Baby Robins with SX50 update

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VisionLight
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Baby Robins with SX50 update
6 months ago

The baby robins, born four days ago, are getting bigger and bigger. The nest remains in deep shadows with sunlight hitting it only for a little while in the later afternoon, so that is when I visit it each day. The sun has been so bright dappling through the leaves though that the light is very high in contrast with blown highlights and deep shadows. Using raw is a must and still there is always much work to be done in post to recover and balance areas of the images. But I think not using flash in this live situation of Nature trumps the possible better exposures with it. The beautiful colors of these little creatures come out more natural in daylight anyway. Mama Robin has been very cooperative as well and seems to sense that I mean her babies no harm. Not so for anyone else who ventures too near the nest, as she puts up quite a commotion.

So here are the first three full days in the lives of our new little family:

DAY 0: Welcome to the World. This is a reprise of the image in the original thread, taken about an hour after the chicks were born. I was lucky that a breeze moved some leaves over the nest for a few seconds to eliminate many of the blown highlights. The rest were recovered in post.

DAY 1: Greeting Mama. At 26 hours old, the chicks are very hungry, immediately popping their heads up when mama lands on the nest. Mama trusts me a little more now and I can get a little closer using 600mm. This raw image, even with its precisely chosen spot metering, required extensive post processing to recover both highlights and shadows.

DAY 2: WE ARE HUNGRY!!!  Now 49 hours old, the babies have grown greatly in size keeping mama quite busy gathering food. Baby fuzz is beginning to be replaced by the shoots of tiny feathers and their bodies are becoming quite colorful. Once again a lot of post processing went into maintaining this image in the very harsh highlights and shadows.

DAY 3: When We're Not Eating . . . It's now been 73 hours since the babies were born and the four of them have grown large enough to completely fill the nest. All that growing takes a lot of energy so it's time for their second favorite activity, taking a nap facing away from the bright, hot sun. There were no cooperative breezes to shade the nest this time, so extensive reconstructive work was again required in post.

I'm wondering when I check today if they may begin to open their eyes. Only a few hours to go before the sun peeks in on the nest again. And with sun reaching further north each day, it may clear the trees tomorrow morning and light the nest from the east, hopefully giving another chance to check in on our family earlier in the day. Stay tuned and thanks for looking.

Ed

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