Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Oatka Creek Park • April 19

Large-flower Trillium

Eastern Phoebe. Birds (and wildlife in general) will tend to position themselves between you and the sun whenever possible. This makes it harder for you to see them and easier for them to see you. This also means you have to learn how to deal with backlit subjects, like this phoebe, or a large portion of your opportunities will be wasted.

Song Sparrow. Even a "brown" bird like this has a fair amount of white in it that can suddenly become oversaturated ("block up") when in full sunlight. One learns how to quickly add and subtract exposure adjustment, as automatic exposure algorithms are not designed to detect small patches of white on a bird that fills a small portion of the frame. Actually, a camera's automatic exposure algorithm may not even detect the bird at all as it works with a very low resolution version of the scene. 

Song Sparrow. Spot metering mode for exposure works wonderfully for motionless objects, e.g., wildflowers, but birds are usually moving too much to allow the spot to have enough dwell time to get a good reading. With experience, you begin to automatically know yourself when an exposure adjustment is needed and how much. Occasionally, you might even get the luxury of shooting an exposure series, but only occasionally.

American Toad. "Frogging by ear" is a delightful exercise and there are only about a dozen species in New York to learn. The USGS has an online frog quiz at http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/frogquiz/index.cfm to help you learn.

Virginia Bluebells. I went for the color postcard look here for the fun of it. Greetings from Oatka Creek Park!


Northern Cardinal

Eastern Bluebird. Bluebird nesting report for May 1st: I saw a male carry a fecal sac ("dirty diaper") out of the nesting box and dispose of it. He then grabbed a green caterpillar of some sort and reentered the nesting box, presumably to feed a nestling.

Eastern Bluebird

Eastern Bluebird. Motion shots are tough, but can be rewarding even if the motion is not completely frozen.

Red-tailed Hawk