Red-breasted Nuthatch

I was out at my blind a couple of days ago and this Nuthatch kept coming in to one of the drips I have set up. At first it was being rather bullied by the American Goldfinches, but it finally started pushing back and was able to get some water. We’d been having a hot dry spell and there isn’t much water around unless the birds go a mile or so to the nearest river. We hadn’t even had morning dew for a week or so. The background is a piece of camo fabric about 10 feet behind the pool.

What technical feedback would you like if any?


What artistic feedback would you like if any?


Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Sony a6500, FE200-600 @ 600 mm, tripod with ballhead and Sidekick mount, f/8, 1/320, iso 2000, manual exposure. Processed in LR & PS CC. Noise reduction with Neat Image, feather enhancement with Topaz Detail 3. Cleaned up a bunch of bird doo on the perch and did some dodging of parts of the bird and the perch. Cropped to 5496x3768. Taken on August 17th at 1:49 pm when this area is shaded by a fir behind my blind.

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1 Like

Great photo Dennis, the focus on the eye is perfect and the reflection in the eye came out very nice. The contrast came out very well.

Very nice, Dennis. Beautiful detail of this little nuthatch, and nice BG. These little dynamos are winter migrants here in Oklahoma. I always look forward to their arrival.

Beautiful birds, they are ! Nice colors. Maybe you could change your set-up a bit, as now it seems that the bird is a little high up - eye level would make it even better I guess. Anyway, glad you were able to make a good shot ! Cheers, Hans

Hi Dennis
I like the framing. I have seldom seen the much detail in a bird. What affect did Neat Image and Detail 3 have on this photograph? Nice work.

Very nice image Dennis, I particularly like the background and nice detail in the bird.

Hi @peter. Neat Image had a big effect as the original was very noisy. Topaz Detail helped refine the feather structure-much akin to sharpening but it can be tailored to affect detail on different scales (Large, Medium and Fine) You can define your own settings for each and save it, so I created one i call “Feathers” that mostly works on the fine detail with a little bit of medium and no large scale effect. Sometimes it can be a bit too much, but I usually use it as a first approximation and adjust the sliders as needed. The feather structure on this bird is relatively coarse and well defined, so it doesn’t need much to bring it out. I’m not sure if you can still get it from Topaz or not. It’s one of their old plugins before the went into all the AI stuff. The last time I checked their website they had a page for “legacy” software and you could download it.

Hi Dennis
Thank you for the information. I tried downloading Neat Image, but iMac’s macOS Catalina and Neat Image don’t play nice. It looked like a good program. I will look for Topaz Detail.