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MARINERMAGNUM

Black Winged Redbird

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About a half mile from home and I saw the female so I went and got the camera and sure enough the male was around too. I had to de-saturate him some because they are so contrasty. Only got 4 shots,this was the best one.

Pictures really don't do these birds justice.

2536780801_092d749ce2_o.jpg

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Great job, MM. Desaturating a bright red bird also brings out more detail in the feathers. Oversaturating red feathers has the opposite effect.

This is a sweet shot!

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Mucho Gracias

The female was quite a sharp bird also. I thought the females were green but she looked really golden.

I drove by the area a little while ago,but they are staying in the shadows of the branches. I'm hoping they roost for the night and I can return in the morning for some better light.

How do you meter such a bird? Camera should have a Tanager mode or something!

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MM, if the bird is against a mid-range background like this one, just let evaluative metering do the job. It'll render the BG and the bird alike (the bird minus the wings is basically mid-range to a bit darker) just fine.

If you can take a couple test shots and check the histogram you can fine tune using EC, but often there's no time for that in these non setup situations, and then if the bird is a bit contrary and decides on a different perch with different lighting and background, your EC could just put you smack into trouble.

Ideally, if and I mean if, the light is consistent, you can take a test shot and check the histogram and adopt manual exposure settings that expose the bird perfectly regardless of background, but again time and circumstances don't always allow that.

Those darn birds move so FAST! gringrin

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Here is my take. It's not so much the bird in metering in this case. Fairly even overall tones. I show the shot about 1/3 to 2/3 underexposed which is understandable with the background. You have no whites to preserve here so shooting into a darker background I would use some +EC if shooting in Av.

Most of the time I am in manual for these types of shots so the meter can't make a decision based on backgrounds, that normally results in a fairly consistent exposure. Of course if the bird moves into more light you have to change on the fly so its not the easiest to keep up with or necessarily the best option if you are not comfortable with changing settings fast. So try Av with some EC.

You are well within the exposure range to adjust in post as well so a little editing and you have a sure winner. One of those quick shots I completely understand but a flash here in the shade would have given you some great feather detail as well as controlling your reds better and given you a catch light in the eye. I usually have the flash along when shooting outdoors and it is always set to HSS and usually -1 FEC. All I have to do is turn it on and fire a shot. It will normally be very close to what you are after.

Honestly you did great with the shot as is, looking after the fact you can break down the shot and almost always find a way on how you could improve the shot. I goes into the memory bank for the next opportunity.

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Steve must have been replying as I was typing! I run into this all the time shooting sports so making VERY fast changes to the camera is second nature. If my subject is moving from light to dark, shade to sunlight I usually will resort to Av with +1/3 or +2/3 EC and and at times dial it in as I pan the camera. It honestly becomes fairly easy after the first 100,000 frames or so grin

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It was brighter before I backed the contrast down on the Raw image to reveal some of the feather detail.

I need to spend more time on the finer points of PP. I only spent about 2-3 minutes on this image,and then posted it. The original Raw looks so red,you can hardly make out any wings-he looks like a flying tomato! You can't hardly see any feather detail in the red [which,incidently,is how he looks to the human eye from 50 feet away]

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Great Shot MM. I love those Tanagers. My buddy and I were out fishing the other day(without a camera) and there was a male sitting on the nicest perch with the nicest BG I'll ever see. Why didn't I haven my camera with? I don't know. Later on down the shoreline was a pair of Baltimore Orioles. What a day.

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