With autumn coming on, the birds are gearing up for colder weather. Thanks to Michael for providing them nourishment with his ingenuitive, homemade birdfeeder, it has been easier for me to get some good pictures of them. On Wednesday morning last week, I slowly approached the feeder, quietly set up the camera on a tripod, and clicked away for the next hour or so, thoroughly enjoying the crisp autumn air and cheerful company of many local birds.
I deliberately positioned myself so that this Tufted Titmouse would be silhouetted against a blurred, colorful background of fall foliage. The contrast between light and dark was less than 3 stops so I was able to experiment with the creative lighting without completely silhouetting the main subject.
My first position worked for awhile, but I soon became discontent with the lack of contrast in the shaded subjects. The sun, still slowly rising over the hill behind me, shed some light on the situation. Now the foreground was flooded in light creating beautiful contrast and unique detail. Contrast is the key to detail.
I was quickly filling up my CF card on Tufted Titmice so I decided I had better get some shots of the Black-capped Chickadees. They preferred the upper branches of the tree but occasionally, and thankfully, they landed in the area on which I had focused. Following an animal through the viewfinder is frustrating. Discern frequented spots and wait for it to arrive; then your chances for success will be much higher.
The White-breasted Nuthatch was another visitor, only extremely elusive. I observed that it arrived about every 5 minutes, scurried down the trunk of the tree, quickly jumped to the feeder, picked out a seed, and immediately flew away. The sun had risen enough now to shine on the trunk so I repositioned my camera, a little closer this time, and patiently waited. The perfect picture was never captured the first few tries, but the last time it came, with only 4 more pictures left, I finally captured what I was looking for.
Though I deleted about 75% of the pictures I took, walking away with a select few wildlife photos is a huge success for such a quick photo venture. The more I practice with common backyard birds, the more experience I will have when circumstances are not quite so easy.
“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them…” Mat. 6:26