Other animals -  Birdfeeder in the Ozarks (162 views) Notify me whenever anyone posts in this discussion.Subscribe
 
From: SHERPAT1Apr-6 7:15 AM 
To: All  (1 of 11) 
 1471.1 

Inspired by MerlinsDad's goldfinch feeder pics....

A couple of weeks ago my wife and I drove to Arkansas to visit her mother. She maintains a large hanging feeder on her back porch, and every morning an amazing array of birds line up in the trees and even the porch rail waiting for her to top up the hopper. At this time of year it's mostly cardinals and finches, but you also get the odd woodpecker, chickadee, and others.

I took these shots sitting in the kitchen, firing through the screen door with a hand held 200mm. It was also very overcast and windy, with branches and the feeder swaying wildly at times. With all that, I was lucky to get any usable pictures at all!

Two seconds later a gust of wind, and....

This was my first attempt at bird photography with a DSLR, and although I'm happy overall with my composition - especially considering the not quite ideal conditions - technical aspects of many of these shots disappointed me.

I took much better shots with film, so obviously I need to learn the nuances of digital which require adjustment on my part. Recently I started watching online lectures from professional nature photograpers and have picked up some tips that I never would have thought of on my own. In fact, I think I may start a discussion of bird photography techniques, if that's ok. I'd love to hear the thoughts of some of the veterans here on the subject.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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From: MerlinsDad Posted by hostApr-6 8:38 PM 
To: SHERPAT1  (2 of 11) 
 1471.2 in reply to 1471.1 

That's ok with me.  Remember, however, that I am totally self taught. 

You've got some very good shots here.  You've got a good idea for the interaction between the birds.  From my point of view, that's really what's important about nature photography.  You're telling us a lot about the behavior of birds when you do it as successfully as you have in these photos. The stare down between the cardinal and the red bellied woodpecker is classic.

 

 
From: Cats (NancyMI)Apr-6 8:40 PM 
To: SHERPAT1  (3 of 11) 
 1471.3 in reply to 1471.1 

How wonderful that you could get such nice shots and STILL want to do better.  I love folks with that perfectionist gene (as long as the perfectionist tendencies are those I am interested in.  LOL).

CATS
 
 

 
From: The Moth (Cecropian)Apr-7 1:26 AM 
To: SHERPAT1  (4 of 11) 
 1471.4 in reply to 1471.1 

I enjoyed those!  The pic with all the cardinals lined up on the fence waiting for the bird feeder to be filled, that one really did make me smile.

:-)

 

 

 
From: SHERPAT1Apr-7 6:11 AM 
To: MerlinsDad  (5 of 11) 
 1471.5 in reply to 1471.2 

Thank you. And self taught or not, you evince an expertise in the subject that I'd be grateful to tap into. 

I agree. I love animal portraiture, but pictures that show interactions also add an element of visual storytelling that I find very appealing. 

It's funny, my own favorite shot of that bunch is the little chickadee with the large female cardinal in the background. I was able to quickly compose the shot with the strong verticals of both birds and feeder, put the little one in the bottom-left third, focus, and adjust my aperture to take the cardinal out of focus and make the little guy pop more. It may not be the most dramatic pic, but it took the most thought and acually turned out the way I envisioned it - a rarity!

Thank you again.

  • Edited April 7, 2018 6:14 am  by  SHERPAT1
 

 
From: SHERPAT1Apr-7 6:29 AM 
To: Cats (NancyMI)  (6 of 11) 
 1471.6 in reply to 1471.3 

Well thank you very much for that. How sweet of you to say!

Lol. "...those I am interested in." I think a lot of us feel that! :)

 

 
From: SHERPAT1Apr-7 6:31 AM 
To: The Moth (Cecropian)  (7 of 11) 
 1471.7 in reply to 1471.4 

Thanks so much, Moth! Really means a lot to me :)

 

 
From: MerlinsDad Posted by hostApr-7 6:43 PM 
To: SHERPAT1  (8 of 11) 
 1471.8 in reply to 1471.5 

I don't think through a shot like you do.  If I see something interesting, like this carpenter ant on the pistil of a Carolina silver bell, I shoot. before the critter moves again.  I don't even know the vocabulary, which is why I don't think you can learn much about technique from me. 

It appears that I think about composition differently than you do.  I don't consciously think about those things.  I probably do subconsciously as my eye tries to decide on the whole, although I don't know the vocabulary.  I want to know what the picture tells me about the flower or the critter in it?  You know the old saying about doing something 10,000 times before you're good at it?  In the 10 years my cameras and I have been taking walks together, we've probably made more than 50,000 photos.  I, like the Great Moth, have trained my eye to see something out of the ordinary -- a color which doesn't belong, a movement where there should not be one, something which breaks up the shape of the plant I'm looking at.  I strive to photo something I've never seen before or photo it in a way that I've not really looked at it before.  I appreciate your compliments.

 

 

 

 

 

 
From: SHERPAT1Apr-8 5:31 AM 
To: MerlinsDad  (9 of 11) 
 1471.9 in reply to 1471.8 

Well, bravo to you! Your innate sense of what looks good combines with all that experience and your desire to "tell a story" to make absolutely fantastic pictures. I wish it came that naturally to me!

 

 
From: MerlinsDad Posted by hostApr-8 8:55 PM 
To: SHERPAT1  (10 of 11) 
 1471.10 in reply to 1471.9 

Those are very nice compliments.  Thank you. 

 

 
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