Northern Cardinal in the South

Northern Cardinal in the South

The Cardinals I have seen in Georgia have not seemed as red as the Cardinals I see in Maine, or in Arizona. This might reflect a real regional variation, or it might be because I only visit Georgia in October, or it might be my imagination. At any rate, this is one of several specimens visiting a feeding station at the Jekyll Island Campground on Jekyll Island Georgia. It was taken in very low light under a solid canopy of heavy foliage, with the new Zeiss PhotoScope (a 15-45x wide-field spotting scope with a sophisticated, fully integrated, 7 mp digital camera…operating as 600 f4 to 1800 f5.6 equivalent telephoto).  In this light I set the ISO to 200 and, even so, was only getting shutter speeds in 1/10th to 1/4 second range. In order to get shots where the motion of the bird did not destroy the image I set the camera on series capture, which takes a burst of 5 shots in very rapid sequence with a single push of the shutter release. I should also say that the PhotoScope has a wireless remote, so when you press the shutter release there is no camera motion, and that it has Auto Focus Assist, that adjusts fine focus as you shoot. All of this advanced tech allowed me to get some very satisfying images in a situation that was, at best, marginal for any kind of photography.

This shot was taken at about 1800mm equivalent at 1/4 second @ ISO 200. The aperture would have been about f5.6.

In Lightroom I moved the blackpoint slightly right, added Clarity and just a bit of Vibrance in the Presence panel, and used the Sharpen landscape preset. I also adjusted the white balance slightly, as the Auto Clouds setting I used on the PhotoScope had it just a bit too warm.

From Colonial Coast 09.

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