Rush Hour at the Feeders

Just as an experiment, I pointed the camera at one our feed areas in the garden and set it to take a photo every 5 seconds. I left the camera for about an hour. Then I selected 60 shots and merged them to create this single shot. The sun was a bit too strong and still high in the sky, so the photo is a bit washed out, but not bad for an experiment.

It just goes to show how busy the feeders are!

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Rush Hour at the Buffet - D810, AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8E @ 70mm, f/8, ISO400, Shutter speed varied from shot to shot - {Flickr Link}

Siskin photos from the Garden and a few others

I noticed the pair of Siskins on a Nyger Seed Feeder on Sunday morning, so I grabbed my D810 and 500mm F/4 and thought I’d try and get close enough not to scare them away. I was surprised at how close they were willing to let me get to them at around 10 metres. Even with the 500mm, I couldn’t get close enough for frame filling shots, but close enough to get some shots. Maybe I should of grabbed a Teleconverter too.

This first shot is the Male followed by the Female and then as both were on the feeder together, I took a shot so that you can see the difference between Male and Female.

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Male Siskin - D810, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 500mm, f/8, ISO1100, 1/500sec - {Flickr Link}
Female Siskin - D810, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 500mm, f/8, ISO1000, 1/500sec - {Flickr Link}
Pair of Siskins (Female left, Male right) - D810, AF-S 500mm f/4 @ 500mm, f/8, ISO560, 1/500sec - {Flickr Link}

Below are a few more shots that I took on Saturday afternoon in the late afternoon sunlight. The last photo of a Starling had me thinking and I learnt something new. I couldn’t help noticing how bright it’s yellow beak was and remember that the last time I took a photo of a Starling, it’s beak was black. Starling’s beaks (and even legs) change colour in spring (yellow) and autumn (black).

Goldfinch - D810, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 @ 300mm, f/9, ISO200, 1/400sec - {Flickr Link}
Dunnock - D810, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 @ 300mm, f/9, ISO160, 1/500sec - {Flickr Link}
Starling with it's 'Breeding Beak' - D810, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 @ 300mm, f/9, ISO200, 1/500sec - {Flickr Link}

Not the Siskin shot I was after, but it was still good to be close up.

The light was great this afternoon, so I put up my popup hide close to one of the feeding areas I have in the garden in the hope that the pair of Siskins would visit. I saw them this morning at another feeding area I have.

The male did turn up, but very briefly and he flew straight to the Nyger Seed Feeder rather than going via one of the many perches I have setup.

I don’t normally take photos of birds on a feeder, but couldn’t resit this one.

{Click image for a higher resolution, click Flickr Link in caption to view photo on Flickr}
Siskin on the Nyger Seed Feeder - D810, AF-S 300mm f/2.8 @ 300mm, f/8, ISO500, 1/500sec - {Flickr Link}

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Video Footage of a Goldfinch on the Nyger Feeder

There are a lot of Goldfinches visiting the garden at the moment, probably due to the 2 Nyger Feeders we have.

So today, I set up the Bushnell Natureview with the 60cm closeup lens attached and positioned it on a tripod 60cm from one of the Nyger Feeders. I was hoping for a Goldfinch on each perch, but of course, that happened on the other feeder! However, I still got some close up footage of a Goldfinch cracking open the Nyger seeds.

{Remember to watch in HD if possible}

RAW, JPEG and why Lightroom isn’t Cheating

(Left to Right) Camera RAW, Camera JPEG, Lightroom Post Edit
(Left to Right) Camera RAW, Camera JPEG, Lightroom Post Edit
Many non-photographers (and indeed some photographers) don’t understand photo editing and assume it’s cheating. The most widely used photo editing tool is Adobe’s Lightroom, not to be confused with Photoshop which is far more powerful and more of a manipulation tool. Do I use both? Yes I do, although Photoshop is not used that often.

{Click on any image to view a higher resolution}

So let’s start at the beginning and look at what a digital camera actually sees. It see’s light, nothing more than that, just light and different levels of light. Our eyes are the same, they see just light that we use our brain to convert into images. Our brains are far more intelligent than any camera can ever be in that we can process a very high dynamic range and effectively edit the image we see in real-time.

No matter how advanced our cameras are, they very rarely capture what we actually remember seeing with our own eyes and this is why we have the option to post edit using a tool such as Lightroom.

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