Colors! Textures! Shapes! Serious birders, don’t leave. There is more to photographing birds than grabbing a shot and checking a list.
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.
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).
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).
Using multiple flash certainly brings out the colors. This is my favorite hummingbird.
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.
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.
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.