White-breasted Nuthatch + repost

What technical feedback would you like if any?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

All comments welcome

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If backgrounds have been removed, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

The light is no good for the feeder location this time of year but there is some action in a nearby redwood tree. It’s very challenging as the view is on the shady side and the birds are small and fast-moving. The low light is a challenge for high ISO, wide aperture and slow SS. After some frustration I decided to add some flash, which increased the keepers. The low light and movement also challenges AF on the Canon R5 but I’m getting used to it. I had been shooting with the 400mm f/4 DO II + 2X but the subjects were small enough in the frame that noise had been an issue, as it was about the same frequency as fine feather detail. So I went to the 600mm f/4 + 2X (and a sturdy tripod) and got better results. Of course now SS was more critical, with more magnification. So I added flash and that helped.

Canon R5, 600mm f/4 + 2X, ISO 2500, f/8, 1/125 sec. The flash was at about 1/16 power so it’s effective SS was quite fast. The DOF is very shallow, but in this one I got most of the bird in the plane. The details are sharp enough that there may be moiré at some magnifications.

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Nicely captured with good detail and the redwood makes for a nice background. My only nit would be to have a little more eye contact.

1200mm. That is pretty hard to find the tree never mind a little nuthatch bobbing and weaving around. Good for you. Image quality looks pretty good. It looks to my eye and the largest image size that critical focus is more on the tail area than the head. I have never used flash but this looks good. Nice shot.

Excellent detail for 600 and 2X extender. I also agree with Allen with respect to the eye contact.
I have a preference of looser crops than this in general although I am at times just as guilty. One image detail that I find very helpful in critiquing these photos would be the percent of crop. I find it difficult to keep track of the sensor size on these cameras so I typically will post a percentage of the image size divided by the sensor size.

Thanks guys! David, I usually include that information and neglected to do so here. It’s 50% of the original frame. I always try to specify as a % of the original frame – it drives me crazy when someone specifies a “% crop” without saying if that % remains or that % was cropped off.

At 1200mm I’m definitely trying to channel Annie Oakley. By the time I find the bird it’s usually just moving on. The extremely shallow DOF makes it even harder.

I was working on a similar shot I got a couple of days ago and realized the bird could use more contrast. Here’s a slight improvement, I hope.