Overcast Days In The Bird Blind

Yesterday was a great day to be in the backyard bird blind.  It was a bright overcast much of the day, which meant I could shoot all day long in great light.  So, I did just that.  I would shoot an hour or so then go inside for a few hours, then go back out again.  I don't get a lot of days when the light is good all day, so I take advantage when I can.

Often times when I am out traveling and shooting, I hear people say things like "I don't shoot between the hours of 10 and 2.".  I think that is a ridiculous statement.  I shoot when the light is good, period.  I don't care what the clock says.  

I had a ton of different birds show up at the feeders yesterday, but I was really excited to see these goldfinches show up by the dozens and dozens.  It's the first time I've seen them at the feeders this year.  Everyone of them took their time to pose for the camera, too.

Aperture-priority, 1/320 sec, f/6.3, ISO 3200, Compensation: +1, 500 mm

These goldfinches showed up to eat sunflowers, but when I noticed so many of them I also put out some thistle seed for them.  They tore up the thistle seed, too!

Although it isn't quite time for these birds to be in their mating plumage, I still think they are gorgeous birds.  Even in their "drab" winter dress ;)

This image was taken about 7:45 am, so the light was still fairly dark at this point.  I normally like to shoot these birds at about F/8, but I had to open up to F/6.3 to get more light to the sensor.  I also had to bump my ISO to 3200 to get a shutter speed that would even come close to working out.

I made this image using my Nikon D500, Tamron 150-600mm G2 Lens, Sirui Trpod and Gimbal Head.


Male Goldfinch

I spent some time with the backyard birds again this weekend.  I'm always adjusting feeders, food, props, etc. to either attract new birds, or get birds in the best possible light.

I am super thankful I have a ton of Goldfinches at the feeders this year.  For whatever reason, I've not had them in the past.

ISO 1600, 420mm, F/6.3 @ 1/1600th

This is one of the male goldfinches.  I may literally have a dozen or more of them at my feeders and/or logs at any given time.  They are always pretty active, so chances are they will end up in a good light spot.  This was taken in early morning, golden light.

Image made with my Sony A77 II and Tamron 150-600mm Lens.  Combo supported by my Sirui tripod and PH-20 Gimbal Head.

Backyard Goldfinch

This past weekend I was able to get out in the backyard bird blind for a little photo time.

I am excited this year to have many birds I didn't have last year, and in good numbers, too.  One of the birds I have a lot of this winter are Goldfinches.  Goldfinches certainly aren't a rare bird or even rare to this area, but for whatever reason I didn't have any last year.  I am very excited to see them this year and I am hoping they stay around until spring when they get their breeding plumage.  They are much prettier then ;)

I was able to catch a one of the male goldfinches on a branch with a mouthful of flower.  Since this was taken on Valentine's Day, I can only assume he was delivering them to Mrs. Goldfinch.

ISO 3200, 460mm, F/6.3 @ 1/500th second

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

The light was really not great so I had to bump my ISO up a bit more than I like to get a high enough shutter speed to freeze any action.  Even though this bird is sitting on a branch and not flying, if he even moves his head a little at all and your shutter speed isn't fast enough it will be blurry.  From many experiences of missing shots because of a slow shutter speed, I'll tell you do not be afraid of higher ISOs.  The moral of the story here is it is better to have a sharp, noisy picture than a blurry one that is unusable.

This image was made with my Sony A77 II and Tamron 150-600mm Lens.  These were mounted on my Sirui Tripod and Ph-20 gimbal head.  This combination is great for bird photography of any kind.