Friday, January 18, 2013

Good Lighting Is Important

Two weekends ago I ventured out on my own to with camera in tow to a new spot just a few miles from the house.  I heard this place was full of water/marine birds and this particular location even made the cut into the Audubon Society book!  This had to be a great place, right?
Upon arrive, I quickly realized that birds were sparse and, those that were there, were very similar to the birds that frequented my bird feeder on a daily basis.  I was bummed.  Not defeated yet, I put together my large contraption I call my camera, threw it over my shoulder, and headed for the trees.  I fired off a few shots and then took a look at my work.  Terrible!!  Dark sky + dark bird = not a great picture.

So I amped up the flash a little, shot a few more pictures, and then examined my work again.

Ugh!!  My patience was wearing and it was starting to rain, so I set up shop a little closer to the trees and let them come to me.  I managed these two shots of the Red-Vented Bulbul:

Several shots were taken after these two, but even with the flash a full power I could not get a good picture.  

So what did I learn?  First, I have to be willing to go out and not get a single good picture.  I cannot control the light or the weather so sometimes I am not going to get the perfect shot.  Second, make what light you have, work for you.  If I remember correctly, the sun was at my back for the better shots I was able to get.  This gives ambient light to the subject (bird) and then hopefully the flash can do the rest.  The other pictures, I was either shooting with the sun at my side or directly into the cloud covered sun. Not really the best idea!!  It is so easy to just pull the camera out a start taking pictures, that I sometimes forget small things and forget to look around and examine my environment.  Third, I have to get better using my flash.  In my defense, this was the first time I had my flash with me outside the house.  Although I felt pretty good with defending my settings on the flash, I was unable to take full advantage of the flash because I could not find the balance between ambient and flash lighting.  

All is not lost though.  I went out the following day to a new spot and got some really great shots that I will be sharing with you soon.  

As always, thanks for following!

1 comment:

  1. The first of the two shots after you moved closer is absolutely stunning...