My favorite lighting conditions for backyard birds

Joined
Jan 17, 2006
Messages
1,883
Location
Boaz, Alabama
Even though it is more difficult to photograph birds under these conditions because of movement I love the quality of light on days like this. The even lighting helps saturate those beautiful feathers. I miss a lot of shots because the slightest movement causes blurs due to slow shutter speeds and ghosting but when it all comes together it is worth the aggravation. I got six keepers out of forty nine attempts on this day.

He's common to most but Raquel Welch is pretty no matter how many times you see her isn't she?

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The female counterpart.

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First one of the year! I was worried they weren't coming around this time.

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A Titmouse being coy.

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A Chipping Sparrow all puffed up.

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Joined
Jan 17, 2006
Messages
1,883
Location
Boaz, Alabama
Great series Andy, but no EXIF attached How can I learn if you hide the reciept?
You know I never really thought about that. I'll explain my technique for anyone who is interested. Honestly I didn't think anyone looked that deeply. :QuestionM

I set my shutter speed to the highest setting allowable which in this case is 250. I don't like the high speed sync in most cases because the pulses are a pain to deal with. I then adjust my ISO up or down as the light changes to keep my f/stop where I want it. Typically 7.1 or 8 but if the background is smooth as it is here I will go to f/11 on occasion. I set my flash at minus 1-2/3 then adjust to taste. On days like this the lighting won't change very much so the main thing to watch for is your flash output. Bright birds might not need quite as much pop as darker birds.

If you ever have a question that I can possibly answer I would be thrilled to help!
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
8,564
Location
Northern Alabama
You know I never really thought about that. I'll explain my technique for anyone who is interested. Honestly I didn't think anyone looked that deeply. :QuestionM

I set my shutter speed to the highest setting allowable which in this case is 250. I don't like the high speed sync in most cases because the pulses are a pain to deal with. I then adjust my ISO up or down as the light changes to keep my f/stop where I want it. Typically 7.1 or 8 but if the background is smooth as it is here I will go to f/11 on occasion. I set my flash at minus 1-2/3 then adjust to taste. On days like this the lighting won't change very much so the main thing to watch for is your flash output. Bright birds might not need quite as much pop as darker birds.

If you ever have a question that I can possibly answer I would be thrilled to help!
You know Andy, if it is just ordinary photos I wouldn't look that deeply, but when you find photos with real class it would be damn dumb not to look because he has something I need to learn.

Thanks for the Explaination.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2006
Messages
1,883
Location
Boaz, Alabama
very impressive work Andy!
Thank you Dave!

Were you shooting from a blind, Andy? Seems these birds weren't too skitish.
Yes, I was shooting from a blind. It may seem like they aren't skittish but you should see how many I miss due to neighborhood noises. The dogs barking or a door slamming or my son deciding to hit golf balls etc. :biggrin: Seriously, it is very frustrating trying to shoot birds where I live. One of my well meaning neighbors walked up to my blind one day just to see what I was doing. She thought I had put up a funny looking tent! Needless to say all the birds left for the evening.
 
Joined
Jan 25, 2005
Messages
994
Location
Alabama
Andy,

These are just about as good as I have seen. I am totally impressed. :smile:
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2006
Messages
1,883
Location
Boaz, Alabama
Andy,

These are just about as good as I have seen. I am totally impressed. :smile:
Coming from you that is quite a compliment! Thank you.

Beautiful! love number 4 and the lighting is spot on
Thank you!

WOW! I love em! I wanna learn just exactly how you do it!
Diane, I would be more than happy to teach you what little I know. When I get some spare time I will do a write up for you with photos included. How's that sound?
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2006
Messages
8,564
Location
Northern Alabama
I would be more than happy to teach you what little I know. When I get some spare time I will do a write up for you with photos included. How's that sound?[/QUOTE]

I want to be on that mailing list Andy
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2006
Messages
154
Location
Middleburg, Fl
I can nver get my back yard birds to stand still long enough to take a blurr free picture. These are very nice.

I have a red headed woodpecker who feeds the same way he pecks the tree. (very vast) Seed flies every where and he is nothing but a blurr when I snap his picture. I have gone through more seed in the last month that I did all winter. The birds must be hungry after the long winter.

:smile:
 

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