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Thread: Northern Cardinal

  1. #1
    BPN Member Bill Dix's Avatar
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    Default Northern Cardinal

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    On Friday morning, as it began to snow, I filled the backyard feeders, and was soon rewarded by a record number of 6 male and 3 female Northern Cardinals, along with a host of my other backyard regulars. I guess my neighbors forgot to fill their feeders. I removed the screen from a back window, set up the camera, focused on the branch that I hoped would be favored by one of them, and went about my indoor chores, keeping an eye out for any action. It took awhile but eventually this handsome male picked the right spot. I took a number of frames through the glass, and then slowly lowered the upper window sash for a clean view. Amazingly, he not only stayed put, but gave me a nice head turn.

    I also tried a tighter crop, but I liked the flow of this comp. Desaturated the red channel by a few points.

    D500, 80-400 VR @ 380mm, ISO 1600, 1/400s @ f/7.1 manual.

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    BPN Member William Dickson's Avatar
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    Worked out perfectly for you Bill. Great pose, perch and HA. The snow takes it up a few notches.

    Very nice

    Will

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    I really feel the snow makes this very well done.

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    BPN Member William Dickson's Avatar
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    Looking at it again, I would try a little of the LHS

    Will

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    Beautiful capture, Bill. Wonderful detail, head turn, and nice choice of ss for snow. Like the perch.

    Geoffrey




    http://500px.com/geoffreymontagu

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    BPN Member keith mitchell's Avatar
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    Love this wintry scene with that splash of colour from the bird Bill the sort of image that really appeals to me ,must be great having these smashing birds in your garden.


    Keith.

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    Looks good to me, Bill. I don't see anything I would change. Thank you for sharing.
    Joe Przybyla

    "Sometimes I do get to places just as God is ready to have somebody click the shutter"... Ansel Adams

    www.amazinglight.smugmug.com

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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    A beautiful wintry scene, I especially like the small bits of accumulated snow on the cardinal's head and throat. Great perch, snow falling. I think the comp works as is too. Did you turn the heat off in the room, or was escaping heat kept at a minimum?

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    BPN Member Bill Dix's Avatar
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    Thank you all.

    Daniel, you raise an interesting question. Heat loss was minimal; the outside temperature was a bit above freezing as the snow was falling, and the window was only open briefly. But I have had problems in the past with distortion caused by the thermal gradient, and quite frankly, I forgot to consider it this time. I'm not seeing any noticeable distortion.

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    Agree with everyone else -- really nice scene and shot. I could see a version with a bit off the LHS as William suggested but this works for me too, especially the snow on the head. I'm hoping to get some snow shots tomorrow or Wednesday with the big blizzard coming so this is great inspiration.

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    BPN Member Bill Dix's Avatar
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    Thanks Alex. I think tomorrow's storm is likely to cover up all the perches.

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    fantastic. Christmas card shot :-)

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    BPN Member Bill Dix's Avatar
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    Thanks Roger.

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    Cardinal on a snow covered evergreen branch has to be almost a cliche at this point but it's a shot I've wanted to add to my own portfolio for quite a while and haven't had as perfect an opportunity as this yet. This is just perfectly executed in my opinion, very much wish it was mine. I'm curious what it would have looked like with a slightly longer SS to streak the snow a bit. Perfect Christmas card photo like Roger said.

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    BPN Member Bill Dix's Avatar
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    Thanks Ryan. I also wondered about a slower SS; might have been worth a try if he had stayed around long enough to experiment.

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