Posts Tagged ‘birds’

Green-winged Teal (male, female)

January 29, 2013

A couple of Green-winged Teals (Anas crecca) spotted during a photowalk at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. The male is shown in Photos 1-2; the female in Photo 3.

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Tech Tips: BorderFX, a free plug-in for Apple Aperture, was used to add a text watermark to the photos.

Copyright © 2013 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

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Ruby-throated Hummingbird: Noise reduction using Aperture 3 versus Lightroom 4

December 14, 2012

The following photo of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) was post-processed using Apple Aperture 3, including adjustments for noise reduction and sharpening.

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The same photo was post-processed using Adobe Lightroom 4, including adjustments for noise reduction and sharpening.

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Although neither photo is high quality, the noise reduction adjustment in Lightroom is clearly superior to Aperture.

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Ruby-throated Hummingbird: Noise reduction using Lightroom 4

December 12, 2012

I used my Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS150 superzoom camera to shoot the following photo of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) at the Visitor Center, Huntley Meadows Park.

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Tech Tips: The following camera settings were used for the preceding photo (above): Shutter Priority mode; ISO 800; focal length 108mm/600mm (35mm equivalent); 0 exposure value (ev); aperture f/5.2; shutter speed 1/1,250 sec. The camera automatically increased the ISO to 800 in order to compensate for less light reaching the camera sensor at a faster shutter speed. The resulting photo appears underexposed and is noticeably “noisy” (see Photo 2 of 2). I used Adobe Lightroom 4 to adjust the original photo, including noise reduction and sharpening (see Photo 1).

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

House Sparrow

December 6, 2012

A House Sparrow (Passer domesticus) spotted during a photowalk through the Children’s Garden at Hollin Meadows Science and Math Focus School, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

European Starling

December 4, 2012

A Common- or European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) spotted at Belle Haven Marina, Alexandria, Virginia USA.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Northern Cardinal (male)

December 2, 2012

A Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis) spotted spotted during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park, Alexandria, Virginia USA. This individual is a male.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Theory into Practice: ISO Versus Noise

November 22, 2012

Phil Wherry, a good friend and experienced photographer, and I were corresponding about digital camera imaging sensor size versus image noise. In general, smaller sensors tend to be noisier than larger sensors. The message thread flowed to the topic of ISO versus noise, in relation to my Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS150 superzoom camera. Phil wrote, “I think noise is more often objectionable above ISO 400 on the Panasonic.”

I used my Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS150 to shoot the following photos of one or more Ruby-throated Hummingbirds (Archilochus colubris) at the Visitor Center, Huntley Meadows Park.

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The following camera settings were used for the preceding photo (above): Normal Program mode; ISO 400; focal length 108mm/600mm (35mm equivalent); 0 exposure value (ev); aperture f/5.2; shutter speed 1/50. The shutter speed was too slow to stop the motion of the bird’s wings, so I switched to shutter priority mode, set the shutter speed to 1/1300 second, and shot the photo shown below.

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The following settings were used for the preceding photo (above): Shutter Priority mode; ISO 800; 108mm/600mm; 0 ev; f/5.2; 1/1300. The camera automatically increased the ISO to 800 in order to compensate for less light reaching the camera sensor at a faster shutter speed. Although the faster shutter speed was able to “freeze” the bird’s wings, the resulting photo is noticeably noisier.

Bottom line: At an ISO of 400 the level of noise is acceptable; at an ISO of 800 the level of noise is unacceptable, consistent with Phil’s opinion.

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Barn Swallow (male)

June 16, 2012

A Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) spotted in the central wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park. This individual is a male, as indicated by its rust-colored breast.

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According to “All About Birds,” Cornell Lab of Ornithology …

True to their name, they build their cup-shaped mud nests almost exclusively on human-made structures.

An experienced birder told me Barn Swallows build their nests under the boardwalk that goes through the wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park.

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Tree Swallow (male)

June 10, 2012

A male Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) with a small insect in its beak. I spotted the bird in a large meadow far from the wetland area at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA, perching near its nesting box.

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I was focused on looking for dragonflies and accidentally wandered a little too close to a nesting box. As it turns out, I was standing between the male Tree Swallow and its nesting box when I shot these photos. Other than making a funny little sound a few times (I’m guessing it’s harder to call with a beak full of insect!), the male waited on its perch until I moved away from the box before it delivered food to the nest. The nesting box is in a relatively remote location in the park so I’m guessing these swallows don’t have a lot of contact with humans.

Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com

Red-winged Blackbird (male, calling)

May 27, 2012

A Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) spotted during a photowalk through Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA. This individual is a male, as indicated by its red and yellow shoulder patches, calling its mate.

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Copyright © 2012 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved. www.wsanford.com


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