Last night’s webinair was a lot of fun, and all it did was motivate me even more to get out there and keep photographing birds. This afternoon, I stalked my front yard for a bit. Although the hummingbird and gold finch were more concerned about what I was up to and sat high up in the trees watching me.
I waited and waited and they stayed high and out of reach. Even Sunshine joined in for the wait.
In reading another blog post from a professional wildlife and bird photographer, he talked about one starting to understand the behavior of the subject. I knew that if I waited long enough, the goldfinch would drop down onto the Echinacea (purple coneflower) and enjoy the seeds that are becoming perfect for dining.
Having the camera set up in the spot I wanted to capture them from, I knew it was time to walk away. it was time to let the birds return to their dining without them worrying about me standing right near their flowers.
So walk away I did. Nearly immediately the birds dropped down and began eating.
And then the picture perfect moment happened. It’s as if the goldfinch knew exactly what I was hoping for.
These are the photography moments that I live for. A true ‘gallery shot.’
For those photographers out there, here are some of my secrets.
I shoot exclusively in RAW format. The quality of the images are superior from jpeg files, there is no comparison.
I use Lightroom version 5.0 for the majority of my photo editing. My process includes:
- Significant cropping of bird images
- Noise reduction
- Autotone is tried. About half the time, the auto feature does some crazy stuff. So I remove the Autotone selection and then
- Add Medium Contrast
- A light vignette is added
- The new radial filter is sometimes used to bring out the bird
- Vibrance is added
- Color adjustments are sometimes added under the HSL option. Both Luminance and Saturation
Truly, practice can make perfect. Keep shooting, and know sometimes it’s a good idea to walk away.