johnblackers
johnblackers

Posing robin



A British Robin sitting nicely

A British Robin sitting nicely
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Awards

Top Shot Award 21
People's Choice in Rockin Robin Bird Photo Challenge
Legendary Award
People's Choice in If it flies Photo Challenge
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Peer Award
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Outstanding Creativity
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9 Comments | Report
Neckbone
 
Neckbone August 02, 2017
Great shot!
johnblackers
johnblackers November 08, 2017
Thanks very much
outside Ultimate
 
outside August 21, 2018
fabulous job !!
johnblackers
 
johnblackers September 03, 2018
I am delighted to have been asked to write a Behind The Lens piece about this photo. Either click the BTL badge or scroll down for the back story
RichardAdams137
 
RichardAdams137 September 03, 2018
Stunning capture, lovely & sharp.
MegaryT
 
MegaryT September 06, 2018
Vawesomness
MegaryT
 
MegaryT September 06, 2018
Vawesomness
Cookies4U PRO+
 
Cookies4U November 16, 2018
beautiful!
JayneBug PRO+
 
JayneBug January 11, 2019
Great detail. Sharpe image with beautiful colors. Well done.
eelcovanroden PRO+
 
eelcovanroden January 11, 2019
Congratulations on your Challenge Win!

Behind The Lens

Location
This was taken in Royden Park on the Wirral Peninsula in North West England. The Wirral is a tremendous place for easy access to all manner of birds. We have the River Dee estuary to one side and the River Mersey to the other with a large variety of waders, waterfowl and the birds of prey they attract. There are also large areas (by UK standards) of protected woodland with their own species of birds. I was recently stood less than 300 metres from a car park and 3 metres from a fledgling tawny owl digging for worms. You can't do that in too many places.
Time
It was taken close to sunset with the robin sat in gloomy deep shade but with a shaft of low sunlight lighting the bird, and the dead tree branch nicely. No flash or tripod was used.
Lighting
The lighting was purely good fortune and chosen entirely by the bird. The background foliage was about 15 feet (4.5m) behind the bird which really makes the bird stand out against the darker backdrop. Once again, purely good fortune.
Equipment
I used a Nikon D5200 with a 70-300VR11 lens for this photo. I had bought the used lens not long before as an upgrade to the zoom of my 18-55 kit lens (a surprisingly good lens) and was really struggling to take a photo that wasn't blurry while still using the Auto setting. I had much to learn. A lot of reading and trial and error (mostly error) saw me turn the camera to manual and things started to improve slowly once I wasn't trying to hand hold a 300mm lens at 1/125th of a second as suggested by the auto mode.
Inspiration
I had gone out that evening determined I was going to take some photos rather than having gone for a walk taking the camera with me, needless to say I saw absolutely nothing. The light was fading and I was almost back at my car in a huff about wasting my time when I spotted the bird. I was able to get one shot before it flew off and I got lucky. If I had put the camera away earlier I wouldn't have got what turned out to be the photo that pleased me enough to motivate me to push through the reading and learning.
Editing
The photo was a jpeg out of the camera which needed a bit of brightening. I use RAW these days but my post processing skills are still very much beginner level. Having so many good examples to study on Viewbug helps greatly with inspiration and I find the various tutorials are informative without being overly technical or dry.
In my camera bag
My bag has my D5200 with 18-55 and 70-300 lenses, pen and paper and a bag of bird food. A couple of thick plastic rubble sacks are handy to keep in there either to sit on, or as emergency rain hoods for gear.
Feedback
Anyone wanting to get into bird photography needs to keep an eye on their shutter speed as feathers move in the slightest breeze and will blur your shot even if the bird is still. The robin photo was taken at 1/400th at iso200 but I could have gone to nearer 1/800th with an increased iso value with the power of hindsight. I should use a tripod more often too. Remember to switch any image stabilisation or vibration reduction your lens has off when using a tripod. As I mentioned earlier I had wrongly mentally written the trip off because nothing obvious had jumped out at me. You might go out time after time and see nothing special but if you are persistent, take your time, keep your eyes and ears open, your mouth closed and above all have your camera at the ready they will come. Oh, and don't forget the bird food (NEVER bread) ,that buys a lot of friends. Tread softly and calmly but say hello to your subject, you don't want to seem to be sneaking up on them.or they will be away in the blink of an eye. Good luck.

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