…morning light is magic…

Posts tagged “Silhouette

The Making of a Bird Silhouette

Spent last Sunday at sunrise hanging out at the Texas City Dike with tons of birds including Avocets, Black Skimmers, Black Crowned Night Herons and some very cooperative American Oystercatchers.  More on the Oystercatchers later.

While trying to find the Oystercatchers, came upon this Great Blue Heron standing on some rocks.  Thought that I could turn this into a decent shot but knew that the sun reflecting off of the water behind him was going to be a challenge.  From instinct, bumped up the exposure compensation to +1 as the camera’s light meter was going to automatically darken the scene due to the bright background.  Checked the histogram and saw that the bird still wasn’t properly exposed per the first photo below.  It was going to take a lot more positive exposure compensation to be the Heron looking good, which would have really blown out the background.

Instead, decided to turn this into a silhouette shot.  Backed my car up so that the sun reflection was directly behind him.  Lowered the ISO to 100, removed all exposure compensation and let the light meter in my camera automatically darken the scene as it was very bright.  Was very pleased with the result on the first try.  Checked my histogram expecting that a little negative exposure compensation could be needed but it wasn’t.  Another silhouette for my portfolio.

Used the back focus button on my camera to set the focus on the bird and then reframed the shot to get him in the right third of the photo.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500mm F4 IS II with 1.4x III teleconverter, hand-held out the car window using a camera bean bag

Original photo:  Aperture priority, 1/3200 sec @ F8, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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 Silhouette photo:  Aperture priority, 1/1000 sec @ F10, ISO 100, evaluative metering, no exposure compensation

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Long Billed Silhouettes

Another quick trip to the Gulf coast yesterday found several Long Billed Curlews at sunrise that were prime time for some silhouette shots.  Was hoping for some more Skimmers but didn’t see any on this trip.  The randomness keeps me going back as you never know what you are going to see.

Taken with Canon 1DX and Canon 500 F4 IS II with 1.4X III teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head

1/1000 Sec @ F8, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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1/2500 Sec @ F11, ISO 1600, evaluative metering, +1 exposure compensation

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Long Billed Curlew in Silhouette

Here are a couple more silhouette shots from Bolivar Flats.  This time, Long Billed Curlew’s.  Just can’t resist silhouette shots before the sun comes up.  A guilty pleasure of mine.

Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens with 1.4x III teleconverter mounted on Skimmer ground pod with Wimberley II gimbal head.

1/125 sec @ F5.6, ISO 800, evaluative metering, + 2/3 exposure compensation

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1/125 sec @ F5.6, ISO 800, evaluative metering, + 2/3 exposure compensation

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Sandhill Silhouettes

With some early morning fog and backlighting, these Sandhill Cranes were made for silhouettes.  Since I’m a major fan of wildlife silhouettes, didn’t take much arm twisting to get me to take advantage of the opportunity.  Used negative exposure compensation to darken the scene and enhance the shot.  Taken handheld out the car window.

Taken with Canon 7D and Canon 500mm F4 IS II lens and 1.4x III teleconverter

1/1250 sec @ F11, ISO 400, evaluative metering, -1 exposure compensation

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1/1250 sec @ F11, ISO 400, evaluative metering, -1 exposure compensation

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Spoonbill Silhouette

Here is another, yes another,  Spoonbill silhouette from High Island, TX.  This time there were some interesting clouds in the sky that gives this silhouette a more dramatic look.

Taken with Canon 7D and 100-400 lens mounted on tripod with Sidekick gimbal mount

1/8000 sec @ F5.6, ISO 400, spot metering, + 1/3 exposure compensation

 


Spoonbill Partial Silhouette

Here is what I’d call a partial silhouette of a Roseate Spoonbill from the High Island rookery.  The body is dark but the wings are back-lit.  It works for me.  My plan was to go back this weekend but a little too much jet lag from recent trip kept me from wanting to drive 1.5 hrs to High Island.

Taken with Canon 7D and 100-400 lens on tripod with Sidekick gimbal mount, no flash.

1/2500 sec @ F5.6, ISO 400, spot metering with +2/3 exposure compensation


Winged Silhouette

Caught this Cattle Egret with a silhouette of his head visible though his wing with the early morning back lighting at High Island.  It’s always one of my goals when shooting back-lit shots is to get this effect.  I’ve gotten shots of Great Egrets doing this but this is a first for me with a Cattle Egret.  Had a blast last Friday.  It was a very nice change of pace to not have any clouds at sunrise.

One of my favorite photo’s of the year so far.  More to come….

 

Taken with Canon 7D and 100-400 lens on tripod with Sidekick gimbal mount.

1/800 sec @ F5.6, ISO 250, spot metering, +2/3 exposure compensation