Friday, January 23, 2015

Post #3 - Local pintail with photo

I found this Northern pintail tucked in with the resident Mallard and Canada geese at one of my boyhood birding haunts, Valley Green in Fairmont Park (Philadelphia). This is a nice find for this locale as pintail usually prefer more open water to the tight, tree-lined confines of the relatively narrow Wissahickon Creek. Sonia and I first observed this bird on Wednesday. As we were just out to catch a quick breath of fresh air, I didn't have my camera with me. I returned the on Thursday to see if Mr. Pintail had lingered. He was indeed present, but like the previous day he would not permit terribly close approach. With some patience, I was eventually able to grab a few frames of him. The light was super flat, but I am happy with the results. While bright sunshine generally makes for more vivid colors and prettier images, flat light actually shows the natural colors of the subject bird more accurately. 

I normally try to take a very low angle when photographing waterfowl. Because the light on this day was so flat, I decided to shoot from a slightly elevated angle. This would help to capture some of the shimmer on the water's surface. I thought this would help make the image a bit stronger by adding at least some contrast and depth to it. More action would have been welcomed, but he was content simply to float in loose circles. I am happy with the image nonetheless. 

Northern pintail
Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS on Canon EOS 1D Mark IV
1/500 at f/5.6, ISO 1600
Aperture priority, +1/3 using Evaluative metering
This is 34% of the original frame

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