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Old Feb 9, 2011, 4:20 PM   #1
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Default A couple of birds w/the Sigma 150mm f2.8

Today the Sun came out and gave me a chance to reposition the feeder and add
a different branch to my bird "stage"

The repositioning was forced by a persistent and quite athletic squirrel who finally figured out how to get at my feeder hanging from the side of the house.
Since it hangs about 14 ft above the ground, on a sheer wall, without any trees or other aids to help him gain access, I thought it was squirrel proof. He none the less got to it by jumping from above - by way of a gutter. The new position adds another 4 ft to his descent. I'm hoping that's enough. We shall see.

The by-product of this change is that, now that I'm shooting from a completely different angle, it may have solved my backlighting issue. These are a couple of more bird images taken with the Sigma 150mm f2.8. I'm growing to really enjoy using this lens as well as the images it produces.

Both shot with the E-30 mounted on a tripod. manual priority mode, AUTO ISO,AUTO WB, shutter at 1/640sec., aperture wide open at f2.8, I'm using single point center S-AF normal sensitivity, Hi Burst, spot metering. By the way, these are not cropped. And, photographing black capped chickadees, I think, will always require fill flash.


So you want to be a better photographer? Open your eyes and take a look at what is all around you.

Last edited by zig-123; Feb 9, 2011 at 4:23 PM.
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Old Feb 9, 2011, 4:42 PM   #2
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Ok, I'm convinced! As the sprint shows up up here (in about 3 months at this rate), I will put back a bird feeder in my backyard and see what I can do with it.

I love those birds shots (thanks Zig) but I want mine, all mine

Great shots!
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Gears: OM-D E-M5 Mark II and E-M1 MK 1 with 14-150mm Mark II, 12-40mm f2.8, 15mm f8 cap lens, 60mm Macro, 75-300mm, Olympus Trinity -> 25/45/75mm f1.8. On the 4/3 side: 9-18mm and 50-200SWD with the MMF-2 4/3 adapter, FL-36R and FL-50. Also Rokinon mFT 7.5mm f3.5 Fisheye, Pentax 50mm f1.7 with K to m4/3 adapter, Olympus OM 200mm with OM to m4/3 adapter.
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Old Feb 9, 2011, 5:42 PM   #3
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Default Good luck with your squirrels

Zig, some years ago I had an expensive feeder with a large pivoting anti-squirrel half-dome above it, hanging from a tree. I noticed that the feeder openings were getting chewed up so obviously a squirrel was getting in there, but it seemed there was no way for the squirrel to land on the dome without sliding off to the ground.

Then I was looking out the window one day and watched what the squirrel did. It climbed down the chain holding the feeder and when it got to the half dome it became a gymnast. It intentionally slid down the dome and when it got to the edge it bit into the edge of the dome as hard as it could so that it was able to do a very pretty back-flip and land in the tray at the bottom of the feeder. Poetry in motion, and it then chewed the feeder tubes and ate as much as it wanted. Afterwards I went out and saw a lot of its tooth marks around the edge of the dome (and based on my filling routine this had to have happened in only a couple of days). That little guy/girl was working out as well as any of the young girls working to get on the US Olympic team.

What are ya gonna do? I saluted it and kept filling the feeder until it basically destroyed it.

Good luck with your squirrels.

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Old Feb 9, 2011, 7:19 PM   #4
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I like your new landing platform. Does a good job of helping to frame the birds. Also does a good job of showing how shallow the depth of field is with that lens wide open. Those two particular exposures are very well done.
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Old Feb 9, 2011, 10:32 PM   #5
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Hi Guys,

thx for the comments.....

Setting up a backyard feeder is a wonderful way to improving your skill sets up on shooting birds in flight, adjusting your camera to varying conditions, getting better at pressing the shutter at the proper moment, composition, framing, LIGHTING.

And while your dong that, you just may end up with some really nice images of beautiful little creatures that we mostly take for granted.

Hi Ted,

Squirrels have my utmost respect. I may get peeved when they outsmart me, but after all, their fighting to survive. and I'm not.

Hi Greg,

I'm glad you commented on the out of focus leaves and branches, as I struggled with wether to leave them on the branch or cut them off so they wouldn't be a distraction. In the end, I left them alone.


So you want to be a better photographer? Open your eyes and take a look at what is all around you.
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Old Feb 10, 2011, 12:57 AM   #6
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Nicely done Zig. 2 nice photos and well framed. The leaves make for a more natural look rather than posed on a bare branch.

One of these days I'm going to have to get that lens. That means stopping spending all my money on travel.....Naw!!!
"You are who you pretend to be."
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