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Snow Bunting

Snow Bunting
Photo Information
Copyright: Ivan Kruys (Argus) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-23
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 400D, Canon EF 300 f4L + Canon 1.4 converter
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Map: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-10-24 23:07
Viewed: 2946
Points: 70
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Snow Bunting (Plectrophenax nivalis).

It was a fine sunny morning, the low sun making photography difficult because of the extremes in light intensity, which is both a curse and a joy at this time of the year in these northern latitudes.

There were greenfinches flying in flocks and a solitary white wagtail but only birds of interest that I saw on my walk round the local bird nature reserve on Thursday were two Snow Buntings.

The long genus name is said by some to refer to the song that is supposed to liken that of the ancient Greek Sirens that drew sailors to their death, the Greek word ’plectron’ referring to the lyre. Others say that it is an aberration of the word ‘plectrophanes’ that refers to the spur on the foot that likens a ’plectron’ and as ‘phaino’ means ‘show’, the name can be translated as ‘showing the spur’. ‘Nivalis’ refers to the association with snow.

They nest in areas that still have patches of snow and they arrive when most of the ground is covered by snow.
After nesting in the Scandinavian mountains and tundra, Snow Buntings spend the winter on the coasts of Britain and Northern continental Europe, and few, probably like this one remain along the coasts of Scania if the winter does not get too cold. Others overwinter in central Europe.

This is a male in winter plumage shown by the large white wing patch that the female lacks and she has more brown on the face. He was catching the flies that abound on the banks of seaweed where he is standing.

This shot was taken with the camera hand-held at a distance of about 10 meters (33 ft) and is moderately cropped. After size reduction the image was selectively sharpened. I did not fully succeed in reducing the over-exposure on the wing.
I managed to get even closer and took a shot from another POV showing plumage details of the back, but as I prefer the shown image I am showing the closer shot in the WORKSHOP.

Vinster, matatur, jignasi, siggi, cloud, Amadeo, CeltickRanger, cicindela, fiyo, nglen, jaycee, albert, horia, eqshannon, vanderschelden, boreocypriensis, crs, Royaldevon, Alex99, pekkavalo1, rousettus, jusninasirun, RII, Tamrock has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2008-10-25 0:08]

hi ivan,
yes, this is very beautifuly done, the bunting perfected poised. good lighting with details on the bird and contrasting background. very good comments to read. tfs.

Good Morning Ivan
A fine shot of this pretty little bird. This is a species that is a rare migrant in my part of the world (seen more on the east coast of the UK) so I have never seen one yet. The dark background really makes him stand out, especially as he is in the sunshine. The over-exposed wing does not look too bad to me. Excellent notes too!
Kind Regards

Merhaba Ivan,
Your both tele-macros of this fine looking Bunting are expertly captures in correct exposure and sharp focus, with a high degree of definition and plumage detail. The images look finely highlighted against the darkish and OOF natural BG and I don't believe that there is any overexposure on the wing my friend, those feather areas are just pure white. TFS this fine image.

Que bonita Ivan !!

Muy buena luz y excelente enfoque para un ave que desconozco. Buena pose y encuadre tal como es habitual en tus trabajos. Creo que tiene mérito el buen control de la potente luz existene.
Abrazo y que tengas un buen fin de semana:
Josep Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-10-25 1:21]

Hello Ivan!
Excellent shot of this Bunting. Very sharp,great detail,exposure and lighting. Very nicely framed with a great soft background. Greetings. Siggi

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-10-25 1:48]

It looks very much like a little female sparrow apart from the white feathers. Similar - but different!!
Lovely capture of both photos, Ivan, he looks so sweet. Good focus and colours. Sharp details too.
Thank you for sharing

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2008-10-25 4:02]

Hello Ivan,
You have nice gallery of birds and this is also good photo. Northern light gave superb result. Blur Bg add expressiveness.
Regards, Pawel

Hola Ivan, bonita toma, con el pájaro aislado por la oscuridad del fondo, buena iluminación y color natural. Un saludo

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-10-25 7:06]

Hi Ivan,
another gem from you. Superb crisp detail and well handled light. DOF is excellent and framing perfect, well done!

hello Ivan

excellent shot of the Snow Bunting with fine POV and framing,
excellent sharpness and details, i love the sun's luminosity
coming on the bird, TFS


Hi Ivan!
What a nice model! And it was posing for you on this stine like on the monument ;> Very nice sharpness and DOF. 10 meters is a rather short distance according to bird photography (I have no photo-experience but only some observations :>), so you were lucky that this specimen did not fly away :>
All the best and have a nice evening!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-10-25 8:30]

Hello Ivan,
Although there's some noise around the bird, it's a fantastic photo. Sharpness, details and DOF are excellent. Very beautiful natural colours. The OOF BG is wonderful. Great composition and POV.

Ciao Ivan,
meravigliosa cattura di questo zigolo delle nevi, un uccello che in piccoli gruppi, durante l'inverno raggiunge anche le montagne del nord d'Italia, eccellenti POV e composizione per la bellissima posa e la splendida luce, super la definizione del piumaggio dai magnifici colori, ottimo OOF BG.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-10-25 10:01]

Really beautiful Ivan! We have those here but I've never seen one. Very nice picture with great sharpness and a beautiful composition, well done!


  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2008-10-25 10:08]

Hello Ivan, perfect shot;
Sharpness,details and colors are very nice. TFS

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-10-25 10:30]

Hi Ivan. I have yet to see this bird so thanks for posting. I have a few hours off on Monday so i hope i can go to the local nature reserve to see whats about. You have taken this with a good side POV so we can see all the markings with fine detail and bright natural colours. you have done so well with the low light. well done TFS.

Hello Ivan!
Excellent shot of this Bunting. Very sharp,great detail,exposure and lighting. Very nicely framed with a great soft background. Greetings.

Çok çoook güzel bir kare Ivan,harika bir kadraj,ışık çok güzel,çekim ustaca,netlik süperrrr,ellerine sağlık,teşekkürler :)

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-10-25 14:54]

Hi Ivan,

I have heard of Snow Buntings and now I know what they look like! Thank you. The pose on the seaweed mound is wonderful. The face, wings and snow white plummage are all beautiful. The details are meticulous as always. I love the patch on his face, the sparkling eye and the marvelous colors and shadings of his wings. The latter are shown off perfectly in the workshop.


Hello Ivan,
Nice composition and sharp photo of this bird well detached from the BG due to good use of the light!

Hi Ivan, splendid focus on this lovely bird, fine details and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-10-26 7:51]

Hi Ivan

Another splendid close-up from you, my friend!
Indeed, you had some really strong light that morning, but i see here you managed it very well.
The details on this Snow Bunting are exceptional and the simple composition - with it being the only item in focus - works well here.
Charming colors and very good use of the shallow DOF, too.

Bravo and TFS

I believe I have heard this name before but more than likely have not seen the species...It has a grand name that's for sure..and well captured by the master of such things eh Ivan? Well...of course you demure...but you are indeed the one to call on many occasions..

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2008-10-26 12:26]

Hi Ivan
Very nice image, colours,composition and sharpness details are very good.
Regards Jiri.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-10-26 15:00]

Hi Ivan,
a very nice photo of this Snow Bunting.
Excellent detail and sharpness.
Very well composed.
Great lighting too.

Superb work,

p.s the WS photo is excellent too!

This is a classic side pose and well executed. I really like the workshop photo because I love the feather patterns. Nice work on both

Evelynn : )

Hi and Good Morning my friend Ivan,

Excellent capture of a male Snow Bunting in winter plumage with great composition, details and DOF/POV.
TFS and Have a nice new week my friend!


Hello Ivan,

This is a bird that I have never seen but I have enjoyed studying your detailed and sharply focussed shot.
Its back has some similarities to the sparrows, and it has a very finchlike beak, yet it is quite distinctive.
Thank you for this!

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-10-27 9:22]

Hello Ivan,

You have made a fine portret of the bird in a very good light. Image is very well focused on the bird and due to well adapted DOF all of it's body is clearly shown. Plumage pattern acn be well observed and the colors look very natural. Blurry background enhaces even more the sharpness of the main subject.

Thank you for sharing,

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-10-27 10:02]

Hi Ivan.
I am impressed with beautifulness of unknown for me bird and whole scene as well as the skill of execution. Lights and exposure of all colour tones and reproduction of all details of the bird and its "stage" are ultimate. Smoothness of the dark BG for this subject and so impressive as charming bird. Bravo and best regards.

Hi Ivan,
Excellent capture of this Snow Bunting with great pose, POV and composition, sharp details, nice catch-light on eye. I would slightly fix exposure to darker (-1/3) but that is just my preference.

Well done, Ivan. Very good light control through exposure and editing. Wonderful perch and the Snow bunting has a very good posture. Beautiful background; definitely matching...
Well done

merhaba Ivan,
wonderful capture for lovely snow bunting. I have never seen it, but it occurs in Turkiye. both of this and workshop great, superb exposure, focus and composition. lighting and POV/OOF also great. sorry for my delayed visit. thanks for sharing, well done my friend

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-10-28 14:26]

Hello Ivan,
This is my favorite winter visitor to our area and you have captured him superbly. This image possesses great details and colors obtained by some excellent camera work. We get huge flocks and when they fly over you their wings make a lovely hissing noise. Thank you for sharing this iamge and great notes.

Hi Ivan.
In 35mm term, this shot was taken at about 900mmFL. That is a long distance capture by any means. The sharpness is flawless exposing all the details and sharpness of the plumage. Pristine perch under good lighting. I like the way you have silenced the background here with the image really pops. A post that is envious and really well done here. Thanks for sharing and warmest regards. Jusni

  • RII Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 481 W: 0 N: 895] (2862)
  • [2008-10-29 14:24]

Hi Ivan.

fantastic capture, all is excellent,colors,sharpness,colors,contras,exposure,details,light,point of view and composition,good note.


PD. smiley p. later,today no more.

hej ivan!
ujuj... denna va fantastiskt fin!

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