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WCS

Chickadees

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Seems like a popular bird to photograph lately. Very cooperative and willing to let you get close. Both taken with with Canon 30D and Canon 70-200mm

ISO 100, 1/800, f2.8

mg0374webss4.jpg

ISO 100, 1/1000, f2.8

mg0376webnh9.jpg

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Nice start! I might suggest using a flash to get that eye to stand out from the dark shadows... just some friendly cc.

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Thanks for the comments and feedback. Buzz, good suggestion with the flash. I used a flash last summer while shooting hummingbirds and it made a huge difference. Will have to strap the flash on and shoot some more.

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WCS, if you decide to use flash for birds, I recommend using exposure compensation. Don't know which flash you have, but if you can't set EC on the flash unit itself, I'd recommend setting it on the 30D. So as not to blow out the highlights in white portions of birds, on the rare occasions I use flash for birds I generally start at 1/2 stop underexposure with flash EC and experiment from there.

I don't mean setting the camera itself to underexpose half a stop, but setting the camera to direct the flash to give off less light than the TTL meter would indicate. If you're not sure how, the section on "flash photography" or "using flash for photography," or however it's worded in the manual will lead you through the few simple steps it takes.

And forgive me if you already know this, but you're looking for the smallest amount of flash needed to bump enough light into shadows/dark spots on the bird to add detail to those areas — without so much flash that it blazes the bird. Nothing quite so garish as too much flash in a nature photograph. Sometimes it's dead easy to get right. Other times it takes a fair amount of fiddling. To my eye, most who use flash on birds and other animals use too much (but that's just an IMO, and others may like more flash).

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Great advice Steve! I am no expert with my new SB 800 but have noticed that under exposing -2/3 stop or using my diffuser is the ticket. I blew sooo many shots NOT knowing what I was doing... and I still can't quite get the flash and Better Beamer to work out as it should... I need to read and practice more!!

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Steve, I have the 580ex. I have used exposure compensation in both flash and now with the 30D in camera. I plan to take the bird shots in AV mode. The flash should already reduce power for fill flash, but I will take your advise and use FEC as needed. I appreciate the tips. There is so much to learn with this new camera. Just soaking it all it.

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"Very cooperative and willing to let you get close."

Man, I need to come where you are. I have never really been able to get close to them. Even around my feeders they are one of my more skittish birds. These are nice shots. I have to agree with the others as well, flash would have helped #2 a good deal.

God bless,

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Very nice !...I've been using a flash also on a few of the chickadee shots...really brings out the detail!...and...really doesn't seem to bother them all that much...friendly little critters grin.gif...gotta admitt though,I think the whole chickadee population is high on caffein shocked.gif...never staying to long in one spot...I even noticed a pattern after sitting amongst them for awhile...they seem to keep there backside to you while picking at the sunflower seed..apparently they don't like one's "eye contact"...a good percentage of my images have them "looking away" from me.. just a small detail I've noticedgrin.gif

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Here is another try, this time with the flash. ISO 400, 1/800 f2.8 set to manual mode with high speed synch flash with the 580EX. Did not use FEC on this shot.

mg0393bva2.jpg

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