Dealing with the "wrong" light

As I was headed up to teach a workshop in The Great Smoky Mountains, I decided to make a few pit stops along the way.  One of those was over to Berry College in Rome, GA.  To shoot the eagles, you ask?  Nope, to shoot the bluebirds that have babies in a box right next to the eagle's nest area.

Now, ideally you would want to photograph this in the afternoon.  Because the sun comes up right behind this bluebird box.  Well, often times, like in my situation this particular morning, we do not have a choice of being at a certain location during the best light.  So, we have to deal with it.

How did I deal with it?  First, I knew I had to use my exposure compensation to over expose the bird by 1.5 stops.  I had to do this because of the strong back lighting.  If I had shot this bird at what my camera metered, there wouldn't have been much detail in the bird at all.  Next, I tried to position myself at an angle where the back lighting was less severe.  So, I was always paying attention to the sun and background through my viewfinder and moving my feet accordingly.  I did have a limitation because of a fence, so I tried to make lemonade out of lemons, as they say.

ISO 800, 360mm, F/5.6 @ 1/160th second

For this shot I used my Sony A77ii and Tamron 150-600mm Lens.  I was able to shoot at a bit of a slower shutter speed because of the fact that I had my camera and lens mounted to my Vanguard Alta Pro 283CT Tripod.