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Old Jun 8, 2004, 1:34 PM   #1
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This Mountain Bluebird pair was nesting in a cavity of a Pinon Pine tree among a field of sagebrush near Rifle, Colorado. They were curious about my presence and gave me some easy shots with a Panasonic FZ10 hand held at 12x zoom from about 20 feet. Both photos are uncropped but I used Photoshop Elements auto contrast to reduce some apparent "haze" in the image on my screen. Any suggestions for enhancing the images would be appreciated. Sorry, no website yet so I'm posting both shots separately. Thanks,

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Old Jun 9, 2004, 12:20 AM   #2
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Beautiful bird shot Hummer. What aperture were you set at?
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Old Jun 9, 2004, 9:32 AM   #3
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Very nice picture.

Bird is very clear and colors look great. Like the background also.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old Jun 9, 2004, 5:50 PM   #4
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Norm and all,

I had just shot some photos of the scenery when the bluebirds dropped down in front of me. I quickly changed to spot mode to focus and meter on the bird but failed to reset from aperture priority mode to shutter priority, so the male is shot at F8, 1/60th, ISO 50, the female at F8, 1/80th, ISO 100 (auto ISO).

You are sharp-eyed to notice the photos were shot at a higher F-stop. Somehow, I had missed that, thinking the birds stood out remarkably well from the surrounding vegetation. But of course, a wider aperture would have given narrower depth of field and a safer shutter speed too. Thankfully, bluebirds are relatively slow compared with many small birds. Had they given me more time to tinker with camera options....

Since my job involves hiking long distance over rough terrain every day from first light, identifying and counting birds on point count transects, my shooting style is necessarily opportunistic and on the run. When a bird presents itself, I grab the camera. I have tried carrying the tripod but it's really too cumbersome with all I have to carry, and much slower to get on a bird. Because my moving presence "disturbs the scene", I generally must point and shoot at the maximum 12x zoom. I'd like to try a collapsible walking stick/monopod, but then, that's something more to carry.

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Old Jun 10, 2004, 12:04 AM   #5
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Hummer, I appreciate the information and thank you for using that FZ10 in a wonderful and dynamic way. I'd love to capture one of those beautiful birds.
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