GBP Notes 5/3/22 – Better Best

The Difference Between a Good Bird Shot and a GreatBirdPic

Firstly, I want to let you know that one of our members – Emil Baumbach – underwent hip surgery last Friday.  It must have been very painful for him to have scheduled the surgery at the start of spring migration!  He is in good spirits as he has reported seeing three Ring-billed Gulls from his hospital bed!  Speedy recovery Emil!

On Monday I shared with you some pictures I took on our first walk back from Tucson, AZ in the Morton Arboretum.  We had good looks at several warblers (Pine, Palm, Yellow-rumped and Black and White).  One that I didn’t share with you was our sighting of a rarity (for us).  It was in the same mix of birds that came over the hill high in the treetops and as we viewed them Karen mused, “I heard a Cerulean Warbler was seen here recently.”  She then put her bins up to her eyes and exclaimed, “I’ve got it!”  I mean, it was that fast!  Sure enough we had a relatively infrequent warbler dancing above our heads.  Ceruleans are not rare, but we have had a lot of difficulty finding them – we see one every two or three years, so it was a special treat to see one so early in the migration season.  It came in low enough for me to snap off a couple of shots before it moved on.

Considering it was pretty high up in the tree when I took this shot, I was happy with a Good Bird Pic quality photo.  You can see the bird and its field marks, although the whole image looks a little “fuzzy” due to the extreme cropping necessary to make the bird big enough to be seen in the frame.  All in all I was happy with even getting a picture of this little warbler.

I want to contrast my picture to another Cerulean Warbler pic taken by Emil Baumbach.  When you look at Emil’s pic you can quickly see the improved quality of it.  I would certainly classify it as a GreatBirdPic.  As you look at it I would encourage you to click on the image and read his description of how he got the shot.  It will tell you a lot on what it takes to get GreatBirdPics.

Notice how sharp the bird’s head and body are (due to a limited depth-of-field the tail is slightly out of focus).  It looks like the ground the bird is standing on is in sharp focus yet what is in front and behind are blurred (called Bokeh). The beautiful cerulean color of the bird is captured perfectly and even pops out against the tan background.  Well done, Emil!

Emil again demonstrates the planning and effort that needs to go into getting a GreatBirdPic.

Go birding.  Take Pics.  Share Here.  Repeat.


If you would like to learn more about GreatBirdPics Click Here.  Members can post their own great bird pics, create an online gallery of their works, and receive regular emails about bird photography.


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