Photographing a Bird

Posted on: June 10th, 2013 1

We Got Lucky!

A catbird built her nest right in front of our window. When my wife, Lucille, showed me, I ran and got a tripod and set up my Canon S90 point and shoot camera. I leave it set up at the window. The idea was, and is, to shoot few frames each day and monitor her progress, from nest building to hatching her eggs, to feeding her babies. When I’m done I’ll create a time-lapse video of the entire process. This is as close as I’ll probably ever get to a nesting female. Here’s what she looks like:

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Here is a photo through the window of her nest, circled in red (click it for larger image):


This image wasn’t taken with the S90. I pulled out my Canon 60D with a 70-200mm lens. Since this camera has a cropped frame sensor, I got more reach. At 200mm, the 35mm frame equivalent is 320mm. I also used an off-camera flash, which I set up outside by the bush, with an 8×12 softbox, triggered by my el-cheapo Cowboy Studio radio trigger system. Below is a shot from inside directly at the flash so you can get an idea as to the setup (click it for larger image):


I am impressed by her dedication and stamina. She sits on her eggs in the pouring rain, and only leaves the nest to feed herself. We can’t wait for her babies to hatch! BTW, we named her “Betty.” 🙂 Here are a few more shots taken with this setup:

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For a really great photo of a bluebird as well as an explanation and BTS photos, check out David Hobby’s post on Strobist.

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One Response

  1. Barry Jay says:

    We get them every year in the bamboo….they raise hell when you go back there..

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