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Black-capped Chickadees



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21 Comments | Report
Thimbee
 
Thimbee February 22, 2014
Nice capture. Congrats
Fryguy Premium
 
Fryguy February 22, 2014
Fantastic shot
Unlimited
 
Unlimited February 22, 2014
Beautiful! I love these little birds!
Sandro_Ortolani
 
Sandro_Ortolani February 22, 2014
Beautiful capture ;)
lito
 
lito February 23, 2014
Great shot!
kasper PRO
 
kasper February 23, 2014
wow, congratulation.
lindywalker
 
lindywalker February 23, 2014
wow, awesome capture!! Congrats on the award, well deserved!
klukowski Premium
 
klukowski February 23, 2014
Great Capture! Those guys are hard to shoot in flight!
stefanbabel PRO+
 
stefanbabel February 23, 2014
Nicely frozen - fine catch!
kayefielding
 
kayefielding February 23, 2014
good shot....
DanK Premium
 
DanK February 23, 2014
I so dig this. Brilliant!
reneezernitsky
 
reneezernitsky February 24, 2014
wonderful capture great clarity - these guys are tough to get Congrats on your award
rmr731 PRO+
 
rmr731 February 26, 2014
Awesome capture! Congrats!
tmlakshmi PRO+
 
tmlakshmi March 01, 2014
congrats. wonderful
birdlover54
 
birdlover54 April 27, 2014
amazing shot! congrats!
THOMMAS
 
THOMMAS November 18, 2014
superb artistic photo,great work,kool
gottfrieddildei
 
gottfrieddildei November 18, 2014
cool Pat love it !
ronlogan
 
ronlogan November 21, 2014
This is more than a pretty picture. Pat has taken us to a real, place that we never see. If you watch your feeder, this scene plays out constantly... but we aren't able to see it. Pat has given us a new sense.
CarolSadler PRO
 
CarolSadler January 21, 2015
Terrific capture!
Brenda8514
 
Brenda8514 January 31, 2015
Wow! Stunning!!!
ajwadly
 
ajwadly February 10, 2015
Super catch!!

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Behind The Lens

Location
My flying bird photos were taken in the yard in front of my house in November when the weather in New England was getting cold and the birds were looking for food. I took down our regular bird feeder and replaced it with a small camouflaged feeder on a tripod. I set up my camera and lens facing the bird feeder. This was my target where the birds could land and where I could focus on the birds.
Time
The sun was low in the sky and it was cold. The angle of sunlight was best in the morning between 10:00 A.M.-12:00 A.M. This was the warmest part of the day when the birds were most active.
Lighting
I used available light. The action was stopped using a fast shutter speed with help from a high ISO. I had to have the sunlight at my back which forced me to face my house. The background in the photo is natural stained wood siding. I would have preferred a natural background of trees or yard, but the trees in November were bare making the background too dark and the branches too distracting. Facing the house was my only option.
Equipment
I used a Canon 7D DSLR with a Canon EF 200mm f/2.8L USM lens, on a Gitzo tripod. I used a Vello Wireless remote shutter. The camera was in the manual focus setting, where focus was set on the feeder and the area around it. I wanted the line of flight from a nearby azalea bush to the feeder to be in focus as the birds flew towards the feeder. Exposure for this photo was 1/2000 sec f/5.6 at ISO 800. The camera was set at the burst setting.
Inspiration
After looking at photographs of flying birds taken with a camera on a tripod and a bird flying, or landing on, a target feeder on another tripod, I decided to create a similar set-up to get captures of flying birds in my own yard. I wanted to see if I could stop the motion and catch a bird in flight.
Editing
I used Lightroom 5 Develop Module for processing the photo. I used the crop tool, plus basic, detail and effects sliders to make adjustments to the photo.
In my camera bag
I own a Canon 7D (when I feel like carrying a good quality telephoto lens), Canon SX50 (for just about everything since I now prefer carrying a small light weight camera), Ricoh GX100 (my favorite for macro work since it has a built in flash with a reduced setting for subjects that are close to the camera), Canon EOS M2 (to use with my EOS Remote app), and a Ricoh G600 (for underwater and fantastic snapshots). I have Canon lenses EF-S 17-55mm f2.8, EF-S 60mm f/2.8 macro, EF 200mm f/2.8L, EF 300mm f/4L IS, 400mm f/5.6L (my easiest to handhold telephoto lens) and a 500mm f/4L IS (older model). I own two Gitzo tripods, Wimberley Gimbal head, Wimberley Sidekick, and a RRS Ball Head. I have a CamRanger app that I use with my Canon 7D.
Feedback
My advice is to keep trying, keep pressing the shutter until you get the photos you want. Sometimes a photographic project will not be as easy as you think, but you can be surprised by excellent results. For my project I set up a small bird feeder in front of my house. I attached a small glass dish to a tripod and covered the sides of the dish with dried flowers and covered the tripod with camouflage cloth. The birds landed on nearby perches before flying towards the dish on my tripod. I pre-focused on an area near the feeder and had the camera set on burst speed. When I saw a bird leave a tall nearby azalea bush, or nearby trees, I pressed my remote shutter and held it down until I saw the bird leave the feeder. I took thousands of photos on three different days. Most frames were empty and had no bird. Each day I would delete hundreds of empty frames. The fast flying birds would often enter and leave the camera's field of view before I could press the shutter, but sometimes I did press the shutter fast enough. Because many birds were leaving the azalea bush, or flying from the nearby woods, at the same time, many birds interacted in the air above the feeder, or on the feeder. Interesting behavior was captured in the sequence of images. In the images I could see a bird's acrobatic behavior during flight. Behavior I could not see with my naked eye. I needed a camera to stop the action. I was surprised by how many birds flew upside down, or pushed off upside down from the feeder when another bird was landing. My flying bird project took effort and patience, but it was worth it. By continuously shooting for hours, during the best sunlight conditions, I obtained exciting photos of bird behavior and flying athleticism..... a choreography of motion.

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