Tom Brott  

Painted Bunting by Tom Brott

March 2020 - Painted Bunting

About the Image(s)

I have tried for many years and spending hundreds of hours trying to get a perfect image of a male painted bunting. I recently took up the challenge again and found a good spot. But again I was not happy with the results. I then decided to go back for a final try and supplement the lighting with a fill flash. I think I finally got it.
Canon 7D Mark II, f/9, 1/200 sec., ISO 250, 100-400 lens with 1.4 ext. = 560mm, hand held, fill flash set at -1.3.
Darken some lighter green areas, adjusted highlight sliders and a small crop.

6 comments posted

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
Bravo, I think you did! I love the feet placement and that we can see the whole bird. the background is perfectly complementary. If I wanted to nitpick, I'd clone out the little bit of stem at the right end of the perch. Also, the blue, at least on this little jpg, looks a bit blocked up. If it's like that on the raw you might be able to recover something by reducing the blue channer, color, or whatever other methods are out there. Congrats.   Posted: 03/09/2020 12:53:32

Lisa Auerbach   Lisa Auerbach
What a beautiful bird, and you have composed it well. The feet are interesting and the feathers look beautifully painted. The leaf and stem to the far right draw my attention, and I would suggest removing the stem and blending/blurring the leaf a small amount more.   Posted: 03/12/2020 17:14:08

Pamela Hoaglund   Pamela Hoaglund
What a beautiful bird. It looks more like a painting than a photograph. Congratulations on your success. To me the blue on the head does look a little unnatural but I have not viewed photographs of a male painted bunting so my assessment may be wrong. I too might paint out or clone out the green stem on the right. The fill flash worked nicely and with a nice catch light in the eye.   Posted: 03/13/2020 16:12:07

Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
Since I was shooting these Painted Buntings a few days after you made this image and in the same location I know exactly what you were up against. You have great bokeh and the bird is tack sharp as usual. In my image I found that reducing the luminance for red and blue just a bit gave it a more natural appearance. Also, you conosider adding a slight dark vignette. I wish I could go back, but that isn't going to happen soon.   Posted: 03/14/2020 10:38:03

John Roach   John Roach
I like the image for color, tone, depth of field and overall sharpness. I suspect the flash created a bit of a harsh splash of light that makes the color feature look a bit overly luminous with reflective light effect.   Posted: 03/14/2020 16:02:57

Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
A WINNER! The colors and detail are wonderful. The background bokeh is perfect, and the dark green provide great contrast with the bird. I would love to see one of these birds some day.   Posted: 03/18/2020 13:54:43


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