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Backyard Photography

I want to share some helpful tips and tricks when trying to capture stunning bird images in your backyard using feeders.


First off, here's the equipment used... Nikon D850, Nikkor m200-400, and a V860ii Speedlight.


My settings were using spot metering, Shutter 500, F4, and ISO 4000. I dialed my exposure compensation on my speedlight to -1.7 using high speed sync as I'm only using the flash as fill light trying to bring out some color, and put a catch light in the eye.


After filling up the bird feeders with a mix of sunflower seeds, safflower, peanuts, and dried fruit, I sat down by my camera on a tripod and waited for the action to start. It didn't take long as Chickadees started flying in and out quickly. It was then I noticed this beautiful gem come in off the side of the tree. I patiently waited as this Downy Woodpecker checked out the buffet before making his selection and quickly flew away.


Yes, I missed the opportunity at first. But as I continued to sit quietly and trying to track a Tufted Titmouse jumping everywhere, I saw this woodpecker fly back and grab some food. But where did he go? I couldn't find him... until I panned downward from my feeder and saw him land on top of a branch I tied to the tree trying to crack the nut he just took from the buffet... I didn't have much time as I clicked off 4 shots before he flew away. Boom! Now I was only hoping I had something that wasn't blurry. Lets get these files downloaded into lightroom and see what we got!


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