Ridiculously colorful bird taking a bath

Started Mar 10, 2014 | Discussions thread
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zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 28,754
Ridiculously colorful bird taking a bath

From a few weeks ago - I just thought it would be nice to help break up the various tech data, new camera debates, and occasional argument threads with a few occasional photo threads too - these were not the best of conditions as it was raining almost constantly this day - I had my NEX-5N in its Ziploc bag cover, with the 55-210mm lens and DH1758 1.7x teleextender, in very grey poor light, and found this bird way down at the waterline hiding under overhanging trees - pretty much a nightmare scenario for nice shots.  But these birds are so ridiculously colorful that even in poor low light and grey overcast they look like a carnival float or colorful stuffed kids' toy.  I couldn't help but snap some pics of the little guy - ended up being my only birding photos from that day as the rain got heavier and heavier and eventually chased me away.  Here you go:

Male painted bunting, standing in the water - notice I started with ISO3200 to make sure I had enough shutter speed to get the shot

Once I knew I had a few shots of the bird safely on the card, I decided for as long as he was willing to stay there, I'd lower the ISO, bring the shutter speed down, and see how slow of a shutter I could use and still get usable details on the bird - this was ISO1600

Really pushing it - I went down to ISO800 - which at F8 could only net me a 1/40 shutter speed - at 535mm equivalent focal!  Stabilization and a good old steady hand to the rescue, and timing the bird in between its shakeoffs and head bobbing (birds seem in almost constant motion and stabilization won't help keep the bird still!)...but I got a few usable shots out of 4 or 5.

Not my finest work - the conditions were horrible.  But I thought the birding crowd here might enjoy a look at one of the more colorful wild birds you'll find in the United States!

Comments, questions, critique welcomed, as always.

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 zackiedawg's gear list:zackiedawg's gear list
Sony SLT-A68 Sony a6300 Sony E 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 OSS Sony E 16mm F2.8 Pancake Sony DT 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 +23 more
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