One recent Grand Canyon Photography Club meetings featured a photographer who said something akin to, "Shoot early and shoot often if you want to improve your skills. And don't be afraid to experiment with your shots or various editing software." These are words I've heard often and in today's digital age where the cost of film and development is nil, they should be taken to heart.
With that in mind I've been reading the user's manual fro my Sony Alpha (again!) and trying to better the quality of my bird photos. I had gotten into the habit of using my Sony and its 75-300 mm zoom lens as if it were a mere point-and-shoot contraption. I would set it on "Auto" and let the little computer brain do all my thinking for me forgetting everything I had been doing two years ago.
I've relearned some things about white balance and bracketing and have already seen some improvement in the quality of my shots. Now all I need is fro the birds to get a little more cooperative. If they would only stand still a bit longer or come just a little closer....
In any case, here's a couple of subjects that did cooperate yesterday afternoon on the Pine Creek Rails-to-Trails west of Wellsboro.
First was a Yellow Warbler. There's been an explosion of these little noisy jewels. Every hedgerow and forest edge seems to house and abundant...and very curious...population. Other warblers may be just passing through, but these guys will be here all summer. They may not be singing as loudly once they set up house keeping, but right now...oh, my!
Another colorful--and loud--bird I encountered yesterday was the Baltimore Oriole. In one stretch of a few hundred yards along the trail, there were at least half a dozen males singing their heads off in a very melodious way and chasing one another around. The bank-full creek, the flooded fields, the Sycamore and aspen trees (both favored for nesting sites) may have had something to do with all the hostility (in a Sharks vs. Jets song and dance sort of way). Some of these may be moving on but I can imagine quite a few hanging nests along Marsh Creek and Pine Creek in the near future.
I'm going to grab my camera and sit on the (very cold) deck and snap some photos. Practice. Practice. Practice.