Posts tagged “Birds

Off Again (Two Photographs)

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I was not terribly successful last year with birds in flight (or BIF as the pros say). I had a lot of misses, birds moving too fast or me not noticing soon enough. If it wasn’t a challenge I don’t think I’d find nature photography quite so much fun.

 


Female Wood Duck (Two Photographs)

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Almost a perfect shot out of camera. One of those opportunities where I could take enough photos to chose the ones I liked best. Of course my primary consideration were the eyes, where they were looking and their brightness.


Suspicious

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I found this on an unsaved SD card in my camera, it’s from late last summer. I am glad I found it. I remember this encounter well. I was walking up to the shoreline with my eye on something out in the lake, neither the wood duck or I noticed how close we got until we were only a foot or so apart. Being a gentleman, and knowing the minimum distance of my lens, I immediately backed off to take this shot. The wood duck, probably protective of its mate, never stopped its stare as I walked off down the path.


Curious (Two Photographs)

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This Mourning Dove was sitting on an unoccupied nesting box taking a gander in every direction. It was a bit funny and after a few shots I walked away. On the way back the bird was still doing its 360 gander. Maybe it was a missed date? I took these photos from a long distance away so as not to frighten the bird off.


A Canadian Sparrow

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It almost looks like the bird is embarrassed by its gaze on the maple leaf. Or do I read too much into a bucolic scene that almost appears staged. Last year sparrows were one of my birds of choice, their speed made for a great challenge in many cases.


Female Goldfinch (Two Photographs)

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I saw a larger than usual number of Goldfinches in 2019, and for the first time several female goldfinches. I doubt this translates into a regional statistic but it speaks to the changing nature of the sites I visit.


Canadian Colour (Two Photographs)

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The waterways in Fall always have wonderful reflections, and Canada Geese are usually well represented too. Although the geese are often considered pests, that’s not always the case.


A Couple (Two Photographs)

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It’s always nice to see a wood duck pair close together, especially in good light and colour. We are very fortunate where I live to have so many of these colourful ducks. But before I get too romantic, wood ducks like most ducks form seasonal bonds and do not mate for life.

 


Bored (Two Photographs)

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Up until now I have never seen an animal that looked bored. I strongly suspect that like many people, the wood duck got a bit fed up with the constant snapping of photographs. Or was it the people throwing bread?


A Berry Thief (Three Photographs)

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This cardinal did everything to make me think he was illicitly munching on someone else’s berries. In late summer the cardinals feast on the berries and it provides a good opportunity to shoot the birds after they moult and display their fresh new colours.

I am in my ninth year of posting every day. I am hoping to make it to ten years, but with a whole series of things going on like the pandemic I may lack the content for this blog. I have decided therefore to focus on some indoor photography projects. Hopefully I will still be  posting everyday but it is not certain.


Cantankerous (Three Photographs)

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The word cantankerous is one of the wonderful Irish-english gifts to our language. It also catches the mood of a disgruntled Cardinal caught over lunch. I am always surprised when animals clearly see you and start a stare off, rather than fly away.

 


Majestic (Two Photographs)

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One thing that can be said for raptors like the Osprey is that they have a certain majesty. That far out in the distance adds a slight bit of humour to its look. The photo is much more ominous in black and white.


Lovely (Two Photographs)

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This is another female cardinal, this time a bit more curious about her surroundings. I recall she stayed on the branch for less than a minute and I was not sure I had any good shots until I reviewed them at home.

 


OSPREY-Classic Pose (Two Photographs)

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I wish all birds would take a classical pose every so often. These poses give a clue to character and their “look”. But like many things in nature photography perfection is rare, very rare.


Not as Angry as She Looks (Three Photographs)

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Female cardinals are hard to see they almost always hide or fly away on sight. A few however, hold their ground, and like many animals get on with life. I have been lucky with cardinals over the years and have some very good shots of both male and female cardinals.


Hairy Woodpecker – 2 (Three Photographs)

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The unusual lighting in these photographs appealed to me. Cameras and their light meters sometimes come out with surprising results, usually poor. This time things seemed to have been for the better. Nature photographers seldom get a choice of lighting, except by choosing a day with good weather, some clouds and of course the time of day.


Hairy Woodpecker and Choices (Two Photographs)

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If you follow me you will know I pay close attention to eyes, posture and impact in my nature photographs. I usually take many photographs of the same subject both to overcome errors, and to have a choice of shots (not too many and no motor driven machine gunning shoot, just a few). In this case seven. These two shots were the best.

 


Hummingbird (Two Photographs)

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Assuming a good shutter speed and focus, there is a good chance of a great hummingbird shot every time you see one in the frame. Therein lies the catch. Finding a small object with a telephoto lens is always a challenge. After practicing you can get it right more often than not, but it’s a learned skill.


Posture or Eyes?

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I always choose a subject’s eyes over posture if I can. This chickadee’s eyes were almost invisible and efforts with Photoshop to improve them were virtually imperceptible. When this happens your image depends on the posture of the bird, or some other story.


Your Position Matters (Two Photographs)

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Your position matters and not just in politics. The difference in these two photographs is where I was standing. In the first and better shot, the reflection of the tree adds to the composition rather than becoming a distraction.


Daffy Duck (Three Photographs)

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Every so often you come across a natural actor. As a photographer I am always looking for the unusual, or a story. But definitely something unexpected. At first I thought the duck was in difficulty but my next shots disproved that.


Not As Shy As She Looks

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This duck was preening close to shore. It was that time of year when ducks know people will throw food to them. So even though she had things to do she was not going miss lunch. While I don’t like the idea of feeding ducks, I am an opportunistic photographer.


The Look (Two Photographs)

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In previous posts I showed how light can make a big difference in animal photography as it does with people. I talked about catching interesting expressions and eyes. This time I wanted to make the point that these are not unique approaches or opportunities, but in my view the best ways to approach composition.


Duck Shot ( Two Photographs)

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I am fond of headshots of people and animals. With animals I will often try a few shots. With little control over light and subject it’s the photographic equivalent of Russian roulette. Very few have the impact I like. In my view, these shots worked.