Marge Barham  

Is Mom Coming Back? by Marge Barham

September 2023 - Is Mom Coming Back?

September 2023 - Marge Barham


About the Image(s)

Alligator Farm in St Augustine, FL never disappoints the many bird photographers that go there yearly. I try my best to get there at least once a year.
This years trip was a good one. I was there first thing in the morning, would take a break for lunch and some relaxation on the beach and then back for more bird photos in the afternoon. After three days in a row I headed back home with lots of photos to edit. How great is that!
I was able to capture a few photos of these adorable chicks waiting for their mom to come back with more food. ~ Canon 80D with Canon lens 100-400, settings were ISO 400, f11 and 1/1250 sec.

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

Bruce Benson   Bruce Benson
Marge, I love your image of the two baby egrets an especially the caption. I am one of the photographers that try to make a visit to the alligator farm every year. It always provides great opportunities for good images. Lighting can be a challenge there so I am always very careful to look for open backgrounds or ones that are in deep shadow with the birds in lighted areas. (example attached} Another way to make the background less of a distraction is to make sure it is far away from the subject and the subject is close to your camera. I noticed that you use F/11 which makes the background sharper so I might suggest using 5.6 or even 4.0 to blur it. I hope this makes sense, and is helpful. Bruce By the way, I was there the first week of May for about 4 days, when were you there?   Posted: 09/01/2023 22:08:41
Comment Image
Marge Barham   Marge Barham
Hi Bruce, thank you for your comments. I'm not sure why this was shot in f11, I think it was left over from the morning sunrise shots and I was still sleepy. You nailed it with your shot and the blurred background makes a big difference. I didn't try to fix my background cause I thought it added to the story a tiny bit, with them looking into the distance to find mom. Not sure why but my untouched original looks sharper than my slightly edited version??? Or maybe its my tired eyes again.
I was there 4-16 to 4-19, and included a side trip to Jekyll Island for sunrise. I think we missed each other by just days. We should try to plan to meet next April or May you could teach me more. Thanks again.   Posted: 09/21/2023 19:41:09

Steve Cole   Steve Cole
Love the action you captured ... a great example of "decisive moment". Perhaps the background could be a bit darker but hey ... one has to work in nature as given to one. Hence comes to play one's ability to process backgrounds that look "natural". I know I am still trying to achieve those processing skills so no advice from me on that. Using a larger aperture may have helped with the background ... but perhaps you would have lost some of the detail in the birds which in my opinion is super.   Posted: 09/03/2023 08:32:57
Marge Barham   Marge Barham
Hi Steve thank you for your comments. I love that you even mentioned the "decisive moment" with one of my photos. Sounds like I might be doing something right??? Wow! Yes, I do have lots to learn about editing but I try my best to get it right in the camera. Thanks again Steve.
  Posted: 09/21/2023 19:51:07

Jerry Biddlecom   Jerry Biddlecom
The lighting on the bird on the left is very well captured and the one on the right is not very far off. The eyes of both birds are well lit and the shading of the bird on the right is not distracting. The source of light coming from above makes for a good hair light, and adds a modeling effect to both subjects. You might want to crop in from both sides, as the areas along the sides do not add much to the composition.   Posted: 09/10/2023 13:31:14
Marge Barham   Marge Barham
Hi Jerry. Thanks for all your comments. I will certainly try the crop you are suggesting.   Posted: 09/21/2023 19:53:09

Adrian Binney   Adrian Binney
Marge, this is a lovely well timed image: it's the lighting which really helps and the expressions captured are wonderful. two suggestions:

~ Your birds are tall in the image and as such, I would agree with others that a portrait shaped output would sit better on the viewers' eye.

~ you could consider selectively lightening the shadows of the right bird's head, bottom half thereof and neck. I think this would help.

Well captured image Marge.   Posted: 09/11/2023 03:14:50
Marge Barham   Marge Barham
Thank you for your comments Adrian.   Posted: 09/21/2023 20:05:31

Cindy Marple   Cindy Marple
You really captured the decisive moment here with the pose between the 2 chicks. Very cute! The exposure looks good on all that white, there's good detail.
I will agree with the comments already made about the depth of field and cropping this to a more vertical format, maybe in a 4x5 aspect ratio. Especially, crop that right side to eliminate most of the vertical bright stripes that really pull your eye over away from the chicks.
Looks like a fun trip!   Posted: 09/15/2023 09:40:12
Marge Barham   Marge Barham
Thank you Cindy for your comments. I am fighting to make it a portrait just because of them sitting there looking for and waiting for mom to get back. Is that a little crazy? But, I will try it. Yes, it's always a great trip. Thanks.
  Posted: 09/21/2023 20:04:46

Tom Buckard   Tom Buckard
(Groups 21 & 48 & 71)
Hi Marge, We love the Alligator Farm also and have probably unknowingly crossed paths with you and many photographers in the DD Groups. Very nice image and it sure tells a story. Thought a vertical with a little more height might add and brought out a little detail in the right neck. What do you think?   Posted: 09/16/2023 07:39:39
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Cindy Marple   Cindy Marple
I like this crop as it minimizes the distractions and emphasizes the pose of the chicks.   Posted: 09/17/2023 11:43:57
Marge Barham   Marge Barham
Yes, I agree Cindy.
Thanks.   Posted: 09/21/2023 20:20:50
Marge Barham   Marge Barham
Hi Tom, thanks for stopping by.
I think you did a great job editing the photo. I do like the little more room on top, it makes a big difference. Thanks for taking the time to edit.
I think if PSA sold camera straps with "PSA ~ DD Group" on it we would ALL be doing more talking than photographing. But for now I have a new face to look for. LOL.
  Posted: 09/21/2023 20:18:33