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Tiny Dancer

Tiny Dancer
Photo Information
Copyright: John Plumb (JPlumb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-12-29
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, Nikkor AF Micro 105 mm f/2.8
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/90 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-01-29 18:09
Viewed: 3884
Points: 18
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I’m back now, but spent a few days visiting Canada over Christmas, and managed to get in a few shots.

This is a Black-capped Chickadee (Parus atricapillus). I very purposely went out and stood next to a feeder we have, hoping to get some shots of these birds landing on branches around me, and they did, but I liked this guy. He landed close to where I was standing on a small rock we have in the garden. I liked the simple very clean backdrop the snow gave me.

The Black-capped Chickadee is one of the more common birds we see in our area in the winter time. They are widely distributed throughout much of North America, overlapping (and creating hybrids) with the Carolina Chickadee in the central US states. Their diet consists of insects, seeds and berries. They definitely aren’t shy about taking seeds from a feeder. In winter they form stable winter flocks. In spring these will disperse into breeding pairs.

Much of this and ID from: Stokes, Donald and Lillian (1996), Stokes Field Guide to Birds – Eastern Region, Little, Brown and Company, Boston

Workflow for this shot was as follows:
The shoot – shot in Raw with Jpeg reference
NEF file adjusted for exposure and shadow
Adjusted levels for black and white points
Adjusted curves for contrast both on the bird and the snow
Burned and Dodged with overlay layer (5-20% opacity black and white brush)
Added saturation layer +12 to master
Saved as a tiff
For this post, resized, sharpened with USM on bird, stone and front snow selection (toned down edges with layer mask and 70% opacity black brush), re-sharpened eye selection with USM, framed, and saved as a jpeg

rcrick, mlines has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi John,
Welcome back hope you had a good break and all be it a little late but happy new year; Nice shot of this Black-capped Chickadee, looks like a very small bird, good detail in the plumage and lovely colours, you handled the exposure well considering all that snow and nicely framed too, all the best Cheers Rick :)

Hello John,
Fine details in your feathered friend!
A well composed presentation with the fellow in the snow, I like the curious look in his face, probably wondering what is going on, hehehe...
Pablo -

:-) OK-

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-01-30 5:03]

Hi John,
Great shot of this tiny Chickadee among the snow. Nice colours, sharpness and focus. You have exposed the snow pretty well and managed the lighting perfectly. Excellent POV and composition. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2008-01-30 5:48]

Hi John,welcome back and thanks for this great pic,the little bird in the snow is beautifull,a nice canadian winter life shot,thanks for share,luciano

Hello John nice contrast bird in the snow, was difficult exposure I could imagine. Well done getting close considering it was a 105mm lens. tfs rgds Necip

  • Great 
  • lizzie Gold Star Critiquer [C: 207 W: 0 N: 605] (2855)
  • [2008-01-30 16:52]

Hi John,

Not easy to shot against the snow and you've managed the colours very well. The chickadee can be appreciated here with lovely, well saturated natural colours and good sharpness. Well done!


Magnifique, très beau POV et rien de surexposé.

  • Great 
  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2008-02-02 15:01]

Hi John. Well composed and i'm sure this looks more natural than if it were on the bird feeder itself so good choice of background. The chickadee is a bird we don't have under that name but maybe similar to others. Excellent result of this delicate bird in winter. TFS. Murray.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-02-02 22:00]

Hello John

A very good capture of this crowd favourite.
The shot is well focused with sharp details.
Excellent lighting and lovely natural colours.


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