Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Female Northern Cardinal

This female cardinal was attracted to the feeder at Blendon Woods Metropark a few weekends ago.  When I evaluate my bird photography, I'm looking for two things.  The first is whether the bird is looking straight at the camera.  In this case, you'll notice that the female cardinal is looking slightly to my left and a bit downwards.  If she was looking right at me, this would be a shot I would be really happy with.  The second thing I look for is to make sure the bird's eye has that little sparkle in it, called a catchlight.

Anytime you photograph anything living, having this catch-light is critical for making the creature look alive.  If the catchlight isn't there, you'll have a dull and boring photograph.  The easiest way to get a catch-light is to shoot with the sun behind you.  Some photographers use flash to add catchlights, and others add them later on in post processing.  Take a look at your bird photographs, look at the ones you like the most, and I'll bet the bird is looking right at you and has a nice catchlight in its eye.


Also-  I'll be speaking and showing some of my photography to the relatively new Scioto Audubon Photo Club tomorrow night at 7:00 (thursday night), just south of downtown in the brand spanking new Grange Insurance Audubon Center.  Everyone is welcome!



  1. I watch the birds I photograph through the camera lens and see where the head is when they turn it and where it catches the light. Then I just fire away.

    When you do a three-quarter shot, people who pay lots of money for bird photos like to see the dark side illuminated so you can just make out some of the details; or the glint in that eye,

  2. Beautiful picture.I can tell that I will be learning things about photography as I visit this blog.

  3. Abe- I'm always amazed at what you're able to capture in your backyard. My all-time favorite image of yours is the "puffing" blue-jay.

    Thanks Ruth!