Archive for December 3rd, 2009



Green Kingfisher

The Green Kingfisher is, most days, my most favorite bird. It is so improbable. Not much bigger than a sparrow, with that massive beak, and that intense green. The rust breast on the male just adds to the beauty of the bird.

It has not been an easy bird for me to photograph. They only live right down along the Mexican border, and I only get down that way once, or twice at most, a year.  They are common there, meaning that they occur at least in small numbers where there is appropriate habitat, and are regularly seen…but seeing one and getting close enough for a good shot are two different things.

This is a small bird. Worse, the feature structure, typical of a diving bird, is very fine (waterproof tight) so that getting real detail means you have to be very, very close and have very, very good light.

All of which is to say that this is one of my best shots of a male Green Kingfisher to date. I like the greens. I like the pose. I would have liked, even using what amounts to a 1600mm lens, to have been closer.

Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL at 40x (as above, about equivalent in field of view to a 1600mm lens on a full frame DSLR). 1/80th sec. @ ISO 100. Metered at about f5.6.

In Lightroom, I moved the Blackpoint considerably right, added Clarity and Vibrance (a little), and used the Sharpen Landscapes preset.

From Zeiss PhotoScope 85FL.