Few of the species shared in the last blog post will be also shared is this one, some from the same photo shoot. It was still February when I took the following photos and I still have a bunch from that month.
I am going to start with a picture of one of the Eurasian kestrel (Falco tinnunculus) couple that I was talking about before and that I got to photograph quite often in spring. In fact, I’ve returned sometimes especially to see if I can catch some mating behavior. I wasn’t lucky with that but I have a lot of pictures with the kestrels hovering. In order to totally freeze the motion, I had to use high shutter speed, in this instance 1/4000 sec. I had plenty of light so the ISo was raised only to 400 despite the high shutter speed.
This one of the two Greylag goose (Anser anser) is one of my personal favorites. I can see it printed big and framed; the only problem with this picture is the bloody gull that rests in the center of the frame. It keeps getting my attention even though he is further from the subjects and blurred. I could get him out in Photoshop and maybe I will decide to do that but generally, I like avoiding using Photoshop. Some say Photoshop should be never used for true wildlife photography because we should represent the environment as it is, as we see it, but we use long lens and we separate the frame that we like and we also move in different directions to choose the framing that we like in the field, so it’s not actually what we see with our own eyes. That gull could have easily rested behind one goose and then the picture would be perfect… For this picture, I’ve used an unnecessary high shutter speed of 1/2000 sec., F6.3 and ISO800.
The third species that makes a reappearance and one that is often seen in my pictures is the Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus). In this picture, I love how the light illuminates just one tiny portion of the length of his body leaving the rest in shade. As I find in the vast majority of my pictures I also found in this one something that bothers me and that is the branch that sticks in the background. I noticed that Blue tits pictures have great success on social media and looking at them you can understand why, also because they are relatable, most people have seen them in the wild or at the feeders. For this photo, I have used 1/2000 sec. shutter speed, F/6.3, and the auto ISO was at 280.
In this photo is another common bird, an extra loud one, the Eurasian Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes). They are not so easy to photograph because they are small, quick and quite shy, and I am not referring to photographing at feeders. Once in a while, I find one that doesn’t notice me and I manage to get some closer shots before he flies away. This picture is just a slight crop for a better composition and this translates into many details. Because they are fast moving I have used a high shutter speed of 1/2000 sec. which in those conditions raised my auto ISO to 3200. If I were in that situation again I would lower the shutter speed to 1/500 sec. or even lower and shoot as many frames as the camera can in hopes for a sharp shot. Even with that high ISO because the subject was so close, well lit, and by fixing the noise only for the background the picture maintained many of the details.
Compared to the last picture this one of a Mute swan (Cygnus olor) has little details because the subject was much further and the light a bit too bright on those white feathers. I still choose to share it because I consider being nice how the sunset light hits the subject and illuminates it and also the swans are even more majestic when flying. To freeze the motion I used 1/1600 sec. shutter speed, F/6.3, and the auto ISO was 1100.
I got the chance to photograph a lot of Tufted ducks (Aythya fuligula) in this period and I’ve got better and better photos with them. They are common in Denmark and almost always present on the lakes where I go to photograph. Because they feed by diving they do not need to be close to the shore but with patience and some luck one can get some cool close-ups. This picture is one of the first for this year and I choose to share it because of the framing. I took this shoot through the reeds in a moment when the duck was not covered by the reed but in a clear spot. It is a hard subject to photograph because it is black and white so you can easily blow up the highlights or lose details in the blacks. I am still not sure what are the best settings for photographing this bird and I think they greatly vary depending on the light but for this particular photo, I have used 1/2000 sec. shutter speed, F/6.3 and ISO 900.
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For all species found on my spotting adventures, take a look at INaturalist.
The gear that I’ve used for spotting and book used for identification, here.