The Bird House of the National Zoo

Yesterday was a double header for my “Bird of Day” Project 366. Although at night, I think everyone was bored and the internet was dinosaur slow. So although I’m posting a morning later, a day late is better than nothing.

In two months I’m heading to a very exotic and trip of a lifetime to Africa. To that end, I wanted to finally get myself comfortable with working with flash with birds. Finally, out came the flash unit and Better Beamer flash extender and off to the bird house at the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C.

I knew that when photographing in less light, I needed less flash. In more light, you need more light. Although I installed the flash unit onto the camera shoe, I knew this wasn’t ideal as the flash could create steely eyes in the birds. Angling the flash upwards from the subject, and dialing down the flash to a -3 flash compensation, I was able to illuminate the bird without washing it out.

All in all a good day and I really liked the results. Now off to a new day, rainy as it may be.

13 replies »

  1. Stunning and thanks for the flash tips! I went to the zoo and practiced on the animals before my trip to Africa and I think it really paid off. Can’t wait to follow your trip!

  2. Love your photos and the tip on flash usage. May I say this? Your colorful large logo looked like part of the picture and I thought it was an advertisement. Its placement in the upper right makes it more noticeable and distracting. Much is said for and against use of logos and watermarks. I use one too and I hope it is not too distracting. Some pros hold that use of logos annoys and distracts viewers and that if someone is going to steal the image they will anyway.

    • Hi Sherry, I appreciate your comment and feedback. I’ve had so many images taken and the side logo that is less obtrusive photoshopped or cropped out. I’m now resizing my images and creating a ‘brand’ with my logo. Those that see the logo will know it’s my work immediately.

      The logos are placed when I post on WordPress and Facebook. They are removed for the uploads to Flickr and Smugmug.

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