Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

May 23, 2011

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Filed under: Birds, Boyce Thompson Arboretum, favorite places — richditch @ 1:32 pm
Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Since I wrote about warblers and water in yesterday’s post I thought I’d follow up with different warblers and different water today.

Trying out the almost new Nikon D300 I took it for a spin at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum near Superior, AZ, on May 17. There’s an artificial brook with a tiny waterfall in the demonstration garden that is a magnet for birds in the area. As the temperature rises and everything dries out  more birds and species are drawn in to drink and bathe.

Although this creates many potential photo subjects it is a very difficult place to shoot. The water begins at a small wall and is in deep shade from overhanging shrubs. The early morning light comes from behind this wall making exposure even more difficult. But after seeing good results from a friend who tried shooting there in early afternoon I made a rare visit after lunch to see what it was like.

Although the light was coming from a better direction for photography in the afternoon, there still wasn’t a lot of it falling on the water. At least the large trees blocking some of the light also provided shade for me as I sat near the water watching the birds. To deal with conditions I replaced my normal 2x converter with my seldom-used 1.4x on my 300/2.8. That meant I was working with 420mm instead of 600mm, but I also went from f/5.6 to f/4 as my maximum aperture. I made up for the loss of focal length by simply moving my chair a bit closer.

I set the ISO to 800 – a value that was for emergencies only with my D200. That gave me just enough shutter speed to deal with many of the birds that visited the flow, and I was able to shot at f/4 and sometimes at f/5.6. For these two shots of Yellow-rumped Warblers I added some fill at -2 1/3 stops with an SB-800 – just enough to brighten the colors a little to avoid an overly dull look.

Top image: D300, 300/2.8 plus TC14E (1.4x), ISO 800, 1/60th second at f/5.6, fill flash at -2 1/3rd, 60% of frame

Bottom image: D300, 300/2.8 plus TC14E (1.4x), ISO 800, 1/160th second at f/4, fill flash at -2 1/3rd, 62% of frame

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

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