Marcela Stegemueller  

Cedar Waxwings feeding frenzy by Marcela Stegemueller

February 2021 - Cedar Waxwings feeding frenzy

About the Image(s)

Is there any way to improve this picture? It appears cluttered and I'm not sure where the focus should be. Is that what is wrong? I am asking all of you because I can see that you are very good photographers. It happened so fast and I wasn't quite ready to shoot it. My settings were 640 sec at f/10 and ISO 1600. I used my 70-200 lens at 200mm.

7 comments posted

Norm Solomon   Norm Solomon
Hi Marcela, You did a good job with a very tough subject. Birds in flight (or almost in flight) are very challenging. A few suggestions...The very upper middle 1/3 of the image--without the bars in the background--might make for an interesting image with some of the birds on the branches & the others in flight or near flight. Also, you may want to hike your shutterspeed to 1/1500 or even 1/2000 or more to stop action. Finally, in spring we have many cedar wax wings near us & I have found that early AM --when they are having breakfast!--seems to be a good time to catch them at rest in pairs or as singles...they are beautiful birds & make for good environmental portraits.
`Look forward to seeing future images of these birds!
Norm   Posted: 02/07/2021 11:19:24

Marcela Stegemueller   Marcela Stegemueller
Thank you for your suggestions. I will try to crop the area that you mentioned. I'll increase the shutter speed and open my aperture a little next time. It would blur the background at the same time.   Posted: 02/07/2021 12:06:22

Barbara Asacker   Barbara Asacker
Hi Marcela,
You did a great job capturing so many beautiful birds feeding on the red berries. Perhaps the background might not be perfect but nevertheless this image is a keeper. How lucky you were to catch a story as lovely as this one.   Posted: 02/09/2021 17:26:55

John Hackett   John Hackett
To me this is one of those images you had to take because of what was happening. The location was not something you could do anything about. The result shows the frenzy as the flock flits about looking for a meal on the berries.   Posted: 02/13/2021 06:59:13

Carroll Reynolds   Carroll Reynolds
The image seems really busy but, as John said it gives a true photo of the excitement birds were having. For me another approach would be to narrow the image to a few of the most dramatic birds in flight. I'm impressed that you were able to get a in flight image of this quality at only 1/640 sec. Nice image.   Posted: 02/14/2021 05:59:38

Harriet Ciccone
I agree with Norm that the upper third of the image without building/bars in the background make for the most compelling story. The background is sufficiently blurred and you have birds in all stages of feeding which is very cool. And if you lower your highlights you might soften sun lit stretch of grass.   Posted: 02/16/2021 06:36:01

Stan Bormann   Stan Bormann
This is inherently a very busy scene. That is what attracted you to take the image, and I would not worry about it. It is true that there is not as much going on in the bottom part of the tree and a crop might concentrate attention where the most is going on. Try to crop where you don't cut through any birds if possible. The background is busy, but it is what it is. I don't know that this is an image that will win awards, but it is an image to be treasured. We had a house with one of these trees in the backyard and each spring they would strip it in about a day. I wish I had this picture of it.   Posted: 02/19/2021 19:24:13


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