Adrian Binney, PPSA, LRPS  

Male Resplendent Quetzal by Adrian Binney, PPSA, LRPS

June 2022 - Male Resplendent Quetzal

June 2022 - Adrian Binney, PPSA, LRPS


June 2022 - Adrian Binney, PPSA, LRPS

Original 2

June 2022 - Adrian Binney, PPSA, LRPS

Original 3

About the Image(s)

Taken this February when at Sevegre lodge, Costa Rica and so lucky to have a clear siting of the male preparing the pair’s nest in a dead tree, utilising a hole originally made by a woodpecker.

The lighting contrast was significant and the tree was in a deep valley, so far from a clean background. I had to significantly under-expose to have any chance at the PP stage.

Settings - using my Olympus gear and 300 prime with a 1.4 converter (so FF 840): ISO 3200 1/800 f6.3 handheld.

A lot of Lightroom work on sorting out the lighting and contrast issues - plus Topaz DeNoise and A1 Sharpening

I’ve added a second view for interest.

I’m sure all here will know much about these amazing rarely sighted birds, but we were treated to the male entering the hollow tree, loosing sight of the whole body, just being left with the approx 3ft tail feathers flapping about as he worked in the hole, every now and again being wood clippings exploding out. A further image shows this

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

Dr Isaac Vaisman   Dr Isaac Vaisman
Adrian, lucky you. I have been several times to Costa Rica but never seen this beautiful quetzal which I understand is a must get for any photographer visiting the country. Photography in CR is not easy. The light conditions are very adverse, and most of the time you are shooting under heavy tree canopy with poor light and facing with the dreaded noise, that you have managed very well. Thank you for telling us the whole story with images   Posted: 06/06/2022 15:16:42
Adrian Binney   Adrian Binney
Thanks Isaac - appreciate your comments and we love CR, enjoying so much the special environments in such a compact area, but yes, the photography can be frustrating.

To add to the story, here is the female (taken at the same session and in v poor light, so 6,400 ISO and I cropped this heavily) - but nevertheless it shows as a record shot the relative size.   Posted: 06/07/2022 05:11:03
Comment Image

Bruce Benson   Bruce Benson
Hey Adrian, As Isaac said, lucky you. I had the good luck to photograph the Resplendent Quetzal as well. For me the hard part was getting the whole tail in the frame and the light background. I do not think I could physically manage climbing in the habitat now. I was luck that our guide carried my gear up the steep hill for me. I like your number two image because it shows the beautiful red front of the bird. Bruce   Posted: 06/09/2022 16:47:10

Marie Costanza   Marie Costanza
WOW, Adrian! How very cool to get to see this amazing Resplendent Quetzal. I have never been to Costa Rica, but it sure sounds like it is very challenging for a photographer. I would love to be there when its babies are poking their heads out of the nest hole.   Posted: 06/10/2022 13:13:58
Adrian Binney   Adrian Binney
That is likely to be in the (very) wet season! Best months are normally Jan/Feb.   Posted: 06/10/2022 13:33:19
Marie Costanza   Marie Costanza
Ahhh....not too great of a time for taking photos!   Posted: 06/10/2022 16:12:26

Mary Frost   Mary Frost
Adrian, this month has been a treat for me with so many lovely birds. It is interesting to wonder how nature selected this bird to have so much green! Maybe at one time he lived in a very green environment. We humans don't seem to have nearly as much originality in our appearances! Thanks for sharing.   Posted: 06/10/2022 17:12:48

Barbara Gore   Barbara Gore
I can imagine the challenge to photograph birds under a canopy of trees with so much bright light coming from the background. As I don't photograph birds often can you use a flash extender to help with the lighting the bird? The long tail is beautiful along with the feather colors. Very nice.   Posted: 06/15/2022 14:26:53
Adrian Binney   Adrian Binney
Thanks Barbara. I don't think flash helps: the birds were couple hundred yards away with very contrasty light all over.   Posted: 06/15/2022 15:22:02
Dr Isaac Vaisman   Dr Isaac Vaisman
Barbara, a flash extender or a.k.a. better beamer could help on some occasion specially in very dark canopies as fill in light, but the fact that the flash recharging time is long, you will end up with some images dark in the burst, if that is the case   Posted: 06/29/2022 10:31:04