Long time back I had posted two articles on Male Loten’s Sunbird (Cinnyris lotenius) here and here. Recently on a cloudy overcast afternoon I found the female Loten’s Sunbird who frequents Oleander bush in our garden was sitting on the overhead television cable. As I picked up my Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM fitted on Canon EOS 1D Mark IV to photograph her. I realized that I was too close to her.
Light from the overcast sky was nicely highlighting her extra curved beak. When I took meter reading off her I found the sky will totally blow out as the sky was 4 stops brighter than the bird. Since I was concerned about the correct exposure for the bird I took 3 consecutive shots with 3 different composition. Within seconds of posing she flew away.
When I looked at the photos it was starkly minimalistic with brilliant white sky. Sometimes it works to your advantage to have such a sky. I have seen many wedding photographers using white sky to highlight their subjects. Here since the background was bared of everything bird was highlighted as though it was taken out of my bird guide book.
So to enhance this contrast I converted one of the 3 pictures I took to Black & white. Even though the bird was stationary the mood of each picture is different as I had composed each differently. Post processing I noticed the sky was blown out far more than I had expected and I had to use recovery slider in Adobe Lightroom to get my whites back from blown-out stage.
EXIF info – Aperture : ƒ/4 | Camera : Canon EOS-1D Mark IV | Taken : 29 July, 2011 | Focal length : 300mm | ISO : 100 | Location : 13° 4′ 2.1972″ N 74° 59′ 43.8828″ E | Shutter speed : 1/320s | Images and content Copyright © Krishna Mohan. Please contact me to purchase prints or for image publication license.