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Everything posted by lonestranger

  1. Welcome to WhatBird @Kathleen. If the bird can fly, even short distances, you're best to leave it where you found it. It may still be relying on it's parents for food and while you may not see them around, they'll be looking out for their young. Give the bird lots of space so it's parents won't feel threatened and keep any cats indoors, watch from a distance. This link is very helpful when dealing with young and/or injured birds. https://forums.whatbird.com/index.php?/announcement/3-what-to-do-if-you-find-a-baby-or-injured-bird/ As for the identity of the bird, a photo would definitely help. Young birds can be tricky but a photo, even a poor one, or a good description, will give the members something to work with.
  2. Looks like a hybrid between a hummingbird and the bat signal.
  3. When I had a long lens to carry, I used to rotate the tripod collar so the foot was right on top of the lens out of the way of all controls, and then I could use the tripod foot as a handle for carrying the camera. When the tripod foot was too small to use as a handle, I used a 4 or 5 inch extension plate lengthening the holding/mounting area. When I used a camera strap, attached to the camera, it was a wide deluxe model that I would swing off to the side and then help support the lens with my hand. I prefer the strap attached to the tripod foot, but haven't always been able to connect them that way.
  4. I think Rose-breasted Grosbeak fits better for being at a feeder though, and their song is similar to that of an American Robin. I agree that it's probably a long shot, but we'll see what else @Dave Roper has to say.
  5. My first thought was a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Edit: I admit it doesn't match up perfectly but it was a first impression comment.
  6. Perhaps you're hearing young owls still in the nest who are just learning to use their voice and haven't quite got it right yet?
  7. So you DO think that we should all learn the same method as you use. Read a field guide and memorize everything in it, range maps, subtle plumage variations, behaviour, etc. Thanks for your input but I think I will learn from those that include an answer with their helpful tips. You should try it sometime, an answer and how they got it seems to work for most everyone else.
  8. Are these types of responses suppose to be helpful?...Or is it just an opportunity for you to frustrate those of us without your knowledge, and/or those of us that don't have the desire to become as knowledgable as you? Seriously though, do you feel ALL birders should have to learn how to ID birds to the same extent as you before they're worthy of a direct answer?
  9. Just for the sake of discussion, is it possible this is a leucistic Gray Catbird? The dark eyes and tail shape seem like a possible match to these untrained eyes.
  10. Maybe it was named after a romantic encounter???? ?
  11. I suspect that the Barred Owls you're hearing, @tclarkwood, have already taken up a nest and are possibly already raising their young. All About Birds has live nest cams from Indiana with two chicks just hatched on April 11, 2020. With incubation being 28-33 days, that means these eggs were laid sometime back towards the beginning-middle of March. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/cams/barred-owls/ Keep your eyes, and ears, open, you may be able to get a glimpse of the adults flying to and from the nest as they feed any young they might have.
  12. Feeling left out, Melierax? Seriously now, and don't take this personally, but I'd rather not welcome you into the unanswered club, although I think it's inevitable.
  13. After me joking about you getting her gender wrong, yeah you're suppose to know ...before that, well, never mind.
  14. I doubt that @Aveschapines would leave over some silliness arising from accidental hiccups in the forum, but SHE might leave if SHE keeps getting called a he. ?
  15. That sounds awfully Adult like for a young birder's forum. Are you sure you're young enough to still act like a kid? Oh wait, that's exactly what we're doing here, isn't it? ?
  16. @Aveschapines, this is what happens when someone quotes from a quote instead of quoting the original content.
  17. Okay, I admit that I might have exaggerated a bit there. The theory is to set a base exposure using a mid-tone subject, something that's not bright or dark. When you change your aim to something that is brighter or darker than your base line, it will appear brighter or darker in your photo but hopefully still look natural, mostly, and not too far on either end of the baseline. You didn't end up taking more photos of black cats in a coal mine, did you? ? If you want your dark areas to be as bright as the the baseline shot, which admittedly you'll want to do at times, you just have to turn the dial a bit. Knowing when and how much to turn the dial is something that only practice can really teach, but it sounds like you're already picking up on that since you've been monitoring your meter and checking results as you go. You can read a lot of valuable tips on many websites, and I did, but I still don't know what I do wrong to ruin a picture until after I've already ruined the picture. Sometimes I find out my shutter speed was too slow because the bird turned it's head a bit, other times I might realize that I could have lowered my ISO and eliminated some of the graininess, quite often I wonder if the photo would have been better if I did this or that before I pushed the shutter button. Photography is one of those things in life where we often get the test before the lesson. Don't give up on it. Making mistakes is all part of the learning process and since they don't cost anything with today's cameras...I won't charge you the $0.02 because of the mistake you made by listening to me. ?
  18. It sounds like the meter has tricked the photographer similar to the way it tricks the camera into reading the lighting wrong. When you change directions the background changes and the meter will reflect that by going up and/or down, even though the lighting hasn't changed. Manual photography is almost a set it and forget it adjustment, if you take a few test shots and find the right exposure, you can pretty much ignore the meter and just leave your settings alone. It'll need to be reset when the lighting changes but if the lighting stays the same, set it and forget it. Try this Charlie. Set your ISO to 400, set your aperture to f/5.9(your largest aperture at max zoom), and set your shutter speed to 1/500, and then take a test shot and review it on your display screen. Increase your shutter speed if it's too bright and take the same shot over again and review it, repeat this until your test shot looks the right brightness. Reverse the process and decrease your shutter speed if your test shot comes up too dark. Once you have found that magic spot where your picture isn't too bright or too dark, turn the camera away from your test subject and, without making any more adjustments, take a few different test shots, a stick on the ground under a tree, a branch in the middle of a tree, max zoom of the top of a tree, etc. Review these new test shots and see if they work for you, if they're all under or over exposed then make a shutter adjustment accordingly and repeat the same shots and review the results. It might take a bit to get the right settings at first, but after a few tries you'll get faster and faster at pre-setting the camera and be able to forget about the camera settings and focus on finding the birds and just pressing the shutter button.
  19. I know that the Sunny 16 rule is not really necessary to know about with today's cameras but I think it's worth reading about. This short article might make setting your camera up for manual exposure a little easier and shows charts for suggested settings under various lighting conditions. https://www.slrlounge.com/photography-essentials-the-sunny-16-rule/
  20. I suspected that the UFO in the first photo was an artifact of sorts showing the wings separated from the body, but I had never heard of rolling shutter effect before and had no idea how the artifact/UFO came to be until reading this thread. Thanks for enlightening me. *smears @Charlie Spencer with offal and stakes him out for the vultures knowing that he has opened this thread yet again* ?
  21. I think it's a cactus wren @DC064 but I'm not familiar with birds in your area so wait for someone else to confirm that there's not something similar looking.
  22. Whether you're learning or not, an outdoor classroom is always preferable. ? While you're indoors though, here's a link to an online source of tips and tutorials that might be helpful. I found the author to be easy to read and understand and the topics are pretty much anything you could think of and some topics you may not have thought about. I took the liberty of finding a short lesson on Manual mode because of the relevance, but if you look up top you'll see links to the Tips and Tutorials and the How do I? sections where you can find all kinds of topics in a similar format as this. https://www.digital-photo-secrets.com/tip/3400/take-photos-in-manual-mode-for-a-month/
  23. That's the sad part about getting better at photography, there is a lot to learn and it can become overwhelming at times. I started out much like @Charlie Spencer and struggled to understand what other people took for granted. I'd read the camera's manual and saw how to change settings without knowing why I would want to change them or how that would affect the end results. There's still settings I have never explored and don't know why I would need them, but they're there if I ever get around to learning them. I would read online resources and see that so-and-so used this mode and took stunning photos so I would try that mode. I'd play around with that mode for a while until I picked up on something new and then I'd try another mode. Once I learned about exposure compensation I thought I had it all figured out until my bird flew from the shadows under the tree to the very top of the tree and I forgot to change the exposure compensation accordingly. I got better and better with the help of Aperture mode and exposure compensation, to the point where I was pre-setting my Aperture and ISO and just using exposure compensation to control the shutter speed. Then it dawned on me that if I was setting my own ISO, Aperture, and then using exposure compensation to control the shutter speed, I was manually controlling the exposure triangle. I then decided to get over my fears of missing that all important shot, and turned the dial to that big M for Manual exposure. I don't think I am exaggerating when I say I that learned more after a month or two of using Manual than I had in the previous 5 years. After years and years of growing as a photographer, basically because of my interest in birds, my advise to someone in the early stages of a similar interest would be this.... First, learn the basics, meaning how to access and control ISO, aperture, shutter speed, focus modes and focal points, etc. Don't worry so much about what they do but ensure that you know how to access them because they'll need to be adjusted at some point or another unless you stay in 100% Auto mode. Some cameras aren't easily controlled and this is something that should be considered when thinking about upgrading your equipment. Ease of use is definitely a factor in achieving better photos, a quick turn of the dial is much easier than diving into a menu system and scrolling to your desired adjustment. Secondly, read as much as you can even if you can't absorb it all. Somewhere down the road that info will make sense and suddenly a light will go off and you'll wonder why you didn't pick that up earlier. Speaking from personal experience here. Lastly, skip the lessons that slow down your learning. I wasted time learning how to use P mode, I wasted time trying to use the scene modes, I wasted time trying to use shutter mode, I wasted time trying to use aperture mode, I wasted time trying to learn exposure compensation. All of those settings still left the camera in control, not as much as in full Auto, but the camera was still in control. In hind sight, if I had of dived right into Manual mode instead of being afraid of it, I would be a far better photographer than I am today. Now don't get me wrong, Manual mode isn't for everyone, but if you want to control your camera so that you don't end up with silhouettes all the time when a bird perches on top of a tree or telephone pole, Manual is the mode to learn. The other modes work well most of the time, and can be tweaked with exposure compensation, but the camera is in control and it can/does get it wrong now and then. If my exposure is wrong, I'd rather it be because I set it wrong than the camera setting it wrong, but that's just me and another two cents worth of my thoughts.
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