Posts tagged “Birds

Hummingbird (Two Photographs)

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I was shooting through a small fence in a garden from a distance. These shots of the hummingbird were the only two out of twenty or more that were usable. These birds are not easy to photograph in flight, when they hover it is only slightly easier especially when seeing them is a surprise.


Posture 3 (Two Photographs)

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It’s always useful in portraits for a person or a bird to do something that adds to the portrait. In the first shot the bird is singing but we lose the eye. In the second we have a lovely headshot and the eye is much more visible. Hard call, but from a quality point of view I would go for the eye.


Posture 2 (Three Photographs)

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This is the second of three posts on portrait posture applicable to both birds and humans. The shape of the head/face is important. While the other photos here are interesting it’s hard to make out the details, and we would have to get significantly closer, losing the background to get that detail.


Posture-1 (Three Photographs)

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Many of the things that make great human portraits apply to birds and other animals. Of the three shots here, the first has a good view of the duck’s head. You can look at the two I rejected below it with the subtle but important differences in the position of the head.


Juvenile Osprey (Three Photographs)

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The adult ospreys were not far away from their young ones. But clearly the juveniles weren’t happy and wanted more food. I think the parents just wanted them to fly (which as you can see only one did). You will note these were taken at the extreme limit of my  200-500mm lens.


It’s the Claws (Three Photographs)

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Ospreys are not the prettiest of birds but they have world class claws. They are an amazing sight, this one has a nest it can keep an eye on from its perch. Taking photographs of large birds from a distance is a skill, and the longer the lens the more difficult even with a tripod and a gimbal. For starters you have to find a small object with a long tube. 🙂


Robins (Two Photographs)

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I always thought Robins were a sign of spring. They are in the big cities. However I was told they actually remain all winter in the forests and nature reserves. You learn something new every day. That’s one of the non-photographic pleasures of nature photography, increasing your knowledge of the natural world.


Mourning Dove (Two Photographs)

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I have taken several photos of these birds and only now did I think as to why they are called mourning doves. It turns out their song is mournful. I cannot recall ever hearing their song, but I will listen more carefully next time I see one.


Problems with Sparrows (Three Photographs)

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These three photographs illustrate the problem of photographing sparrows, at least in my experience. They tend to land against iffy backgrounds, and when they see you they fly off. Still wonderful creatures and a joy just to see them.


The Harold Lloyd of Chickadees (Two Photographs)

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This Chickadee is looking down the trunk of a tree ready to dive bomb and try to scare off an owl. It was not possible to get the attacks on film, even at a high ISO and high shutter speed as the light was too limited. Without the back story the photos are more a tribute to the days of the shenanigans of Harold Lloyd and Mack Sennett, a Canadian director of silent era comedy films with actors like Chaplin.


Blue Jay (Two Photographs)

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I don’t see Blue Jays often and when I do they’re tricky to shoot. They will fly off before I can react.  Last year I got two sets of photos. A lovely bird but in my experience a bit elusive.


The Lighter Reflection (Two Photographs)

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Given the lighting and the quality of light, the reflections of these Great Blue Herons in the water are faint. I still wanted the reflections in my shots, they add depth and texture, which helps the foreground.


Reflections (Two Photographs)

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In my view reflections are always a bonus. If possible, when photographing birds, other animals and plant life in the water, my attention is on the reflection. There are several things to consider in any photograph but spending those extra moments on what makes the photograph different or interesting often makes the shot.


Flee the Fire (Two Photographs)

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Did the Merganser duck turn her back on fall colours? Who knows but the two photos looked good together. With water photos like these one could spend considerable time removing things in the water. It’s important to think about how much to remove to avoid distractions of a messy photograph, rather than remove every blemish.


Water Becomes the Duck (Two Photographs)

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The duck’s tones are perfect, the saturated background a bit exaggerated but complimentary and accidental. This could be due to the colour style used in processing, or just the reality of the situation. I shot with a Nikon and used the standard adobe colour style in Photoshop, but like many things in photography there are always surprises and new things to learn.


Osprey (Three Photographs)

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My photos continue to be copyrighted 2019, as that is the year I took them in. When I get out again I will change the date. This osprey is a large and imposing bird and predator, but not the prettiest of birds in the forest.


Hummingbird (Three Photographs)

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These are more of the hummingbird I featured last week. I found it hard to believe that a bird like this would sit for long enough for me to get tens of shots. But sit for its portrait it did. In the final shot it took off and though I waited it did not return before I had to leave.


Ready for my Close-Up (Two Photographs)

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The first of these reminds me of some of old movie poster shots we used to see. The second reflects the fatigue this bird must have felt after the harassment of the various birds who wished it to move on.


Eastern Screech Owl (Three Photographs)

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The eyes have it. Such incredible yellow eyes.  The owl has a preference for the left eye, closing the right often when resting. It certainly has the best of scowls. I am looking forward to finding this owl again this summer.


Hummingbird (Three Photographs)

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A friend pointed out a spot in a garden that was being frequented by two hummingbirds. I was able to get a number of shots but the time between their visits was significant. The more you learn about your subject the easier it is to get shots. In this case, I learned that hummingbirds are somewhat predictable.


Eastern Screech Owl (Three Photographs)

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The scowls here don’t reflect the attitude of the bird. It did get annoyed when chickadees dive bombed his hideout. But the owl stayed put and just grasped the edge of the hollow more firmly. A magnificent bird!


Canada Goose – Shadow, Background and Form (Two Photographs)

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There is a time in the fall when the water takes on a wonderful colour. Nicest of the year. Add to that this majestic bird quietly resting in the water having a gaze about. Just great fall nature shots of a Canada Goose.


Osprey at Lunch (Three Photographs)

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A backlit osprey having lunch at midday. The conditions weren’t great here and the bird was far away but the results are fine. They tell a story which is a nature photographer’s dream. Ospreys, unless they are nesting, in my experience are hard to find and shoot.


Eastern Screech Owl (Three Photographs)

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This owl is a frequent visitor to my favourite park. He’s pretty patient when faced with photographers and if he gets fussed he can always lower himself into the hollow of the tree out of sight.