First try at BYB...Baby Cardinal

Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
378
Location
Jacksonville, FL (Formerly from Miami)
Well... I love the photos I see here and I keep saying to myself, wait to get the right equipment. But, even though I still give it a try. I used my 55-200 VR and was all Manual "M" mode. I used the flash hoping to get a little better brightness...

anyway please let me know if these are any good and what I should do, or what I need to get better results. Thanks!

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Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
9,081
Location
Oregon
Hi, welcome to BYB imaging:) I think that birds are among the hardest subjects to image, take your time and try and get a clean background. Looking forward to seeing more.
 
Joined
May 23, 2006
Messages
1,022
Location
SoCal
Hi Jose, so far so good, great first try! That bird is very cute and these are sweet images that are also nice and sharp. I sort of think of bird photography as a series of problems to solve; but in order to solve them, one needs to figure out what the problem is. Everyone is different and has their set of priorities, but I can suggest 3 issues that could be looked at, to see if it is something that can be solved.

1. Focal distance and proximity to bird: The bird is small in the frame, so you need the help of a longer lens (the most preferred) or you need to assess how best to get closer without harming the bird's well-being. That could involve studying their habits and seeing what they will allow and seeing when they are most comfortable and less unaware of you. It could be when they are eating, and perhaps, when you have been holding still and patiently waiting for them. A barrier, blind or a bit of camouflage is also helpful, along with plain ol' stealth. Wear mellow-colored t-shirt, NOT white. Be set up in advance.

2. Getting more eye-level

3. Getting a cleaner shot

Points 2. & 3. are sort of intertwined. The angle you have here is steep and the branch is rather large in comparison to the bird, so it hides the bird (since the branch actually comes between you and the bird). Again, observing their habits and watching if and when they come down a little lower (possibly to feed), could provide some photo ops. Alternatively, I could suggest getting a higher vantagepoint but I don't want to be responsible, should you fall! :eek: And that still won't guarantee you a clean shot, since there are so many leaves and branches.

I'd have to say that in the end, the people who consistently get good BYB shots are people who have put in a lot of time and effort into providing reasons for the birds to be there, ie. both feeding and having strategically placed branches (that's where the shots are actually taken) as "staging" areas for the birds to approach that said feeding area. That requires some knowledge and a commitment. I think there is a sticky about this by Debbie, above.

Anyway, I can see that that is quite a nice shade tree you have there and provides nice cover for the birds - just too bad it makes your job all the more difficult. Sometimes you can get lucky though with the bird perching in a good spot in the open. Hope you can get an opportunity like that, good luck and have fun! :smile:
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
378
Location
Jacksonville, FL (Formerly from Miami)
Jeff - Thank you for your input, I definitely agree with a cleaner background. I spotted that Baby Cardinal presumingly trying to fly on its own. He wouldn't move, but he was pretty high up.

Greg - Thank you for the kind words!

Miko - Thank you for taking the time to write your response. All points are well taken. I tried to take the photos of the birds in their own habitat. We do have a feeding area, but the photos I took of the birds are too dark, I think because I was pointing at the sky (breaking the eye-level rule). I definitely am trying to get a 70-300mm which will get me 33% closer. so that may help too... Oh yea, and I was totally wearing white, so I broke that rule too.

Thanks again all, I will keep trying
 

Commodorefirst

Admin/Moderator
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Joined
May 1, 2005
Messages
23,661
Location
Missouri
Real Name
Wade
Thanks for posting these and using the critique Icon, and also thanks to timeout (miko), for his detailed response, covers the points I would have.

some other ideas, good tripod, and try shooting in aperture mode, this way you set your dof, and the camera will adjust the metering/shutter to get the best exposure.

also, nice try on using the flash, you will be surprised how far it can actually travel!

Cheers,

Wade
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
378
Location
Jacksonville, FL (Formerly from Miami)
Thank you Mike, Wade and Warren!

Just some more info, yea I shot the photos handheld I still have not purchased a tripod. I still have ways to go on getting my equipment in order. But I will keep practicing with the resources I have.
 

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