Birds

Duck Portraits (Two Photographs)

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I took several photos like these but only a few had the same impact. For one thing, ducks often damage their beaks and several shots showed more than I wanted. I like to do “head and shoulder” animal portraits in the wild, you can get some very interesting shots.


Downy Woodpecker

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 I have not seen many woodpeckers or herons and have shot far fewer than in earlier years. Birds in general are scarce this year where once we would never be at a loss for subjects. I think it‘s a combination of weather and human disturbance in the parks. Some people have been lucky one day and come back the next day to nothing. An unfortunate circumstance.


Chickadee (Two Photographs

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I was happy to get a chickadee in sight staying relatively still. Bird photography to a degree is luck, skill at finding small things with long lenses may improve over time, but the desire of the bird to move on just before you get focus won’t. The faster you move the more likely the bird will be to fly off. With chickadees it seems they cannot stay still for very long while on the hunt. More often than not they fly closer and I need to back up to try a shot. In this case the bird chose to relax for a brief time and I was lucky.


Mallard Duck (Three Photographs)

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One wonderfully colored duck high-tailing it for the hand outs being thrown in the water by those who should know better. There are actually two photographs here and one photograph is cropped differently to give it more impact. The three photos should be seen in sequence. They remind me of an art installation I once saw. As I walked down the corridor, using this duck as an example, it got larger and larger.


A Common Sparrow (Three Photographs)

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Sometimes with small birds you have to isolate them so they are the one and only subject in the photo and get in close (crop, frame in camera) so that the background is less overwhelming for a small creature. Small birds and modern digital cameras mean a tendency towards colour-cast where the bird or the background take on the colour of the leaves the light is filtered through. Dealing with that will get you more detail and a more natural looking shot.


Baltimore Oriole (Three Photographs)

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We have seen more of these this year than in the past seven. So this was a treat. I loved the way the bird climbed all over the flowers. I had to work through a color issue in post-processing but nothing time-consuming, just an issue of what the camera could capture and the light filtering through the background.


Female Cardinal (Three Photographs)

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In my experience female cardinals are the hardest birds to photograph. They have an aversion to people and often fly away if they spot you. I was lucky in this case but this one did not look happy. With a rare catch like this, I’ll take the foliage cover and the problems of colour-cast and work the photos until satisfied.