50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: The Golden Hour

In the early morning, I sometimes take my camera out to my hedgerow. We have a lot of wildlife living there.  But on the morning a few weeks ago that I got this photo, I went out because from my kitchen window I could see this robin fledgling:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/100

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/100

Since it is learning to fly, there is still the opportunity to get fairly close them.  I will show the original photo at the bottom of the post, so you will see that by cropping the photo I made it seem like I was even closer.  I also mention the cropping because when I saw this through the view finder I knew that I would crop it.  First because some of the surrounding detail was distracting and secondly because this robin is pretty much exactly on a point for the rule of thirds.  The rule of thirds is a photography rule that I don’t always follow, but I almost always consider.

The weekly photo challenge this week is the golden hour. This photo was taken in the early morning of an overcast day.  The challenge was to get the robin at such an angle, so that it was lit enough to show the detail in the feathers.  I also like to be able to see at least one eye, preferably with a catch light in it.  This photo was the one where that came together.  I have several other versions that went into the trash bin.  Because it was still a bit dark, I used an ISO of 800.  I think that my camera can handle that with almost no noise in the final image.  I set my shutter speed to 1/100 with the thought of freezing any motion in the bird.  I have my f-stop at f/5, because I thought I would get enough detail in the bird, and as I had said before, I knew I was going to do some cropping.

Here is the original image:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/100

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5 1/100

Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I like to follow the robins that live in my area.  While our nest by the kitchen this year had a bittersweet end to it, I have been glad to see that we do have several robin fledglings that seem to be doing well in the hedgerow.

Thoughts or questions about how I got the photo? Feel free to leave them below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Nature, Photography

A Nest Update, A Survival Tale

If you have been following my robin’s nest story, this is an update that I will tell you right now is not all good news, in fact there is very little good news.  I just thought that I would put that out there first so that you can click away if you would like.

Here are the five healthy hatches on Thursday morning:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/200

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/200

On Friday morning a few of the birds had their eyes open:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/250

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/250

It was Saturday when we first noticed the falcon, or Cooper’s Hawk?  I say falcon, but the truth is we are still debating which type of bird this is that is preying on the robins. We were working in the yard and the birds around started going nuts.  We looked around and saw the falcon on the corner of our roof.  The robins and a few blackbirds chased it off and everything calmed down.

This afternoon we were again outside when we again heard the birds and saw the falcon.  My oldest child got this video of the falcon attacking the robin nest:

Here is the nest moments later:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/640

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/640

This robin could not have been any flatter or more still.  It was our guess that the falcon took one baby at this time.  It is not clear what happened to the three unaccounted for birds.  Sometime between Friday morning and Sunday afternoon they went missing.

Then the adult robins came back:

ISO 320 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/200

ISO 320 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/200

Half an hour later here is the nest again:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/8 1/200

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/8 1/200

Empty.  I had my Canon 50D set up during the time that the last bird went missing.  My pictures do not shed any light on what happened to the baby. We also had a window open and didn’t hear anything.  Did the adults relocate the last baby?  At this point, that is what we suspect, so we go looking.  We notice an adult bird flying low into our hedgerow and we find the surviving baby.  When the adult leaves, I get a photo in the hedgerow:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/50 flash used

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/50 flash used

I left the hedgerow and so did the robin, so I got this picture also:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/200

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/200

I told the robin to get back into the hedgerow, but more convincing was the fact that the adult robins came back and told the baby in no uncertain terms that it was to get back into the hedgerow.  So it did.

Well, I will be keeping an eye out for this little baby.  Our hedgerow is about the best place it could be right now, but until it can fly, it is still pretty vulnerable.  I will take pictures and write an update if I have anything further.

If you are new to this story, here are the other posts:

The story begins here and I explain how I am getting the pictures. The first update with five hatchlings is here.  The second update featuring a very crowded nest is here.

Comments? Questions? feel free to leave them below.  If you have a guess to what bird of prey we have in the video, feel free to say so and explain why you think so.

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