Nature,  Photo Stories

Photo Story: Birds in Flight Photography – Female House Sparrow

 House Sparrows are not one of the most endeared species of bird.  They live in large flocks and can practically take over a bird feeder.  However, House Sparrows can also be a lot of fun to photograph.

Female House Sparrow in Flight

Female House Sparrow in Flight

Typically, the entire flock of House Sparrows will fly to the bird feeder at the same time.  That makes them an ideal subject for birds in flight photography.  With the whole flock moving to the bird feeder at the same time, there are usually not enough perches for the all the House Sparrows to land.  This leaves several birds hovering in the air waiting for a spot to land, and making them good subjects for the photographer.

House Sparrows are also pretty wary birds.  It doesn’t take much for the entire flock to fly off the bird feeder.   Due to this, photographer will need some kind of cover or camouflage to get close enough for good quality birds in flight photos.

Photo Details

Camera:  Canon 5d Mark III
Lens:   Canon 500mm f/4 IS 
Focal Length: 500mm
ISO:  800
Aperture:   f/5.0
Shutter Speed: 1/1250 of a second
Exposure Compensation: +0
Lighting: Partly Cloudy Afternoon

Processing

  • Cropped the photo in Lightroom 5.
  • Selectively lightened and darkened the image using Viveza 2 from Google.
  • Added detail to the Sparrow and darkened the background using the Detail Extractor and Lighten/Darken Center filters in Color Efex Pro 4
  • Added Contrast and Pop to the photo using the Fur and Feathers II filter in Topaz Clarity.
  • Selectively removed noise from the photo using Topaz DeNoise and a layer mask in Photoshop CC 2014.
  • Selectively sharpened the image using the Unsharp Mask filter and copying the layer mask from the prior step and inverting it.
  • Selectively darkened the background using the Burn Tool in Photoshop CC 2014.

Written by Martin Belan

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