Day 243 – Through the wire.

A while a go I took some photos of some baby grey parrots, I got to visit them again and had an opportunity to take these pictures along with some other caged parrots. The greys were indoors, the others outside – but it was overcast and rainy. This therefore a great change to use what I now know about ISO – as to get the best photos I would need to have a short shutter speed in low light, and a shallow depth of field to try and make the cages disappear.

The cage, F6.3, 1/15sec 40mm

The cage, F6.3, 1/15sec 40mm

These are the tree parrots in their cage – with the camera wide I was able to include all three birds but the shallow depth of field was focused on the wire and not the cage… changing the focal point to the birds, just meant the cage was distracting.

ISO3200, F6.3, 1/15sec - 300mm

ISO3200, F6.3, 1/15sec – 300mm

In the cage - Indoors. ISO3200, F6.3, 1/20sec - 210mm

In the cage – Indoors. ISO3200, F6.3, 1/20sec – 210mm

Zooming in with the telephoto lens, and with a shallow depth of field I was able to focus on the detail of the individual parrots, capture a “catch light” in their eyes and make the cage disappear.

ISO3200, F6.3, 1/100 sec - 90mm outside in the rain

ISO3200, F6.3, 1/100 sec – 90mm outside in the rain

Moving outside – different parts … important to capture the detail on their light feathers, but this time they were pressed hard up against the cage and the cage wire was much tighter together. With their beak and claws poking through the cage, the wire really is part of the image.

70mm, ISO2500, F6.3, 1/125sec

70mm, ISO2500, F6.3, 1/125sec

I choose instead to move closer, square up the cage to my image and wait for the moment when the eye of the parrots looks directly at me through the cage wire. You are almost left wondering who is in the cage – the parrot or the photographer?

Through the wire - ISO3200, 105mm, F6.3, 1/60sec

Through the wire – ISO3200, 105mm, F6.3, 1/60sec

Another parrot – this time I partly zoomed in… the parrot was at the back on the cage and I was quite close to the wire. It is not really sharp enough, the foreground wire is still there although totally our of focus … maybe moving back and zooming more would have improved the image – I am not sure!

ISO3200, F6.3, 1/25 sec - through the cage, 100mm zoom

ISO3200, F6.3, 1/25 sec – through the cage, 100mm zoom

ISO3200, F6.3, 1/40 sec, 100mm zoom

ISO3200, F6.3, 1/40 sec, 100mm zoom

Two more images – this time of a vibrant yellow parrot. I was still close to the wire… but the bird was further away,  both images had a blurry spot – after I had taken these I spotted the raindrop on my lens – but I did not have the time to retake.

So what did I learn:

  • Check for stray raindrops – I had a lens hood on, but I somehow got wet!
  • Up the ISO for the shutter speed to get the shot
  • A shallow depth of field and a zoom lens have held remove the cages of captive animals and birds.
  • The further the animal is from the cage the better and the closer I can get.