LaFoto and the birds - a LONG saga in words and pictures (Part 1)

Discussion in 'Landscape & Cityscape' started by LaFoto, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As we all know, this photography forum may proudly report to be friendly host to some of the best (friendliest, too) bird photographers around - there are quie a few very dedicated, knowledgeable photographers around who also have the knack and equipment to take the best of bird photos!!!!

    And then there is me. LaFoto - who would LOVE to take bird photos of the kind but who simply can't. All the birds I see and want to photograph are either very, very far away from me, or they fly away whenever I try to get closer to them.

    So some evenings, when I am out on rollerblades, rolling into the setting sun, I can HEAR them singing their serenades loud and clear, but most of the time can look until my eyes pop: I don't SEE them. And when I see them, they are high up in a tree or bush. Then I am happy about my 70-300mm lens and pull it out to capacity, only to later find that the bird I had hoped to fill my frame with is nothing but a dot in a big and wide picture. Ugh.

    When I am lucky, my picture is sharp enough to allow for a bit of a crop later, so the outcome can be like this:

    1.
    [​IMG]

    2.
    [​IMG]

    But don't mention "Fill the frame" to me! :roll: (And my poor eyesight made me focus on the twig in front of the little serenade singer when he decided to sing again, instead of on the singer himself. Grrr :irked: )

    But I will always try, so that night I tried a little further:

    3.
    [​IMG]

    4.
    [​IMG]

    I might as well decide to go out early in the morning, and the air is filled with bird song and there must be hundreds around me, but do I see them? I look and look and look, and hear the one sing right above my head, but it stays hidden. How do our experts DO it??? How do they SPOT them in the first place?

    I leave the stretch of wood and see some movement. Ah. A little bird!
    Only a huge crop out of the original, though, helps you see it too:

    5.
    [​IMG]

    Had there been foliage ... I would never have seen even a glimpse of a bird ... :roll:

    OK, I walk on, my eyes lifted skyward, hoping to spot some more movement, more birds. Maybe? Just to please me!?!?!?

    Here we go:

    6.
    [​IMG]
    Tiny birdie high up in the tree ... and my el-cheapo-zoom-lens shows its deficiencies all right (and my ability to take good long zoom photos shows many flaws, as well)...

    Ah, someone on the ground having breakfast ... and I had the feeling this one would let me tiptoe close, but only a huge crop out of the original frame really shows him:

    7.
    [​IMG]

    Ha! But then! A morning singer all out in the open!
    I think this one's nice, after all:

    8.
    [​IMG]

    Continue to Part 2 then...
     
  2. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    trust me, even with a BIG lens you still have to be in a hide to fill the frame with little birds

    anyway, there is nothing wrong with those shots
     
  3. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Andy.
    I am only showing the show-able ones, anyway ... and this little one (smaller in size than the others because I cropped it to that tiny size) is, in fact, only twigs. No more than twigs ... and a dot. That was the bird.

    Now I would need to learn their NAMES!
     
  4. hamburger

    hamburger TPF Noob!

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    So you got around to posting these at last!

    I fully sympathize with your frustrations - I know just what you mean... You either have to have the mega-lens or mega-time and the mega-place to hide in to get any REALLY good shots (wait for it - I tried to get a woodpecker today chipping away at my parents' apple tree in the front yard...).

    Anyway - I liked the chaffinch on the ground (No. 7) - pity about the dried foliage that makes it almost invisible. But hey - it was there so what could you do about it? And I like No. 8 (another chaffinch?) in its simplicity. Another mega-crop, I assume?

    No. 5 obviously was a tough one to take - looks like a wren and they're about the tiniest birds around in these parts... ;-)

    Oh, and as you're keen to learn the names: I think No. 1-3 is a greenfinch and No. 4 is the great tit (honestly!!!!). I don't have a clue about No. 6, though...
     
  5. LaFoto

    LaFoto Just Corinna in real life Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Yes, I finally got round to posting the entire saga ... and just for you I will show photos or original versions (none of the following have gone through anything but being resized) which I would otherwise never show, for now the whole world :)oops: ) will see my technical or compositional flaws that I usually try to eliminate before I ever show anyone a photo, but it is so you (and I) can see that the bird in 6 is, in fact, a bullfinch:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    (two bad ones, but you can ID the bird better),

    ... and this one to show you that the crop on the little morning singer was not THAT huge, after all. I felt I should better get rid of that tree, though:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. hamburger

    hamburger TPF Noob!

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    Definitely not a bullfinch (Dompfaff/Gimpel) but a robin (Rotkehlchen!)... Yeah, you're right - apart from identification purposes they're un-showable... ;-)

    Okay, the crop was definitely the thing to do to that last shot (the chaffinch (Buchfink))...
     
  7. abraxas

    abraxas No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nice shots. ... now on to part 2.
     
  8. Alex_B

    Alex_B No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    to me number 3 is the clearest!

    most of them suffer from extreme cropping ... and mostly the perspective is from below.

    but ...

    ... this is totally normal unless you hide and wait and got a damn long lens .. or lots of luck.

    I totally understand your frustration since I tried the same thing on Sunday morning ... and all those birds made a hell of a noise, but were always trying to hide from me or just sitting in the wrong spots light-wise ;)
     

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