Friday, February 12, 2010

Intra-day Improvement

I had two decent birds on the way into work this morning. The first was a juvenile Red-tail Hawk across the street from the grocery store I stopped at, and the second I had to loop around the street twice for to get stopped in a safe spot and get the lens aimed.

This Cooper's Hawk was perched and too good an opportunity to just pass up.

Unfortunately the settings were off once again, and some great flight shots fell victim to an overly dark exposure. A bit of brightening and contrast help show what I got to see, and who knows, with a bit of photoshopping it could be improved further. For now though, and to the end of me getting better in the field this is just another lesson learned.

For all that, the bird can't be held responsible for my mistakes, and it really was a great sight. So as I suffered the sting of another disappointment, (OK with a shot like that it wasn't much of a sting), I finally got smart and decided to check back on what the really good bird photographers do. I checked in at Nature Photographers to see what settings were documented for the good shots being posted from overcast skies. I think abandoning my process of trying to reinvent the wheel is going to work. Here is one of my shots from lunch:

This afternoon I shot with an ISO of 400 and opened my aperture to f8. The overcast skies were tough, and I am still getting more noise than I would like, but I think the added depth of field is going to help the detail, and the higher ISO will compensate for the motion of the birds I see.

The shots were taken as I revisited the Singletree Trail and its productive brush. The Chickadees greeted me with their 'Mar-co....Mar-co' calls that are so reminiscent of the childhood Marco Polo pool game.

The House Finches aren't the most exceptional species, but they helped to confirm that I was getting back to a baseline level I could live with.

Finally, my Mom once took an entire roll of film while we were on a family trip to Switzerland, the subjects - Swiss Brown Cows. So for you Mom, if you read this, here is a calf that is only a week or so old, at the oldest.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the shot of the finch! And the calf is about as cute as it can be!