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This blog is intended to follow my progress this year in my pursuit of obtaining some worthwhile bird photographs.
Very much a beginner, with limited funds but almost unlimited time, I want to capture photographs that are more than mere record shots. I am not expecting many rare or even unusual species, but want to do justice to any bird that cares to pose for me.
Wish me luck and good light.
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Changing Moods

Posted Monday 25th January 2010 at 15:28 by Denny Woodthorpe
It's funny how my feelings towards my photography changes - even from day to day.
One day, everything seems wrong. I cannot take photos, my attempts at bird photography are rubbish and I'm just wasting my time.
The next day, I get just one decent image and then perhaps I'm not that bad after all.
I must admit, the comments on the Gallery encourage me to keep on trying. I now I have a long way to go before I can call myself a fully fledged bird photographer (nice pun), but I do feel I'm learning.
What I am trying to do is perfect (or at least establish initially) a method of photographing small birds "in action." The main problems I feel I have at the moment are a lack of a real variety of birds in the garden, and a very basic camera set up.
I know I could go out into the field with my camera, but that would mean sacrificing a good deal of control over the conditions. I am a photographer more than a twitcher and the idea is not simply to obtain record shots of as many different birds as possible, but to produce satisying images of whatever I can pursuade to pose.
In the garden I can control the lighting, the perch and the background. I am working on making the set up as portable as possible.
I cannot afford to upgrade my equipment for another year, so I am having to live with its limitations. With only 6 megapixels and poor noise control, light is always a problem, especially when it comes to stopping action.
If only I could afford that 7D !!
Yesterday was a better day. I think I am at last sorting the flash exposure out. I'm using FP flash, as it allows me to use a fast shutter speed (2000th of a second). This means there is no "ghost" image caused by the ambient light. The problem is though that it seems to use a lot of flash power. I think this is because the flash is firing all the time the shutter curtain is open, which is much longer than a normal flash.
Yesterday I used the flash extender and two stops of flash exposure compensation. This gave good exposure results, but also gave quite hard shadows as well. The day was very dull, so perhaps it will be better on brighter days, when perhaps a little ambient light will get through.
Watch this space.
At least I'm feeling a little happier.
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