After some research on a location with Kingfisher close to my work I managed to find their nest. After arriving at the location I only had to wait for a few minutes before a kingfisher arrived and sat down on a branch in the side light. A bit challenging to photograph as the bright parts of the bird were very bright and the background very dark - but at the same time it highlights the bird in a nice way. I like the simple composition where only the bird draws focus as well as the painterly feeling that is in the picture.

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Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Nikon D850 | Sigma 150-600 mm f/5-6.3 C | @ 600 mm · f/6.3 · ISO 2500 · 1/2000 sek

I was rather dark down below the dense vegetation and I wanted to have a fast shutter speed in case the bird dived for fish. Therefore I had to increase the ISO quite a bit.

A very artistic presentation, Johan. I really like the streaks of light on the tops of the branches and the position of the bird in the frame. The Kingfisher really stands out. I do wish that it had turned it’s head just a touch to the left to get a streak of light on the near side of the face. I think that would have raised this image from good to superb. Unfortunately, the birds are horrible at taking direction.

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Wow, this is very nice, Johan. I really like the dark and sidelight highlighting the Kingfisher. Nice catch. The only thing I might change is to warm it up a tad. The shadows look a little too cool. But that is totally a personal preference. Awesome shot.

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thanks a lot for your comment Dennis! Yes, I ageee that if it had turned its that would have been great.

thanks a lot for commenting on the image. I will experiment with increasing the warmth in the shadows!

Hi Johan
This photograph expands the canvas on how to setup and photograph a bird.
Thank you, it give me something to think about.
Nice work.

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Thank you Peter I am very happy you liked the image. This image comes in part from the limitations of the camera to catch the highlights and dark shadows. In to of this I had to use a high ISO so lifting the shadows did not work well. But I liked the way it turned out!

I really like the artistic impression and the mood of this shot, Johan. Had the Kingfisher turned its head enough to catch some light on the eye it would add a lot to the image but its not critical in this case. I do agree with David on warming the image up a bit. Blue light is always magnified relative to the other colors in low light situations so its usually a good idea to back off the blue to compensate.

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Thanks a lot Gary! I will certainly experiment a bit with the warmth.