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ShawnZ

Another Song Sparrow belting it out, and then a rest :)

11 posts in this topic

Here are the best two images from my efforts today. This is a great time of year to photograph song sparrows singing and it's best to take advantage of it while it lasts. Soon this fellow will find a mate and then become much more focused on nest building. They are so compelled to sing this time of year, only resting to briefly forage. If you listen carefully, you can usually hear one or two other nearby sparrows laying out their turf with their own unique songs, with each song slightly different. No recordings used, perch is a non set up. SonyA300, Tokina400mm, iso400, f10, 1/250th, fill flash, RAW conversion, cropped, levels, USM. Comments and critiques welcome.

Regards, Shawn Zierman.

song23.jpg

songsparro3.jpg

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I especially love the first one, singing his little heart out.

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Very nice work Shawn, if you could get that darn tall branch out of the way that goes across the tail you would have a perfect setup!

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And I love the second one. Very sweet. They are illusive little guys. I keep hearing them singing by the river, and can't find them until they've flown. Nice BG for him.

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Shawn, excellent work.

Since you're interested in C&C, I have no compositional nits. Top notch environmental portrait work. The flash goes perhaps 1/3 to 2/3 stop beyond what's really needed for fill flash, and marks this image with flat light.

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Great shots! Particularly like that first one!

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Nice stuff Shawn! I've been especially enjoying your shots since my displacement from Duluth. I noticed you lamenting the lack of Yellow-headed Blackbirds, but remember we are equally envious of all the Great Grays, Northern Hawk Owls, etc. that you get up there wink . I was hankering for a GGO hard core this winter. But, now that I have an abundance of waterfowl, prairie chickens and other birds I never saw in Duluth - I'm feeling a little better about it. Nice shots again! You keep the boreal species coming and we'll see what we can do about keeping you updated with prairie ones. grin

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Quote:
prairie chickens

Did I hear prairie chickens? Was talking to Steve today how it would be neat to get a trifecta with ruffies, sharpies and chickens all in the same year. Might have a roughed grouse to trade! grin

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Hi Shaun, I'll add (since you ask for cc) that I'd clone out and branches going through the subject matter. Cutting the tail off is not purdy... but then again I'm an wannabe perfectionist! wink

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Thankyou folks for the thoughtful comments. Fill flash always seems to be a crapshoot for me when the ambient light is not strong enough to demand only a very tiny amount of ff. It is especially difficult to judge the overall effect of ff when reviewing the images in the field, compared to at home on the computer. Adding to the difficulties is how the effect of the flash falls off after the first two or three images are taken in quick succession. I totally agree that the flash work here is a bit on the strong side and causes a flat appearance and my levels adjustment probably added to that look. Still, when compared with the images where the flash was noticeably less prominent, I felt these images had more snap. So the challenge of getting it just right is what makes it so appealing to me smile and frustrating, and rewarding, and so on and so on. And yes, those darn branches were not quite where I would like them smile

Hey Mcary, Agassiz and Felton Prarie area are calling me pretty hard this year, you guys have some amazing birding places over there that I would love to scratch the surface of smile

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