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Old Mar 29, 2010, 3:37 AM   #1
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Default Getting in some practice. . . some birds (7 imgs)

Hi All,

I've been stuck inside for so long, I knew that I needed to get some practice in with the usual suspects and first arrivals. Every year I forget just about everything I've learned, and make really stupid mistakes at the beginning of spring, so when I heard 50's and clear skies, I went out to the Nature Center, even though they were having their annual Maple Syrup Demo and that meant that a lot of people would be milling around.

All of these were with the K-7, FA* 300/4.5 + F 1.7x AFA. All were cropped and PP'd to taste, and were shot in jpg *** handheld. Some show 300mm, which was another mistake. I had been playing with the 180 Macro on the 1.7x AFA, then switched to the 300 and forgot to change the FL for the SR system. About halfway through the day, I remembered and changed it to 500.

I especially wanted to try to get some Dark Eyed Juncos. Soon they'll be heading north to breed, but before that, they'll fill up at the feeders for a while.

Looks like this little female has been doing a pretty good job at this. . . she is really round!


These next two are just bragging -- 1/25 sec at 500mm handheld -- I was sitting on the ground though (we won't go into the fact that the only reason the shutter speed was so slow was that I forgot I was shooting at f11 in full sunlight, and this guy was in the shadows, but I somehow missed opening up the aperture)



I really like how this one came out though, except for the red branch in the middle (too hard to clone out and get the feathers right)


This is not a totally typical Nuthatch pose, but it came out pretty well, IMO.


As it got later in the afternoon, the angle of the sun made things more interesting:

This is another mistake -- I nailed the exposure and focus, but cut the tip of his tail off. I do that a lot. . .


This female Downy seemed to know that the light was good, so posed nicely. I assume that she was showing her "good side".


This last is one of the newcomers, a White Throated Sparrow, fresh from the south, in winter feathers. I could hear them all over the place, but few came out for me.


Scott

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Old Mar 29, 2010, 5:55 AM   #2
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Scott - Glad to see our WT Sparrows are arriving your way (ours are all fattening up at the feeder and leaving us). All these are great captures of the details and the personalities of the birds - especially nice poses on the Junco!!
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 2:41 PM   #3
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They look good to me Scott. Good job!
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 6:39 PM   #4
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Scott, I'm amazed and impressed at your two shots that were hand held 1/25 sec at 500mm. Even with SR activated, I never would have guessed it could come out so well. I like all your pics, even the cardinal with the cut off tail.
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 7:22 PM   #5
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Scott, all nice shots!

I like the second shot of the junco best. They are hard to get exposed correctly and you nailed this one! It is also a nice pose and has fine feather detail.

Lou
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Old Mar 29, 2010, 10:24 PM   #6
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Well, your "out of practice" shots are better than 99% of my shots, even when I have practiced some. The cardinal looks good in spite of its cropped tail, and the juncos are really good.
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Old Mar 30, 2010, 7:51 AM   #7
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Good stuff. I like the "you lookin' at me?" pose in the first one!
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Old Mar 30, 2010, 12:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mole View Post
Scott - Glad to see our WT Sparrows are arriving your way (ours are all fattening up at the feeder and leaving us). All these are great captures of the details and the personalities of the birds - especially nice poses on the Junco!!
Hi mole,

Thanks! Traditionally, the arrival of the Robins marked the beginning of Spring, but for me, the WT Sparrows is a better indication. I'm glad I'm not the only one that connects different species' behavior with personality. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldwinger View Post
They look good to me Scott. Good job!
Hi GW,

Thanks for taking a look and commenting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnman View Post
Scott, I'm amazed and impressed at your two shots that were hand held 1/25 sec at 500mm. Even with SR activated, I never would have guessed it could come out so well. I like all your pics, even the cardinal with the cut off tail.
Hi mtnman,

Thanks! I did take a series of shots of the Junco in the shade, and these were the only two that were acceptably free of camera shake. The downsizing to post reduced this, but luckily most of the feather detail was retained. I actually practice handholding technique over the winter indoors as it seems to get harder every year. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keltech View Post
Scott, all nice shots!

I like the second shot of the junco best. They are hard to get exposed correctly and you nailed this one! It is also a nice pose and has fine feather detail.
Hi Lou,

Thanks for taking a look!! For me, they're all hard to get exposed correctly early in the spring. The sun is not as bright as you'd expect, and I get excited about being able to shoot again, so techniques that had become second nature last year have to be relearned. . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtngal View Post
Well, your "out of practice" shots are better than 99% of my shots, even when I have practiced some. The cardinal looks good in spite of its cropped tail, and the juncos are really good.
Hi Harriet,

Thanks! As pretty much my first outing, I was both pleased and a little disappointed -- pleased that some of the shots were good enough to post, but disappointed that many of the shots I tried weren't as good as I'd hoped -- but that tends to be the nature of the hobby. I'll break out some of the big glass this week (hoping for temps in the 70's) and we'll see if that makes a difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by placematters View Post
Good stuff. I like the "you lookin' at me?" pose in the first one!
Hi placematters,

Thanks! I got a whole series of good images of that guy, but the pose and "attitude" was the main reason for me to choose that shot to post.

Scott
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