Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tweety Bird


I love these little Goldfinch. They look happy, they sing happy...they even fly happy. When they fly, they look like they're on a roller coaster (without the track or the coaster).

This may look like a straightforward shot, but it wasn't. Few things are EVER easy for me, but thankfully I love an adventure. Since Jay's gonna ask me how I got this shot, I'm going to let you "behind the curtain" so to speak. (Just kidding, Jay!)

We have a spruce tree in our backyard that the Goldfinch love to perch on. The little guy pictured above is probably twenty feet in the air. Since he wouldn't let me get close to him, I positioned a tripod in a nearby spruce tree (kind of buried it into the tree) with a camera, 300mm lens and an on-camera strobe. I focused the camera at the tip-top of the tree, with the composition you see here.

The key to making it all happen was a remote control. I cobbled up the ability to fire my camera from up to 600 feet away. So, when the tweety bird lands, I go "click" from a distance.

It's all a bit unorthodox, I suppose. I think being a commercial photographer has taught me that failure is not an option. If someone is paying me to produce, I need to somehow make it happen. Sometimes I just need to think it through and come up with a solution.

Next post: The "Cargo Plane" of birds. Any guesses?


Jay said...

Hahaha, that's funny.

I would have never thought of a remote, good idea. --- and I have a 300, so this makes this shot achievable. There's hope. ;)

This bird was just outside?? I have never seen a bird like this, must be native to the North. It's gorgeous!!

Dan Denardo said...

I wasn't sure if you guys had Goldfinch in the South. They're stunning in the summer. In the winter they are an olive green color. To me, they are the most beautiful northern bird.

Don said...

Let me see here. You stuck a fortune in Nikon equipment in a tree. Is this the type of behavior that makes one a professional. My D80 will never live up to this!

Plan to hear your talk on Saturday.