Birds!

Colors! Textures! Shapes!  Serious birders, don’t leave.  There is more to photographing birds than grabbing a shot and checking a list.

Feathers of a Shining Sunbeam. You only get a glimpse most of the time. It takes patience to see all the colors.
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

It’s been a month since my last post – I have been in Ecuador’s Chocó Cloud Forest and then on to the Pantanal in Brazil.  I’m sharing some of my thoughts and photos from Ecuador in this post.

Racket-tailed Puffleg
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

This was my 4th time in the last 16 months in this region and I was determined to improve my skills for hummingbird photography.  It’s a challenge! They move fast. For the above image, I concentrated on the background I chose and with the depth of field I wanted.  I had my exposure right where I wanted it and then just waited for a bird to fly into my “zone” for focus (that would be the place it would hover and wait for its turn at the feeder).  I was lucky enough to capture several birds.  (I also got a few out of focus or parts of birds – ok, more than a few).

Andean Emerald
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

With this cutie, I captured it with a dark background (forest in shadows) and used the bounce-light from a wall behind the feeder to add the necessary fill light for an otherwise backlit bird (sun was to the right).

Violet-tailed Sylph
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Violet-tailed Sylph
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Using multiple flash certainly brings out the colors.  This is my favorite hummingbird.

Crimson-rumped Toucanet
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Crimson-rumped Toucanet
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

While the bird is clearly named for its backside, which is quite beautiful, I just love the way the turquoise feathers play over the lime green in a graceful curl.

Toucan Barbet
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

This Barbet was dancing all over the place trying to get attention. It was a workout to get a position to show all the colors.  Gorgeous bird.

Blue-winged Mountain Tanager
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Flame-faced Tanagers
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

Black-capped Tanager © 2019 Diane Kelsay

Masked Flowerpiercer
© 2019 Diane Kelsay

My favorite time was sitting at the reflection pool, watching birds come and go.  Every so often one lined up “just so”.  And oh yeah, I broke that famous rule about horizon lines going through the middle.  When I did, it was the most exciting composition for that scene.  And yes, I managed to ID the birds in this blog (newbie birder), but I’m still a “break the rules” artist first.  You can join us in Ecuador to improve your bird photography skills and bring home lots of exciting images (you might even learn a few names).  Our groups are small and our Ecuador guide is an expert birder.

Link to our Ecuador Birds Photography Adventure

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