Archive for Backyard Bird Studio

Looking Back on 2017 part 6

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2017 by lilybug1960

Looking Back at 2017 part 6.
 
The day I knew the “Year of the Warbler” started was when I had this Yellow Warbler visit. It only came to the yard for a day or two, but none had ever visited prior to that to my knowledge. It was also that day that I realized all the planning and work Evelyn and I had put into developing the yard to be more bird friendly was really working. It seemed like after that day, the Warblers started showing up in droves. It has given me ideas that I will put into place to increase the visits even more. I hope to be able to “share” the yard with other photographers this year in the form of very small workshop shooting opportunities. I am looking forward to seeing how 2018 will turn out for the bird photography!
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 900, shutter speed of 1/500th of a second, Sirui P424S monopod and L10 head, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #BirdNirdvana
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“When I look at other people’s pictures…”

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 15, 2017 by lilybug1960

“When I look at other people’s pictures…”
 
As an instructor one of the comments I hear that could be the worst thing you could do for yourself is “when I look at other people’s pictures, mine aren’t as good”. I hate to hear that statement most of the time. When you are just starting out, or even after several years, you should not compare your work to others (yet), but instead compare it to your own work from months or a year ago. As photographers, we should want to improve our skills, but with realistic goals. Those goals should be something along the lines of wanting to get one really good image each month or each outing. Eventually you want to get more “keepers” each outing. Most of all you want to get comfortable preparing for an image so that your settings become second nature and almost automatic. You want to start paying closer attention to detail and do editing before you release the shutter vs on a computer in post processing.
 
Once you take that step and make the decision to become a professional, the largest step to take is to be completely honest about your work. That is when you compare your work to your competitor’s work. With any other job, you are competing for work and if your work isn’t up to par with their work, you have to improve your work. I remember sitting with Art Wolfe in Fort Meyers, FL in 1995 having a conversation about all the people that were getting into photography as a profession. Art said something to me that has stuck with me, he said, “I see too many people see people above them and they try to bring that person’s work down to their level vs climbing up the ladder to a higher step on the ladder”. Incredible advice! Don’t try to lower the level of someone else’s work, improve your own to be better. Set that as a goal.
 
Don’t set standards too high for yourself when you just start out, but set really high standards when you intend to make your living off of your photography. It is simply growth in your confidence and skills.
 
Downy Woodpecker in snow. Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 1600, shutter speed of 1/250th of a second, Sirui P424S monopod and L10 head, processed in Lightroom Classic CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional

These Holiday Treats!

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 13, 2017 by lilybug1960

These Holiday Treats!
 
This was an image I did this fall and when I was scrolling through images it caught my eye. This is how I think a lot of folks feel with all of the Holiday parties that happen this time of year! Unfortunately for us, we aren’t just fluffing our feathers to look big when another White-breasted Nuthatch approaches. These little birds are so amusing to watch and their games of dominance. Fluffed up he still isn’t the size of tennis ball, but no one messes with him. Try and stay unfluffed during the holiday! Happy Hanukkah to many of my friends!
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 720, shutter speed of 1/250th of a second, Sirui P424S monopod and L10 head, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional

A Tip for Photographing Birds for Publication

Posted in Bird Photography, Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Photography Workshops, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 6, 2017 by lilybug1960

A tip for photographing birds for publication.
 
I photograph a lot, and I mean a lot of birds. I offer my images for sale in publications. Most of the publications I deal with want to see details in the bird that will help to identify it. This requires photographing the bird in angles that aren’t that pretty portrait. It is hard to distinguish one bird from another when simply viewed from one angle. During my lectures I stress several points for those folks who are wanting to pursue photography as a source of income: leave room around the bird (it is possible for an editor to crop, but they can’t create what isn’t present in the image), make sure it is sharp, photograph the bird from different angles (even from underneath if possible to see the underside of the tail), and photograph the male, female, juveniles and seasonal plumage when you can. Explore online the avenues to sell your images. Look at field guide publishers to get information as to how to submit your images for consideration. Learn to live with rejection, many more images are rejected than accepted, so it is a law of averages, the more you submit, the better the chance of selling an image. Of all the tips probably the most important is to leave space. Clipping a part of a tail or wing is like going to get your family portrait done and the photographer crops you off at the knees for every image.
 
This is a Pine Siskin from 2 years ago in my original Backyard Bird Studio. Images made with the Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD lens on a Nikon D-800, Aperture Priority mode, f8, ISO 1600, shutter speeds of 1/250th (top) and 1/400th (bottom), Sirui N3204X tripod and PH20 Gimbal head, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronLensesUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional, #birdnirdvana

More of the Tennessee Warbler

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2017 by lilybug1960

More of the Tennessee Warbler
 
Prior to 2 days ago, I had never seen a Tennessee Warbler in the yard. After I saw the one 2 days ago, I had 3 on the same branch yesterday. I wasn’t quick enough to get a picture of them together as they stay very busy chasing each other as well as other birds. The migration is a busy time and I expect lots of birds in the yard over the next 30 days or so. Harvey is moving through our area right now so that may slow them down or re-route them for a couple days though.
 
Don’t forget if you live in the Atlanta area, on Tuesday September 5, I will be presenting “Bird Nirdvana” with lots of great information and images to the Roswell Photographic Society.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 800, shutter speed of 1/125th of a second, Vibration Compensation Mode 1 active, Sirui P424S carbon fiber monopod and L10 head, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional

Don’t cut those dead flowers!

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 28, 2017 by lilybug1960

Don’t cut down those dead flowers!
 
One of the reasons the birds have visited very frequently this year has been the more natural approach to the garden areas. We compost all our leaves and plants, then use them for fertilizer in the gardens. We let the flowers we have planted dry up and go to seed where they stand. With the sunflowers, I wait until the birds have picked the seeds from the head, then cut the heads and place them on the ground for chipmunks and ground birds. This also attracts insects to the stalks, which is attracting the Warblers. After they all migrate, I will cut the plants and let them compost in the garden, then in spring till the soil and plant flowers again. This tip and others are going to be in my upcoming presentations to the Roswell Photographic Society (Sept 5) and the Alpharetta Chapter of the Georgia Nature Photographers Association (Sept 20). I have definitely decided the title will now be “Bird Nirdvana” – making your life more enjoyable, one bird at a time…yep, I’m a nerd. Come see this and many more images of the Worm-eating Warbler and his allies at the presentation.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 400, shutter speed of 1/125th of a second, Vibration Compensation mode 1 active, Sirui P424S carbon fiber monopod and L10 head, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional

Waiting for Worms

Posted in Equipment I Use, Favorite Places, Random Thoughts, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 27, 2017 by lilybug1960

Waiting for worms.
 
I have been so busy posting images of the great Warblers here that I haven’t updated the Eastern Bluebirds in a while. The babies from brood 3 have been coming down to the feeder area for about 3 or 4 days now. I have not seen Mom in about 3 weeks, so I feel that she either was predated or simply passed from natural causes. This was her 4th year that I have observed her at the nestboxes, so it may have been time. Dad along with the newest babies and at least 8 of the previous babies make regular visits to the feeder area. Bluebirds will always be my favorite birds and I am glad I am able to provide an area for them to thrive. In return, I am very lucky to observe and photograph these great bird’s behavior and lives. They have taught me so very much and I will continue to learn from them.
 
Tamron SP 150-600mm Di VC USD G2 lens on a Nikon D-500, Manual Exposure mode, f8, ISO 4000, shutter speed of 1/100th of a second, Vibration Compensation active, Sirui P424S carbon fiber monopod and L10 head, processed in Lightroom CC. #WithMyTamron, #TamronUSA, #TamronImageMaster, #Sirui, #SiruiUSA, #SiruiProfessional