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All photographs by David Lilly
We bird Photographers never know what we will see when we venture out for bird photography.
Today, I observed two Ravens cleaning each other or a courtship ritual.
The Common Goldeneye, Hairy Woodpeckers and the Common Merganser are always easy to photograph in the Bow River.
Nikon D 500 with a 200 - 500mm lens.
Before the Digital age it was very difficult to photograph a bird through glass.
However, with the Dehaze Adjustment in Lightroom the soft white haze can easily be removed. The amount of Dehazeing effect is entirely in the photographer's control - simply by sliding the slider and watching the effect on the monitor.
The two photos at the bottom is an example. The left photograph of a Black-billed Magpie was photographed through a window with no Dehaze Adjustments. The right photograph has the Dehaze adjustment applied. In this case I adjusted the slider to 47. The differrence is very noticeable. To the right were my adjustments for this photograph.
The Dehaze Adjustment can also be used when photographing birds on water. You can use the Dehaze Adjustment instead of the contrast adjustment. My advice is to start using the adjustment if you already haven't used it.It can make a difference in your bird photography.
Nikon D 7200 with a 500mm F4 Nikon Lens.
The cold weather is still clinging on here on the Prairies. News forecasts say this is the longest stretch of cold weather for more than 20 years. Not good for outside Bird Photography.
However, From inside a warn house the weather is much warmer. I have a bird feeder in my back yard and use my warm house as a blind. It does not matter the -25c temperatures the Black-billed Magpies, Northern Flickers, Downy Woodpeckers and House Sparrows seem to be able to survive and come everyday while I stay warm. The Magpies scourge for the bird seed on the ground, the Downy Woodpeckers and Northern Flickers manage to hold on and help themselves to the shelled sunflower seeds in the bird feeder, the Sparrows finally get their share after the Magpies and Flickers have moved on. Another note for bird seed I use shelled Sun Flower Seeds. This allows the birds to eat while using less energy. Plus is it is cleaner in the yard. A suet Feeder is a great attraction for the Woodpeckers. I go to the grocery store and get scraps of meat and fat to put in the suet feeder.
For the photographs I shoot through the window I post process as mentioned in the article below I use the Dehaze Adjustment in Lightroom. It Works very well with good results. Plus it allows me to experiment with different settings and compositions. You should try to photograph straight through the window, not at an angle. In other words the perch should be straight in front of you. If you can open the window slightly then you would not have to worry about the glass, but this may increase your heating bill. Get close to the window to try and cut down on the reflections.
If you are feeding birds and want to photograph the birds a good plan for a set up to get the best results is necessary. Place the bird feeder in a location where there are no branches. Put it within a distance for your longest lens. My shooting distance is 5 to 6 meters, perfect for the 500mm F4 lens. A stick for the birds to perch on is the best plan. I have a small stick attached to a piece of rebar driven into the ground where the birds perch. Pretty much you the photographer can control all aspects of your bird photography and learn the art of Bird Photography. Just a note clean the windows inside and out for best results.
The only problem I have is the light is not good after noon time, the sun goes behind the garage. Some days the overcast light is flat.
I have no problem with the temperatures, but I will not subject my Camera equipment to the extreme cold. The good news you can get some great bird photos from the comfort of your warm home with a little planning.
To see my setup from my window < Click Here >
Photographed with Nikon D 7200 with a 500mm F4 Nikon lens.