Thursday, February 3, 2022

My Fourth “Lifer”

Yesterday evening was yet another high for me – I got my fourth “lifer” in less than a month. In bird photography, this would a record of sorts. However, please remember that unlike in the birding community where a “lifer” is a bird that he/she sees for the first time, in my world, I consider a bird “lifer” only when I am able to acquire an image of the bird that is a “keeper”. My fourth “lifer” that I speak of is the following bird called White-browed Rosefinch (Female) (Carpodacus thura). The image is not really so hot becuase it was acquired late in the evening when the quality of light was poor – but I assure you that I will post an improved verion over the coming days:

My fourth "lifer" - White-browed Rosefinch

Along with my "lifer", I also want to show you an image that would be considered unconventional because everything about this image is topsy-turvy: the bird is shot from the rear side; it is positioned on the wrong end of the frame and to most readers the bird is unidentifiable. But there comes a time in every photographer’s life when he/she captures an image not because of its conventional beauty – but because strange and perplexing elements in nature come together to present an appealing and intriguing complexity. To me, the following image of the Hodgson’s Redstart (Phoenicurus hodgsoni) is one such image. I saw the bird perched with its back to me - a round fluffy ball of frayed feathers, sitting on a richly colored perch and the vine to the right of the bird – as if a snake was creeping in on it for a strike – the overall scene was beautiful. I needed to shoot the scene – and I did and I love it! I hope you do too.

An unconventional image - but attractive on its own right

Along with the above two images, I also present you with the following two beautifully captured bird images. Their beauty lies in the detailing and sharpness and near perfect exposure. Some readers will most likely say that I PhotoShoped the background – that is not true. The images are presented as they were photographed. The Rufous-breasted Accentor’s background has a strange shade of ochre. The reason is that I moved around to position the bird against a Bhutanese traditional window in the back – the rest of the trick to obtain a silky smooth backdrop was achieved by the manipulation of the lens’ aperture, and the knowledge on how the DoF works.

Moving around to position the bird against a pleasing background

Use of nature's colors to render a silky smooth backdrop to the image

For aspiring bird photographers – please remember that an image is not all about the central subject – the ambience around the subject of focus is also very important – what you place and what you exclude from the frame finally go to make the image.

I apologize to my none-photographer readers for the occasional use of photographic terms – but you may have noticed by now that my post on bird images are targeted towards birders and bird photographers.


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