Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Wilson's Warbler (POTD May 17)

Yesterday afternoon was extremely pleasant for bird photography, as it was this last Saturday. It was a mostly cloudy day, without bright direct sunlight and a slight breeze to keep the air fresh and cool. This last week there were 74 species of birds spotted at the George C Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary, and I must have seen at least 30 of those yesterday. My target of choice yesterday were Warblers, which pass through the area during spring.

Wilson's Warbler

These little Wilson's Warblers can be tough to track because they don't stay still for more than 5-10 seconds at time. Not to mention the space they like to keep between themselves and humans means that it is tough to get good shots of them with a short lens like the a 300mm F4 on a full frame camera. Even with a 1.4tc mounted I had to do some heavy cropping to get this final image. This wouldn't be big tough to make anything larger than a 8x10 print due to how much cropping I had to do. Thankfully birding is just a hobby for me, otherwise I'd be struggling to get high resolution shots for clients or photo services.

Each time I go out for shots like this I'm glad that I have a full frame DSLR, because shots like this at ISO1600 were not this clean noise wise when I was shooting with the Nikon D300. The retention of colour and detail, even heavily cropped, is also far superior to my eyes.