Every time I go photograph birds at the Pedernales Falls State Park bird blind I tell myself that I’m no longer going to photograph Northern Cardinals. The Northern Cardinal is one of the most abundant birds at the blind and I must have taken hundreds of photos of them. But, almost every time, I come home with more. That said, I ran across this image while I was processing my photos from my last visit and I really liked it. So, here is yet another Northern Cardinal for your viewing pleasure.
I have said a lot about these birds in previous posts so I won’t give you more bird details. I will say, however, that depth of field while photographing birds is paramount. I learned this the hard way during one of my recent visits to the bird blind. I was photographing birds at close range (10-15 feet) with my 400mm lens set pm f/8 and I noticed that the bird was not sharp. When I got home and tried to figure out that was wrong I determined that my depth of field was too narrow (about an inch). And, by the way, that’s -0.5 inches and +0.5 inches from the focal point, so, if you focus on the tip of the beak you will only get one half-inch of depth. That’s not very deep for a bird. That’s the great thing about my photography hobby, I’m always learning! Now I photograph them further away or use a shorter focal length.
This image was taken with my Canon EOS 5DS using my Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 II Lens set on 400mm. The camera was set on Aperture priority mode with the aperture set at f/8, shutter speed at 1/400th of a second and the ISO set at 800. This is a single photograph processed in Lightroom and Nik Color Efex Pro.
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Amazing how the quality of the image is enhanced when really sharp. Nicely executed for a great photo. One of the best of the ones posted.
Thank you Rick!