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Resisting the cold

Resisting the cold
Photo Information
Copyright: Eduard Baak (snowfalken) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 419 W: 27 N: 497] (1788)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-12-27
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 30 D, Canon EF 70-200mm f4 L USM
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/250 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Birds of Europe, Birds of Europe II, Birds / Aves, sparrow, City Birds, Birds of Europe [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-02-22 11:37
Viewed: 5695
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hello my friends,

Here is a photo of a female house sparrow, taken on a very cold day at the end of December 2006. It was late afternoon and the location was in shade so the light was pretty scarce for a 200 mm focal length.
There was a whole flock of sparrows populating this pile of fallen tree branches. This one landed on top of it when the others got scared and flew away. I took the photo handheld but took advantage of a metal fence to get a more steady support for my camera, in order to compensate for the slow shutter speed.

Here are some cool facts about the house sparrow (Passer domesticus):

* The House Sparrow was introduced into Brooklyn, New York, in 1851. By 1900 it had spread to the Rocky Mountains. Its spread throughout the West was aided by additional introductions in San Francisco, California, and Salt Lake City, Utah.

* The House Sparrow has been present in North America long enough for evolution to have influenced their morphology. Populations in the north are larger than those in the south, as is generally true for native species (a relationship known as Bergman's Rule).

* Although not a water bird, the House Sparrow can swim if it needs to, such as to escape a predator. Sparrows caught in a trap over a water dish tried to escape by diving into the water and swimming underwater from one part of the trap to another.

* The House Sparrow is a frequent dust bather. It throws soil and dust over its body feathers, just as if it were bathing with water.




-removed small twig from left side, cropped, levels, added frame and signature in CS2

simon182, cjcampbell, ellis49, elefantino, Tamrock, loot, manyee, fiyo, scottevers7, mirceax, Hil, Ken52, horia, jeanpaul, saeedabbasi, peter_stoeckl has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To peter_stoeckl: Thank you my friend!snowfalken 1 05-06 06:23
To loot: Regrets!snowfalken 1 03-02 09:29
To horia: Multumesc!snowfalken 1 02-27 05:56
To cicindela: Thanks!snowfalken 2 02-23 10:11
To AnimalExplorer: Thank you very much!snowfalken 1 02-23 09:31
To loot: Have a nice trip my friend!snowfalken 1 02-23 09:30
To scottevers7: Thanks a lot!snowfalken 1 02-23 09:27
To fiyo: Thanks!snowfalken 1 02-23 09:23
To manyee: Thank you!snowfalken 1 02-23 09:21
To Tamrock: Thank you very much!snowfalken 1 02-23 09:16
To elefantino: Thanks!snowfalken 1 02-23 09:12
To cjcampbell: Thanks!snowfalken 1 02-23 09:09
To claudine: Thank you!snowfalken 1 02-23 08:54
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Eduard,
This is a beautiful picture, the DOF is very good,
the entire bird within focus and the BG nicely blurred,
it standout well.
Nice colours, well composed and good POV.
Well done.

Eduard yours and Gert's photos are a nice compliment!

Both fluffed up individuals who'd rather be in the warm. Great timing here and detail is obvious. Wonderful backdrop and you have an excellent eye for a good composition. Nice frame. Well done!


Hello Eduard,
This is a nice portrait of this Sparrow. I like this natural exposure, lightning and beautiful details. This BG and framing are perfect too. As it for composition, I would have cropped it for its tail to arrive in the right corner in the bottom but it is really a matter of personal taste. This is well seen and well done with interesting notes. Thanks,

The soft light is very nice, though. Great handheld shot. I have trouble getting that sharp even on a tripod.

Lovely shot with the Bg the same color of the bird.
Good light, spark on the eye and details.

hi eduard!
nice one with good sharpness
and fine pov and dof
matching bg and fine compo
well done!

A very nicely composed shot, with a well chosen f-stop. The natural colors are very pleasing to the viewer. Well done on this one Eduard. :)

Hello Eduard!
Almost like Jack Sparrow ;)
I like the warm composition of this picture and the good idea for the frame in the colour of the picture.
DOF and POV are nice and the note presents some interesting facts from this bird species life :)
Greetings from Poland,

A beautiful capture, Eduard.
The sparrow is exquisitely presented in a POV that showcases its lovely features with sharp details. The monochromatic palette is subtle and very appealing to me. Your chosen aperture resulted in a well-isolated subject against a clean and nicely blurred BG.
Perfect exposure to bring out natural light and colors.
I like the bird facing left, drawing in our gaze into the picture.
TFS. : )

Hi eddie,
Flawless composition and framing. Soft low light has allowed beautiful subtle colors. Nice sharp detail and a well controled DOF. Looks great!

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2007-02-24 3:44]
  • [+]

Hello Eduard,
Very nice shot.
Lovely detail and colours,nice composition.
Nice work,very well done.TFS

Sal Eddie,
Excelenta vrabia,compozitie,Bg,sharpness si culori first class!

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2007-02-24 10:28]

Hi Eduard,

What a lovely shot, nicely composed image with a great POV and I love the pose with the Sparrow sitting with its Feathers all fluffed up, really nice feather detail on the whole of the Sparrow, the colours are very natural and are perfectly complimented by the nicely blurred BG.

TFS Hilary :o)

  • Great 
  • Ken52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 636 W: 93 N: 1243] (4195)
  • [2007-02-24 17:39]

Hello Eddie! Beautiful photo of the tiny House Sparrow. Excellent sharpness considering your shutter speed. I love the beautiful soft shades of brown and tan. The exposure is outstanding considering the subject was in shade. Excellent DOF. Nicely framed in complimentary color. Enjoyed the note. A favorite!

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-02-25 6:04]
  • [+]

Salut Edi

Inca o poza pur si simplu superba din partea ta!
Desi subiectul este unul comun, tu ai reusit sa-l faci sa arate special aici.
Imi plac foarte multe detaliide tuturor elementelor vrabiutei - incepand de la cioc, la ochi si pana la coada - toate sunt super clare si foarte bine definite, desi ai folosit numai f/4.5.
Avantajul evident al acestei diafragme a fost superblu blurr al BG-ului care ajuta mult la individualizarea subiectului.
Culorile si expunerea sunt excelente iar compozitia si rama sunt foarte misto si se potrivesc bine una cu alta.

Bravo si TFS

PS: nota e de-asemenea foarte misto si parca face din pasarea asta obuisnuita una speciala ;)

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2007-03-01 21:53]
  • [3] [+]

Hi Eddie

Wow, what a cute little fluff ball and so brilliantly captured.

Reading your notes about the freezing conditions made me think of a story I heard today on the radio that illustrates the ability of down and feathers to insulate and protect birds against the cold. The story goes about a hunter (somewhere in America) that shot a duck for the pot. Apparently he did not have time to skin or clean the bird and placed it all intact in the refrigerator until the next day. The big surprise came when his wife opened up the fridge the next morning only to find that the duck was still alive. Before the hunter could slaughter the bird his wife took it to a nearby animal rescue facility where it was found that the duck was only slightly wounded in the breast which made it to tumble out of the air and fall itself into a state of unconsciousness whereby the hunter thought that the duck was dead.

Fortunately, the only shot fired at this little house sparrow was with your Canon. I just love the composition while the well isolated OOF and similarly coloured BG does well to compliment and enhance the little bird. The details on the plumage are stunning, the colours are great, and the exposure was well managed even gaining a little catchlight in the eye.

Well done and TFS.

PS. Thanks for the extensive critique on my butterfly. I really appreciate your inputs.

PPS. You won't believe it, but I did not take one single photo on my trip the weekend. On Thursday night, before we left for the venue, I charged my cameras batteries. Since I have an E3 battery grip attached to my camera the fully charged batteries can last me up to 4 days of full-out shooting so I did not bother to take the battery charger with on the trip. However, when we arrived at our destination and I unpacked the camera I was confronted with the horror. The batteries were completely flat, period. I accidentally left the camera switched "On" and while it was inside the bag, the shutter release button must have been pressed all the time resulting in the batteries running flat. Needless to say that I was totally disgusted with myself, but it was too late for tears. The scenery, abundant birdlife, and multitude of insects were mocking me all weekend, but for your benefit I've included a link to this fabulous place called Thangami Safari Spa. Hopefully there will be a next time though.

Hi Eduard
C'est une très belle image de ce joli moineau ! Les couleurs de fond sont magnifiques !!!
Le cadrage est excellent.
Bravo et au revoir...JP

Hi Eddie, This is another beautiful capture. Instead of talking about technique, I think it is better to say that this has all that a photo needs to be considered a VERY good one.

Good work,
Regards, Kiran.

Hi Eduard ,
great shot with excellent focus.
nice background and beautiful colours.
well captured.
thanks and regards

Dear Eddie,
carefully and precisely recorded with compassion for the creature.
Skilfully well approached under low light conditions, the fluffy sparrow shows clear details and very subtle colours.
Nicely and gently imbedded in a background of closely related hues of brown and grey, you are showing the sparrow from a perfect angle in a simple and quiet, well composed, very appealing way.
Thank you!
With best regards,

Calibration Check