Monday, May 7, 2012

High Key Bird Shots, a sure cure for Warbler Neck

©2012 Steve BorichevskyYou know, I used to cringe on overcast days, especially in May when the migration is on. It’s bad enough that here on the east coast we have closed canopy hardwood forests to deal with. When the warblers come through, the leaves are just filling out and it gets frustrating. Often you can hear ‘em, but you can’t see ‘em.

More often than not, you point your camera to the canopy and this is what you get, fodder for the trash can. Can you see the Blackburnian Warbler in there? So what are you going to do?

Here is a tip. Set the metering on center weighted and increase the exposure by 2.0EV. This sets the exposure for the mid tones and will get you pretty close. Now you can have enough information to see some field marks.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Oh, it’s a Black-throated Green Warbler!

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Cool, a Blue-headed Warbler!

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

See, with this technique, you can get enough color detail to see the yellow wash on the side of the bird, just above the out of focus beech leaf and the under tail coverts.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

Oh look! another Nashville Warbler!

©2012 Steve Borichevsky©2012 Steve Borichevsky

And here is the Blackburnian Warbler shot at +2EV. Cropped down, I can see the field marks I need for the ID.

©2012 Steve Borichevsky©2012 Steve Borichevsky

And you may get lucky and get a pleasing high key Black-throated Green shot!

©2012 Steve Borichevsky

So, when you run into that rare bird and the lighting is bad, you can use this tip to shoot first and ask questions later. 

1 comment:

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Nice to know. I made a note of that, thanks.

Related Posts with Thumbnails