Monday, June 24, 2013

Lighting, Location and a Bit of Luck

Bird photography is all about lighting (of course) and also timing. Timing of the day, timing of getting the image captures - many image captures, and being in the right spot at the right time. And we all know, those little cuties do not pose intentionally.

One of the most exciting places to birdwatch and capture images of birds is at the Magee Marsh Wildlife area in May. Their trails are fantastic - accessible, walkable, beautiful with up close photo opportunities of spring migrating neotropical birds. A quick hop east of Toledo, OH and you're there. The site of  Friends of Magee Marsh is loaded with information about what you'll see - hint: WARBLERS!! Get trigger happy - because they move fast!

I had the pleasure to go twice during the 10-day celebration. For insights of the week and some images check out The Biggest Week in American Birding on facebook.

From a photography perspective - there is a lot of shade so you really have to manage your camera settings. Jumping back and forth between Aperture and Manual Modes depending on the lighting was constant. Big apertures, high shutter speed and pushing the ISO was required in shady conditions.  For everyone one that I liked, there were at least 20 that needed to be deleted.

This particular image is the Prothonotary Warbler - he was quite stunning with his bright yellow feathers and big dark eyes. Hope you enjoy!

Note: Special thanks to Kenn Kaufman for his tireless efforts in bird education - from kids to government, his impact is significant. Kaufman Field Guides