Tuesday, May 7, 2013
The dazzling white bird with the long S-shaped neck
For my last two visits to the rookery, I had my sites on a small area consisting of several families of egrets. This made it impossible to isolate one family from another. But it was stunning to watch the activity among the families as more than one feeding would go on at a time. I wanted to somehow capture the entire chaotic scene which might include at least two families. This meant that as many as six or more birds could make up the composition of the photo. 99% of the time, I must photograph a bird at my maximum focal length of 400mm to fill the frame in a meaningful way. But for these subjects, I needed to zoom out and was able to create several compositions at 300-330mm focal length.
Normally, I get away with an open aperture of f5.6. This works well with one bird and more than one bird if they are similar distances from the lens. To capture several birds in the trees, I needed to increase the depth of field; so I settled on f9.0. This seemed to work very well as all the birds appeared to be in focus.
Enjoy these photos of the nesting egret families. Bon appetit petit oiseau.