Just like I got a little obsessed with macros and lightbox shots in the winter, I've been in the backyard shooting birds whenever I can manage it this spring. I really enjoy it, and the challenge of getting your shots in quickly is entertaining. Hopefully no one minds another day of bird shots!
I haven't seen many new birds, but we are hoping to get Orioles and Hummingbirds soon. I did get one shot I've been hoping for, however.
First, it was a pretty windy day, and feathers were ruffling on the fence:
I had better shots of this Grackle, but the lighting is always tricky and they are mostly black in the feather detail. These shots are always going to be backlit, so I might have to investigate using my flash to fill a little for more detail. Something like the Better Beamer might be useful.
I had two new visitors I managed pictures of today. The first is a female Red-Winged Blackbird:
Not nearly as striking as the male, but the patterns are lovely. We also had a Chipping Sparrow this afternoon:
I would have no idea what this guy was, but I picked up a Sibley guide for backyard songbirds as I spend more time watching the birds, and it's been very helpful. I'm really enjoying this new aspect of my hobby.
Finally, the shot I was hoping for. A wings-extended, in-focus, flight shot:
Another Grackle, so not much interesting in the colour, but I was happy to get a crisp flight shot. I opened the aperture to give myself more DOF while increasing the ISO a bit to compensate, set my focus on the fence where the Grackle was sitting, and then panned over while maintaining the focus. Then it was just patience and a quick shutter finger when it took off to go to the feeder. It worked! next I have to try this trick with a smaller, faster bird and hope for similar results.