For some reason, the Bobolink has been a digiscoping jinx bird for me. Every year I try for new shots at Laudholm Farm, just down the road from us, where they are abundant and very visible during courting season in the spring. I tried two years in a row in North Dakota where they are also abundant. And I have nothing to show for it…or at least, nothing I am willing to show to others. 🙂

So, this year, I gottem! Or at least I got my best shots yet.

Even then, this is still a very hard bird to photograph. White on black is always a hard exposure problem, and the fine-fur like structure of the head feathers is a real challenge to capture effectively. And when they are visible in courtship, they are always moving. After courtship they simply disappear. I have never seen a Bobolink that was not courting or being courted. Maybe I am just not looking hard enough.

Canon SD1400IS behind the eyepiece of a Zeiss Diascope 65FL for an equivalent focal length of about 3500mm. Exif f5.0 @ 1/160th @ ISO 80. Computed f-stop, considering the spotting scope, f9.6.

In Lightroom, some Recovery for the highlights, a touch of Fill Light to open the black plumage, and then a bit of Blackpoint right to intensify the colors. Adde Clarity and just a bit of Vibrance. Sharpen landscape preset.

And, though the light on this video is not what I would like (got to leave some challenge for next year), it does showcase the song!

All but the video are from Digiscope Around Home on my Wide Eyed In Wonder site.


7 Responses to “6/4/2010”

  1. 1 julietwilson
    06/04/2010 at 5:33 am

    lovely photos, what a handsome bird!

  2. 06/04/2010 at 5:47 am

    Well done Stephen! Exposure looks great!

    This bird has frustrated me for many years…. one of these days!

  3. 06/04/2010 at 6:00 am

    Superb catch


  4. 4 Wendy Hollands
    06/04/2010 at 6:47 am

    wow these are so fantastic, love the details!!

  5. 06/04/2010 at 4:52 pm

    The first shot is the pic of the bunch.

  6. 6 Steve McNeil
    06/04/2010 at 6:08 pm

    Sweet! Thanks for sharing these great photos.

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