This common Brown-headed Cowbird took on a regal pose against a simple out-of-focus background.
He had been darting in and out of view, and was not the most photogenic bird in the area. But when he landed on this sunlit tree stump and his iridescent feathers were spotlighted by the sun, suddenly he became the center of attention.
I was very lucky with the background elements. Shooting wild songbirds from a blind, you get what you get. It is not easy to change positions quickly or efficiently, and doing so can often alert the birds to your presence and the shot evaporates.
The dark background helps to accentuate the feathers, and the soft greens and the hint of pink in the upper right corner add some interest to the background.
A nice side benefit to the frontally lit bird is the catchlight in his eye. While catchlights are not mandatory in an otherwise successful image, they can add a bit of sparkle to a dark eye.
Shutter Speed 1/500 sec. Aperture f/8. ISO 800. Lens: Canon 200-400mm f/4L IS with 2x extender for effective focal length of 800mm. Camera: Canon 5D Mark III. Gitzo tripod with Really Right Stuff ballhead and Wimberley Sidekick.
TODAY’S QUOTE: “Luck is a matter of preparation meeting opportunity.” --Lucius Annaeus Seneca