When I arrived home yesterday afternoon the light was great, so I grabbed my camera and headed to the bird blind.

I usually have cardinals at the feeders on a regular basis, but I never manage to get  "good" shots of them.  They seldom stay in the same place very long.  I also perfer not to photograph them on the ground or at the feeders, due to the fact that I like a more natural setting.  So, waiting on them to get on a log and stay for more than 3 milliseconds takes a little patience.

ISO 4000, 400mm, F/6.3 @ 1/640th second

Hover over the image to see camera settings used.  Click image to view it larger.

When I said the light was great earlier, it was.  It was perfect, soft, even, overcast light.  As it got later in the evening, I had to bump the ISO up to get a fast enough shutter speed to freeze any kind of movement, though.  I mentioned earlier that these guys never stay in the same place much, right?  So I bumped the ISO to 4000 to get a shutter speed of 1/640th.

This image was made with my Sony A77 II and Tamron 150-600mm Lens.  This setup was mounted to my Sirui tripod and PH-20 Gimbal Head.

I'm back...

I've finally recovered from the great IRS hard drive crash of 2014!

Seriously, my laptop hard drive died and I was on the road for a while, so it took me a bit to get everything going again.

Tonight I wanted to share an image I made a few weeks ago in my "outdoor bird studio".  I've setup an area in my backyard to photograph birds.  It's a rudimentary setup with a few feeders, some branches for the birds to perch on and me in one of those pop-up style hunting blinds.  It has worked out great so far!  I set my blind up just outside the minimum focusing distance of my Tamron SP 150-600mm Lens paying close attention to my background.  There is enough room in the blind for me, my Vanguard Tripod and a chair.  

I call this my "outside bird studio" because a few friends of mine have a similar setup, but they can photograph from the comfort of the inside of their house.  My blind does not have AC...unless you unzip a few flaps and, even then, it's not very good.

Here's an image I made of one the cardinals that frequents the bird studio.  I shot this at 600mm, ISO 400, F/7.1 and 1/640th of a second.  The advantage of setting this up is I can position the "perch" branches in the best possible light for the time of day I am shooting.  This one happened to be morning light.  The birds seem to like moving around a lot more then, too.