Photo Stories

The Story Behind the Photo: Singing Song Sparrow

The Photo Story

The geese at Sandy Ridge Reservation in Northeast, Ohio are very territorial in the spring.  They like to make their nests near the gravel walking path and hiss and chase people who are walking on the path.

Song Sparrow

Song Sparrow Singing

As I was attempting to get the right composition and lighting on this singing song sparrow and capture him while he was singing, a very territorial goose was hissing at me and trying to attack my shoe. 

I did get a few good shots of the sparrow but decided to move on and not agitate the territorial goose.


Camera:  Canon 5d Mark iii
Lens: Canon 500mm f/4 with 1.4x teleconverter
Focal Length:  700mm
ISO:  500
Aperture:   f/7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/2000 second
Exposure Compensation: +0
Lighting:  Bright and Sunny Morning

Post Processing

  • Cropped the photograph in Lightroom 5.
  • Cleaned up the branches in the photo using Content Aware Fill and the Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop CC.
  • Used Google Viveza 2 to selectively lighten and darken portions the photo. 
  • Used Topaz DeNoise and a Layer Mask in Photoshop CC to selectively remove the noise from the photo.
  • Selectively sharpened the image using the Unsharp filter and a Layer Mask in Photoshop CC

Written by Martin Belan

Related Posts
Nature Photography at Sandy Ridge Reservation
Photographing Wood Ducks in the Fall at North Chagrin Reservation, Ohio
Photographing Ducks at the Castalia Duck Pond

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