Cactus Wren

From the Desert Botanical Garden visit just before Christmas. This guy put on quite a show for me, practically at my feet, before perching up here and posing for his portrait.

The strong backlight/side-light, while it provides drama and some really nice effects in the seed head, made it necessary to use a combination of Fill Light in Lightroom, and Blackpoint to the right to bring out the detail in the shadowed body of the bird. It works. The nice graduated blue in the sky behind the bird was just there…could not have planned it or made it happen. Sometimes it just all comes together.

Sony DSC H50 at at full 465mm equivalent and macro. F5.6 @ 1/640th @ ISO 100. Programmed auto.

Besides the Fill Light and Blackpoint adjustments already mentioned, added Clarity and Vibrance and the Sharpen Landscapes preset in Lightroom.

From Desert Botanical Gardens 09.

Here is a quick grab shot of the bird at my feet doing some strange feather ruffling thing.

9 Responses to “1/2/2009”

  1. 01/02/2010 at 12:49 pm

    The top photo has fantastic texture to the seed head. However, somehow the bird is still in shadow and a bit indistinct for me, even though lifted it a lot in LR.

    I am impressed by the sharpness of the shot.

  2. 3 Wendy H
    01/02/2010 at 1:43 pm

    great shots really beautiful!

  3. 5 screek
    01/02/2010 at 4:56 pm

    I think it looks great! Nice and sharp!

  4. 01/02/2010 at 10:23 pm

    Amazing shots, Steve. Great detail!

  5. 7 nilo
    01/03/2010 at 7:08 am

    very nice

  6. 01/03/2010 at 8:17 am

    Oh he’s a beauty! LOVE that tail 🙂

  7. 01/04/2010 at 10:15 pm

    Superb! Love the eye color. Terrific shots!

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