Ham Hayes  


Goldfinch Gluttony by Ham Hayes

June 2020 - Goldfinch Gluttony

June 2020 - Ham Hayes

Original

About the Image(s)

Camera/lens: Nikon D500, Nikkor 70-300mm
Manual Settings: 1/3200 s, f/7.1, Auto ISO 22,000, fl/300mm

My Intention: much of my photography is about birdlife and nature. These American Goldfinches recently arrived and are very greedy at the backyard feeders. I wanted to show their crowding and somewhat selfish behavior and ill manners. They don’t care about manners, of course, but we think they should!

It was raining so the light level was low and I wanted to freeze their wing motion, hence the high shutter speed and subsequent high ISO. I was concerned the high ISO was going to be too noisy, the D500 sensor is quite good in that regard. The birds have deep black markings and also have some white feathers that were beginning to blow out. In post processing I reduced the highlight exposure level to bring back some of the color and feather detail. I also darkened the background vegetation to provide more contrast between the yellow color of the bird and the background trees. You can see those differences between the original and the final. Lastly I wanted to eliminate any visual elements that were not relevant and emphasize the crowding, so I cropped tightly and used a square format to accomplish that.

Looking forward to the feedback!


This round’s discussion is now closed!
9 comments posted

Gunter Haibach   Gunter Haibach
A nice, story telling image featuring birds and their behaviour. Although the image is reasonably sharp, there is too much noise for my liking. (High ISO?). I've also found from experience, accurately capturing the colour yellow is almost as difficult as white (I know 'white' is the absence of colour, but I still think of it as a colour when I take pictures of white flowers). Like white, yellow often seems to 'bleed' a bit into surrounding areas and seems to fight us in getting some detail/texture into it. As far as noise is concerned, I'm quite impressed with the Topaz noise elimination plug-in.

  Posted: 06/20/2020 10:03:16
Ham Hayes   Ham Hayes
Thanks for your feedback Gunter. Yes, the noise and the lack of detail in the yellow areas were my main concern. I made the decision to go for high shutter speed and risk the higher noise level from high ISO. The bright yellow of the Goldfinch is what I saw versus more detail and I again chose to emphasize the color in my post processing. Your feedback is quite helpful...I'm going to reprocess this image for the learning.

Cheers!
Ham   Posted: 06/20/2020 12:15:10

Peter Curcio   Peter Curcio
Lots of color and much going on. I would remove the two birds on the lower left as they are distracting to me.   Posted: 06/20/2020 19:04:40

Howard Frank   Howard Frank
Nice job of freezing the motion, Ham. It's always fun to watch the antics of birds at the feeders. Next time you try to shoot these birds, I might suggest you try going -1/3 or 2/3 stop to darken the yellows a bit. I think this image is a little over saturated. You might try darkening the whole image a bit and desaturating just a bit.   Posted: 06/22/2020 13:49:07

Howard Frank   Howard Frank
Nice job of freezing the motion, Ham. It's always fun to watch the antics of birds at the feeders. Next time you try to shoot these birds, I might suggest you try going -1/3 or 2/3 stop to darken the yellows a bit. I think this image is a little over saturated. You might try darkening the whole image a bit and desaturating just a bit.   Posted: 06/22/2020 13:49:09

Peter Cheung   Peter Cheung
Very nice capture. Beautiful colors and background. The action of the birds are interesting. The image does show some noise and loss of sharpness because of very high iso. It is a challenging shot but is a very nice and beautiful image.   Posted: 06/24/2020 16:17:35

Ham Hayes   Ham Hayes
Thanks folks! I agree that I oversaturated. In reflection I think I have a tendency to do that, especially with yellow. This is something I'll pay more attention to in the future.   Posted: 06/24/2020 18:03:03

Subhash Sapru   Subhash Sapru
A beautiful shot of birds around feeder. You did well by removing the rod to the right. The colours are soothing and its good to see the birds in action.   Posted: 06/24/2020 21:52:49

Helen Sweet   Helen Sweet
I enjoy that you've captured the birds in different acts and relationships. A lovely bird which I don't see here. Need to get a bird feeder, a nice diversion for these quiet days.   Posted: 06/25/2020 17:40:43