the shot required one to be higher – and a nice well placed bench allowed for that.

Arctic Fox

Sleepy Arctic Fox
f5.6, ISO 100, 1/100sec

Yep today was most certainly a day for foxes to be asleep. Shame that I could not get a little close to remove the building and such more from the shot and that he had decided to sleep on the building in the first place. Sometimes you just can’t hide the zoo from a zooshot.

Wolf

IMG_0151
f4, ISO 200, 1/200sec

Yep a very very sleepy day! One of my most favoured animals, but a very tricky subject to get a shot of here. Its either fighting with the fine bars over on one pen or the larger areas of the second pen which had many far off sections – where I sorly wished that I had a longer lens to get shots. The woods are also more dense for this area, so that is an added complication in getting shots, less light present to work with overall.

Deer

IMG_0098
f5, ISO 200, 1/500sec

The bread rather detractes from making this look like a wild shot and the angle is not perfect (Facing away from the camera) but I still rather like this shot for the depth of field over the deer, which has given a nice feeling of depth to the shot. These deer also had the advantage that they are more out in the open at the centre, and thus much more light reaches them.

Lynx

IMG_0182a
f5, ISO 400, 1/200sec

The lynx did not come out till late in the day, around feeding time, and so the lighting was weaker still (early in the year so shorter days), so one had to reach to a higher ISO. I also started using my flash a lot more for these shots, relying on it to give a bit more fill into my shots. An added complication here was that the bars of the pen started confusing my AF, being held back from them by a primary wooden barrier (so kids don’t lose fingers poking them into the pen) meant the bars were not only a pain to shoot through, but also at a distance outside of my minimum focusing distance, so my AF could very easily (and did) lock onto them at several occasions.

Robin and Chaffinch

IMG_0080
f5, ISO 200, 1/60sec

IMG_0090
f4, ISO 400, 1/200sec

As part of the setup they also have several bird feeding stations on the site which attract a wide range of small feeding birds. There was even an appearance by a red woodpecker on the day as well.

Stork

Storks Up!
f4, ISO 100, 1/640sec

Well I saved the best for last, the unedited version of this shot was the one I entered into the days competition, bagging myself 6th place in the runnings and a free bag as a prize! A most unexpected delight at the end of the long day, interestingly it was also one of the first shots I snapped off as well, and as the shutter speed shows, it was in a very well lit section of the centre.

Overall it was a great day out and a great chance to meet some fantastic photographers and people. Though the wildlife might not have been jumping around that is part of working with animals – sometimes they are not going to be that active, so one has to work with that or simply put down the camera and just watch and wait.

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Marwell Zoo

Posted in photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 16, 2008 by overread

Well got another free weekend so decided to pay a trip to a place I have heard a lot about and seen a lot of great photos from – Marwell Zoo. I had also recently picked up a circular polarizer for my 70-200mm f2.8 IS lens and hoped to give this a try at reducing flare and reflections off zooglass; however the day I chose was not the best for photography, the sky was a thick mass of cloud and whilst the rain held off for the day lighting was drab and weak over most of the day. Whilst this avoided me problems with highlight overexposure it did create the problem of having to raise me ISO in order to get fast enough shutter speeds (and even then sometimes they were not fast enough). My own taste with my 400D is to have my ISO at 200 for a standard setting, lowering or raising as needed, but ISO 400 is my general upper limit for raising the ISO whilst still getting me images that I am happy with respect to noise. ISO 800 is for emergencies and any higher is just too much noise for my tastes. Being in a zoo I also experimented with using my flash to give me more light to work with – with variable results.
The zoo was also in that pre-season state where many grazing animals were not on show and kept in pens and the overall feel of the zoo was a bit dead (and I don’t just mean few visitors which I don’t mind, but dead on the zoo side of things as well). I am sure that when I get a chance to return in better weather and in a better season I will be back here complaining of there being too many people!

Anyway back to the photos – I am sorry to say I can’t note which ones I used the polarizer on and which I did not as I was changing back and forth with it all day – suffice to say I learnt some lessons with it at least.

All photos taken with:
Canon 400D
Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS L
Canon 1.4 teleconverter

For flash shots following gear used in addition to the above:
Canon speedlite 580M2 + Lumiquest softbox

Circular polarizer used on some shots – noted where remembered, but not all are marked.

Cheetah

One of the first animals you see (well at least of the predators) and the first I headed for. Sad to say that whilst they have a smaller section of their pen which they like to rest in which is closer, that section is also not that wide so you tend to end up with bars affecting either the foreground of the shot or affecting the background (in the worst cases affecting the both ends of the shot!).


f4, ISO 200, 1/160sec

As you can see nice and close, but clear bars in the background and you can just see an out of focus bar cutting right through the right eye and part of the nose in a line. This is the downside to places where there is a barrier before the bars as it prevents you getting your lens close enough to easily shoot between the bars – seeing this effect in the LCD on a camera is very hard to impossible unless its a very bad effect so its harder to correct in the field if you get such shots.

IMG_2128 no noise no sharpen
f5, ISO 200, 1/125sec

Again the bars are affecting both sections of the shot – though in context I don’t mind the background as much, but the foreground is being damaged by the bars – some selective contrast and saturation boosting has hidden the effect a little, but its still clear to see sadly.

IMG_2082
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/200sec, flash used

This was not the shot I wanted – I was at the time moving to try and get behind the cat as much as possible and shoot with a view to showing the cat looking out over the large grass pen through the bars – this was a grabshot as I was heading round – sadly whilst the cat remained still for long enough the bars (which I was able to shoot over at this point in the pen) rose up to come to block me from clearly capturing a shot of the cat by the time I was in position. I was also forced further away from the cat, making it a smaller part of the shot – correctable compositionally, but not easy for me to do with the bars raising up to create a barrier of lined haze.

IMG_2136a
f5.6, ISO 200, 1/40sec

IMG_2137
f5.6, ISO 200, 1/50sec

Well exposure in both is nice, but these shots show one weakness of not getting good long lens skills – and that is letting ones shutter speed drop and then rely in on IS to hold up its end. It does so very well, but not if the subject is moving at the time! Motion blur in both shots just does not work as its not really conveying movement, just showing where I let my speed down too far to freeze the moving leg. I might also (and probably should have) used flash and a higher ISO in these two shots to improve my chances

IMG_1889
f4, ISO 200, 1/100sec

For once a good shot – but no legs nor full tail! I do like the autumnal colours in this shot and its come out well in that respect – but whilst framing has removed moving parts which were a problem before it has now introduced the problem that I am just not close enough to the cat to get a full and proper portrait (without cropping) and I am not far back enough to present the cat as a whole. A bit of creative cropping to remove the left hand side of the shot might help this shot a bit.

Suffice to say the cheetahs have taught me a lot already from this day about shooting in much poorer lighting conditions.

Otters

The otter pen (from what I remember) at Marwell was small! That was the first thing that hit me about it – I have got used to seeing the larger pen and full pond that the British Wildlife Centre otters have so it was rather a hit to see otters now in such a tiny pen and with a far smaller pool.
Something else that struck me was that unlike the European otters in the BWC, these otters (Asian short clawed) were in a much larger family group in a single pen.

IMG_1961
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/125sec

I didn’t pay him for that shot either (though I would have if I could have). I had this feeling that he was really expecting something from me and was rather disappointed that I didn’t have it! Might have been near feeding time or just him also not liking the dull day, however it does show well my feelings at least about the pen.

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f5.6, ISO 400, 1/100sec

IMG_1967
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/100sec

One of my favourite shots from the day – after not getting anything from me he goes for a quick drink from the pool.
And now for some happier shots of them:

IMG_1990
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/125sec

All those moving bodies its a pain to try and focus on just one key point – looking at it now the lower left otter is where the focus is needed – but its landed right in the middle on a patch of brown fur instead! In brighter weather a smaller aperture and deeper depth of field would probably have helped save such a shot by giving greater depth – but with limited light the focus really needs to be spot on.

IMG_2001
f5.6, ISO 200, 1/60sec

Risky slower speeds, but for a still moment its enough with IS as a backup. The yellows have also rather dominated this shot and I should re-edit to lower their saturation (especially in the shadows under his chin).

Leopards

The leopard pen, for bars, was sadly worse than I found the cheetah pen, for these cats were in a very strong wired pen and there was wire all over the place – made worse by the fact that the pen divided into two so as to allow a mother and child in one section and the father in the other. So I walked away sadly with quite a few shots that suffered horribly from bar effects or from glass reflection problems; for whilst the polarizer did work very well there was just not the light to use it as well as could be expected. I needed every stop I could get – and I was also quickly learning that flash (at least with big cats) was not going to help at all beyond a little bit of fill – beyond that and one gets cats eye reflections.

IMG_1918
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/40sec

Really really slow shutter speed, high ISO and not a single bit of flash in this shot (though it does look like it). You can tell there is no flash because the eyes are clear and there is no cats eye effect present. This is mostly a result of editing done to the shot.
Its a shot of the cub in the pen and despite the bars in the background its one of the shots I rather like from the day due to that intense impact that one gets from the stare of the cat.

IMG_2163
f4, ISO 800, 1/60sec

No flash again and me reaching for that “emergency” ISO gives you an idea of how dark the day was and how dark this shaded spot of the pen was. This I believe was the father who spent a lot of the day pacing around the pen. I was lucky with this shot working at all as I had learnt that flash was just not going to work for me in this case (it might work but I could not get it to work for me on the day) so a nice shot. Again we have that half way sort of look to the shot that I am starting to see as a pattern in my shooting where I go for a closer shot to the face (either to eliminate distracting cage parts from the shot or as a part of my general style of shooting – often both together), but lack the focal length needed so end up only halfway there.

IMG_2165a
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/15sec

Really pushing even the IS now – remember with a 1.4TC is a 280mm lens I am shooting with at the long end – though I did have my monopod with me on the day I still found myself handholding for most of the time – though I did use it at odd spot and might have used it for this shot (can’t recall – its not stored in EXIF ;)). Personally I find that in such an environment with a light lens like the 70-200mm f2.8 IS (light by wildlife lens standards at any rate) one just does not need that support for the weight much of the time – I am sure that if I were using a much heavier lens like a 300mm f2.8 IS I would be using that monopod gladly!

Penguins

Well the penguins make an interesting shooting experience at Marwell as there is a glass windowed underwater viewing point which (unlike a lot of others) is not fully underground – so there is a reasonable amount of light floating in from the open doors. Its not enough and I had to push to ISO 800, but it gives more light than in many others I have been in.

IMG_2085
f5.6, ISO 800, 1/60sec – polarizer used

IMG_2089
f5, ISO 800, 1/60sec – polarizer used

Well ok so I could have opened up a bit more with the aperture, but I wanted to be stopped down a little to try and preserve some details as well as to get some depth since I was shooting as close as I could with the lens (limited space inside). The polarizer has helped some areas and lost any reflects from light on the glass, but its again taken away more light – if I had had time I should have removed the teleconverter from the setup.
The other tricky part was he was mostly diving for fingers – children’s fingers on the glass to be exact so every time he was there so too were the kids right up to the glass – made shooting a bit tricky. Still whilst not fantastic they are pleasing and very different shots.

IMG_2087
f5, ISO 200, 1/160sec

This is one of my favourite exposures from the day – I really like it – but what I hate is the composition. set like it is we are focused on the backend and there is no empty space for him to look into – its too close a shot in the wrong place which is a great shame as the shot technically came out well. I should also crop out the out of focus head appearing on the left side.

IMG_2249
f5, ISO 200, 1/80sec

IMG_2252
f5, ISO 200, 1/100sec

These last two shots were taken right at the end of the day, when the sun decided to make a token appearance – however the last shot shows that I was not thinking sunny and the whites have been rather blown out as the meter got confused – though there is some details still in there and I think using tone mapping one could get more details out of the whites on the second shot. However what I should have done was to stick with ISO 400 and gone for a smaller aperture – there beaks are very long!

Yellow Mongoose

IMG_1975
ISO 400, 1/125sec – data corrupted partly on the aperture (unless I managed f0.5!!)

IMG_1981
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/125sec

I think I might have used the polarizer for these shots as they were through glass – though they were also inside so I might not have. Anyway me being a little more compositional with my work – came out rather well I feel in both shots.

Meerkats (with contrast mask experiments)

What follows is a series of shots of meerkats where I have used a contrast mask (as mentioned in a previous post) to adjust the lighting in them.

IMG_2018

Contrast mask edition
IMG_2018contrast mask
f5, ISO 400, 1/125sec

At first glance the contrast mask is a lot darker than the regular version and the light also appears flatter. However details are now showing up clearer in the eye, ear and also some of the fur areas where before the brightness was hiding them. I think that if I used a contrast mask to remove (either fully or partially) the contrast mask effect on key areas like the main body of its back I should be able to restore some of the depth of light without losing the gains that the mask has given me.

IMG_2029

Contrast mask edition
IMG_2029contrast mask
f4, ISO 400, 1/200sec

Again we see the contrast mask doing similar to before – though the shot is not as dark as before there is still a noticeable difference. There is also the messy cloning of the background area where I have tried to hide up the large white patch – I still need to get to grips with the clone tool and its effective use!

IMG_2009

Contrast mask edition
IMG_2009contrast mask
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/100sec

And for a third time we see that darkening effect, though this time I don’t think it would need further selective removal and rather covers the kat well. Again we also have the key areas like the eye now being shown in greater detail and clarity.

And now for a normal meerkat shot:
IMG_2039
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/100sec

Once I master the clone tool I do want to come back to this shot and lose that white line along the top of it.
Also I should point out that I think flash was used for many of these meerkat shots, however for some reason Photoshop elements 6 is not registering the flash info in the EXIF data – its normally good at noting it down, but not this times and yet I am sure I used flash on the meerkats.

Tigers

Though they had a larger pen than the other big cats (far larger) the tigers did like to rest on the platforms or pace the edges – so again I was met with a lot of bar problems again – this time though the cats were generally far enough back that the foreground was safe, so its just background areas that were affected.

IMG_1927
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/160sec

Should have used that polarizer for this shot! I think the sun just peeked out for this shot and its times like this I wish I had spot focusing so that I could really nail those white patches on the cat rather than have them blowout!

IMG_2047
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/200sec

IMG_2056a
f5.,6 ISO 800, 1/125sec

Being cats some decided to spend the whole day in bed! Really glad that I got a shot of the eye looking right at me! Also I am sure that first shot is another where flash is not being exif reported in my elements 6!

IMG_2204
f5.,6 ISO 200, 1/80sec

IMG_2208s
f4, ISO 200, 1/125sec

In both of these last two shots I used the circular polarizer to help keep my sky from blowing out – however doing so also preserved the haze of the wire in those areas. So during editing I used curves to deliberately blow out those upper sky areas (and layer masked off the lower white areas so that the curves would not affect them and blow them out more as well). The result is that the sky is now blown, but the wires in the background are lost. I am sure that some editing to blur the background could have been used instead, but I was not sure of a method that would give me the effect I wanted without looking fake as well.

Wild Birds

Well around the zoo there were a small score of garden birds darting around – often near the tiger pens – so I managed a few proper wildlife shots!

IMG_1930
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/500sec

Best shutter speed of the whole day!

IMG_2048
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/125sec

Those last two shots are pretty heavy crops from the originals so a little less fine details in them, but still decent shots for tiny birds!

IMG_1937
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/500sec

And that was not a crop – full sized – he was a bolder bird by far (and must be that is the tigers pen he is standing on).

MISC

Totally forgot to get a shot of this little fellas name – and now can’t recall what he was but here he is

IMG_2113
f4, ISO 200, 1/50sec

Nice little portrait of him – very centred – but still rather nice.

And that is it from the day, it was dull day, but not a total washout, though I do wish for one of those higher end cameras with better high ISO noise control — still my composition and framing will be the same till I change!
I also learnt quite a lot about lower light shooting as well as getting reacquainted with bars and all the problems they can bring – sometimes one has to put the camera down and just enjoy watching rather than shoot away all the time.

So its goodbye to Marwell for now – but I will return – even if some of the residents don’t want their photo taken

IMG_2236

Experiences with macro 4 – with extra bird!

Posted in photography with tags , , , , , , , on August 18, 2008 by overread

Well not too much to introduce this one with really, I am starting now to get on top of exposing for macro photos and getting both the depth of field that I want with the blur in the background. Working with the flash is getting easier, though I admit its in auto flash fire mode almost all the time – sometimes I get the time for a preflash metering, but often the insects don’t give me the time for such a luxury. I am still shooting all my macro with the settings in manual mode and being handheld – I just find that with a tripod I am not fast enough to catch the insects.

All shots taken with:
Canon 400D
Sigma 150mm macro
speedlite 580M2+Limiquest softbox

To view exif data review properties of the thumbnails – exif not attached to larger versions

IMG_0069

and a closer crop of the above:

f13, ISO 200, 1/200sec
Not the best birding settings and the shot is a little dark, but this was a grabshot in the garden just as he flew by whilst I was shooting macro; and proof that the 150mm is a versatile little lens. Note that with the closer crop the image quality is not perfect, but much of this I attribute to my own selection of settings at the time of shooting rather than any weakness in the lens itself.

Now back to your regular insect program:

IMG_0076
f13, ISO 200, 1/100sec
I am really happy to have this shot – the action of a fly drinking from a small drop of water I have captured only once before, but it was in those early days and the flash failed to fire -the result was a horribly underexposed shot. Now at least I have a well exposed shot which has all the insect within the frame – composition might be a little weak here, but that is something for next time (3rd time lucky :))

IMG_0100
f13, ISO 200, 1/125sec

IMG_0101
f13, ISO 200, 1/125sec
Until I really looked and tried to capture with my camera, I never before noticed the speed, height and distance that a simply butterfly can cover; especially these little cabbage butterflies which rest only for a few seconds on a flower before moving onto the next. Even when feeding they only feed for short bursts before flying on – that means that these two photos involved a lot of running and missed chances just to keep up with them. Not easy, but when you get to see the results you feel that its worth chasing them all over the garden.

A Collection of works

Posted in photography with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2008 by overread

All shots taken with:
Cannon ESO 400D
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro lens
Tripod (both the 055XPROB + 322RC2)

Flower

IMG_0056
f16, ISO 100, 1/60sec

IMG_0068
f16, ISO 100, 1/5sec

IMG_0009
f16, ISO 100, 1/15sec

IMG_0032
f16, ISO 100, 1/320

Not sure what to think of this shot. I like the textures and colours, I think it would have worked better if the front petal was not in the shot and the depth of field just a few mms further back to bring the pollen at the base into focus.

Insect

IMG_0058
f16, ISO100, 1//160sec

100% crop of the centre!
IMG_0058b

An example of what the sigma can capture when everything goes right! A sharp insect shot – a shame his full body was hidden, but as it with nature its hard to get your subject to always appear where you want them to! The 100% crop shows the details and sharpness at full size on the main photo – very pleased with this result!

Birds

IMG_0031
f8, ISO 400, 1/800sec

IMG_0027
f8, ISO 400, 1/500sec

Two low shots of a duck on the grass – taken with the tripod at its lowest height. I must say I prefer the second shot – the first, I think now, is a little closely cropped

IMG_0005
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/200sec

Another try at the song thrush in the tree and whilst I think I am shooting right, I think the light is just a little too lacking at this time of day – I think waiting for a really bright evening or for him to take to song earlier in the evening when its brighter would help a lot with the shot.

Lessons learnt:

1) Evening shooting is too dim for my sigma, even at low apertures. I could get it to f4, but that would mean working at the 70mm end where I don’t think I will get the close up detail of the bird.

A Collection of Random Shots

Posted in photography with tags , , , , , , , on June 27, 2008 by overread

Well here is a collection of shots which I have not added to the blog – often as they were on one off trips out and I did not feel like making a whole blog entry for a single photo.

All shots taken with:
Cannon ESO 400D
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro lens
Tripod (both the 055XPROB + 322RC2 and the old cheapy one)
ps – it really says something about my kit when I can say that I only ever use one lens!

IMG_0134
f16, ISO 100, 1/20sec

A very early flower shot of mine. I really liked this, barring the out of focus flower that gets in the way. Its also one of the few shots where I have got closer to the flower to show its inner details.

IMG_0241
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/8sec

A tricky shot as when that eye is open the head its in tends to move around a lot! An early macro experiment shot of mine and I regret not selecting a smaller aperture for that greater depth within the photo, though it was taken inside and there was not that much light around so I might not had enough light to reduce the aperture by too much. Add to that the fact that I underexposed by 1 stop to try and cancel out the flash glare on her fur – that certainly worked well, but as this was in the age before I was using the custom diffuser you can clearly see the flash refection in the eye.

This next series of shots were taken at a local fairground. I arrived only at the end of the last falconry display and tried my best to get some shots of the birds, but I was drastically lacking in both a good long (and sharp) lens and also in any experience of shooting such shots. Add to that the fact that it was in the middle of a show ring, so from any angle there were people in the way of shots. For these I moved out of RAW and into JPEG in an attempt to get more frames per second and also to be able to shoot for longer as JPEG does not fill up the buffer as quick as RAW. I don’t know how much I gained or lost by this, as I missed the additional editing features of RAW shooting

IMG_0110 copy
f5.6, ISO 400, 1/3200sec

Probably the best shot I got – even though the sun has overexposed one side of him. The bright light on the day also allowed me to get very fast shutter speeds whilst shooting in aperture priority mode

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f5.6, ISO 400, 1/1600sec

This shows off nicely the busy background of people that surrouneded the display

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f5.6, ISO 400, 1/1600sec

The only in-flight shot I got which was sharp – shame about the angle on the bird. This was also crop of the centre of a shot, removing the surroundings of people.

In the end a mixed bunch of shots – many of which are just me experimenting with different things, so lots of room for more practice

Small Garden Birds

Posted in photography with tags , , , , on June 26, 2008 by overread

Well despite having 4 cats on site we do have a wide selection of small birds in our garden, party due to the diverse trees and hedges in the locality. Here is a selection of shot I have got of them on different days; been saving them up for a larger post as often you only get time for one shot before they are off!

Cannon EOS 400D
Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro lens
Tripod

For settings save pic to pc and review properties

Robin

Little back story to these shots; I had to clear a section of ground of weeds, leaving it bare earth which attracted the gardens semi-tame robin. The little fellow has got used to my dad feeding the other birds we keep and so has tagged along for some extra food, so he has no fear of flying closer to people than other birds in the garden. Thus once I had cleared the ground he came by to get some insects and I got the chance to get some shots of him.

IMG_0019
f5.6, ISO800, 1/60sec – no flash
This was taken in the evening in a shaded place, so I upped the ISO to get more light into the camera to ensure that I got enough for a decent shot. It was hard as whilst he was getting close he was behind a lot of bits of twig and such – this shot on the gate was all I could get with him sharp and without anything in the way.

IMG_0025
f5.6, ISO 800, 1.60
Well to make sure I took a few shots with the flash as well, a little bit of overkill here as this was before I was using the custom diffuser and any exposure compensation on the flash. Add that to the ISO which I forgot to lower and it was overkill with light. You can see on the wood the clear effect of the flash.

IMG_0007 - 1000

Crop of him:
IMG_0007 - close
f5.6 ISO 400, 1/15sec
Well he came inside this time and got stuck in the dinning room. So before I let him out I grabbed the camera and tripod and took a shot of him. I used a high ISO as he was moving around a lot so I wanted light and speed on my side with shooting.

Song Thrush

IMG_0036
f18, ISO 200, 1/60sec
Shot in the late afternoon just after the robin. Honestly I can’t remember why I selected f18 for this shot – it seemed like a good idea at the time and it has paid off well with a nice clear shot of him. A lot brighter up here so there was enough light around not to use the flash, yet the wind and him singing made it prudent to use ISO 200.

Pigeon

IMG_0294
f5.6, ISO 100, 1/640sec

Same tree as before, but this time with considerably better light and also a more sane aperture.

Gold Finch

Little story to these as well; for a good long while a finch was flying onto my windowsill and pecking at the glass for small bugs – something that shocked my every time as when I use the computer my back is to the window. After a long while of him vanishing every time I got the camera facing him I managed to get a handful of shots of him sitting on the wire just outside my window.

IMG_0055
f8, ISO 400, 1/250sec

IMG_0072 copy
f8, ISO 400, 1/320sec

Both of these are crops of the centre of a shot taken, thus both are a little lacking in overall quality of shot. I think if I get another chance I would use the flash (with custom diffuser) to try and get more light control as the light was not ideal in theses shots.

Chaffinch

chaffinchIMG_0045
f8, ISO 400, 1/250sec

This little chap would scare off the other finch for his right to land on the wire!