It’s Not a Lousy Picture – It’s a Lifer!

Recently LinLark, a great bird photographer and prolific sharer, submitted the following picture and titled it “Lousy Pic of a Lifer”.


When it comes to Lifers, there are no “lousy” pics.  If you take a picture and you are proud of it, it’s welcome on GreatBirdPics – just tell us why the pic is special to you.  And yes, a Lifer pic is a great reason to be proud.  Birding Buddy Bonnie goes out of her way to get a picture of every Lifer so she can put a print copy of each in her Lifer Book.  I’ve taken pics of Lifers that have been “lousy” but I cherish the memory of the first time I found that bird.

There are a couple of things LinLark could have done to improve the quality of the White-winged Scoter pic.  First, note the brightness of the water around the Scoter; this would have caused the camera to automatically darken the image.  In these cases try increasing the Exposure Compensation up to +1 or +2 to force the camera to accept more light.  Yes, the water in the image would become even brighter but so would the Scoter.  Secondly, cameras have a hard time focusing on a bird far out in the water because the camera tends to see a flat surface (the water) so it doesn’t know exactly where to focus.  Try increasing the Aperture to f9 or f11 (this shot was taken at f4) so there is a bigger depth of field, hopefully including the bird in the focus area.  Together, these two tips may increase the likelihood of getting a better shot.

Keep those Lifer pics coming, LinLark!


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