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Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker
Photo Information
Copyright: Gregory Lazzaro (glazzaro) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 473 W: 108 N: 1293] (4605)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-12-18
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D2X, Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX APO RF, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/320 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2006-12-18 18:03
Viewed: 5121
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Hi All

Been away for awhile, between work and launching my own website I have been extremely unfocussed. Anyways I am back and hope to keep a presence. I was quite pleased with this shot as it was extremely difficult to take. There was direct and indirect light with shadows cascading through, made it tough for exposure. Hope you like it.


Downy Woodpecker (Female)

The Downy is a familiar bird in its range, especially in winter, when many move into the suburbs and feed on suet at bird feeders. It is often seen in the mixed flocks of chickadees, nuthatches, creepers, and kinglets that gather in the woods during migration and winter. As with other woodpeckers, the male is larger than the female and chisels deep into wood with its longer, stronger bill, whereas the female pries under the bark with her shorter bill. Thus a pair is able to share the food resources without competing with one another.

My setup when shooting:

1. This was shot at early afternoon, around 2:00 pm. Skies were clear and it was warm.
2. I used a tripod and an auto shutter release.
3. Setup the branch, loaded peanut butter and seed on the backside.
4. Used the Sigma 50-500mm lens.
5. Sat back in the shadows and waited.
7. Kept adjusting the Shutter Speed and Aperture to compensate for the alternating light patterns coming through the trees.

Camera Settings:

Location: Middletown, Delaware (Backyard)
Special Equipment: N/A
Processing: Saturation and contrast.
Weather: Clear Skies.
Tripod : Yes
Camera: Nikon D2X
Lens : Sigma 50-500mm
Focal Len : 500mm
Flash : No
Exposure Mode : Manual Mode
Metering Mode : Multi Pattern
Exposure : 0
Shutter : 1/320
F Stop : F 6.3
ISO : 200

Fisher, JoseMiguel, Mazer, Juyona, JPlumb, cecilia, Bufo, undoredo, coasties, dew77, fiyo, keanhoon, vanderschelden, RAP, jeanpaul, Alex99, scottevers7 has marked this note useful
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Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To dew77: It was luckglazzaro 1 12-19 17:55
To Fisher: Sigmaglazzaro 3 12-18 20:47
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Greg,

Beautiful shot, excellent details and composition. Boy, that's crisp.
My D200 does not like Sigma lenses. I have to slowly build on my Nikon Lenses. Not bad for web, but, bad for production.

I see no issues between D2x and Sigma for web. How are the images for production at 300dpi? Are they sharp or soft.


Hello Gregory,
These are good news having you back here in TN!
Your photo is so razorsharp that is a pleasure to look at, one time after another.
Details are so good, on the branch, on the bird...all the technical issues are handled with mastery.
Composition is simply great.
The presentation and frame is so plain as the image ask for, I like it a lot.
Congratulations for this shot, and thank you very much for the detailed note, it's so didactic and helpful.
Feeling lucky to discover your gallery and appreciate the high quality of your work.
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • Mazer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 65 W: 3 N: 34] (104)
  • [2006-12-18 19:00]

Good crisp shot, showing good sharpness and exposure.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2006-12-18 19:07]

Hola Amigo, Maravillosa foto, buenos colores y pose, composición magnífica, el control de la luz es perfecta. Muchos saludos TFS


welcome back,
amazing shot of the downy,
clear, crisp, and just an all around fantastic job,


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-12-18 19:47]

Gorgeous light and composition of this downy woodpecker, Greg.
I really like the amber cast on this shot.
Focus and exposure are superb, and the POV is fantastic.
Great job and TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • yani (61)
  • [2006-12-18 21:06]

This is stunning and very beautiful.
A great shot...The DOF Is great.

  • Great 
  • JPlumb Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
  • [2006-12-18 21:23]

Hi Greg, nice sharp shot of the woodpecker. It is well composed with good colour and with your depth of field you have quite effectively separated it from its background. There is no red on its head, is this the colouration for a female?

Thanks, John

Awesome dear!

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2006-12-18 23:25]

Hello Greg

A wonderful capture of this woodpecker.They don't tend to stay in one place for very long.I really like the lighting on this one,you managed it very well.A very nice composition and excellent framing to go along with it.Very well focused with crisp detail.TFS

Hi Greg - good to see you back - a good clean shot of this little fellow, though the warm sunlight makes the coloring a bit unusual. I thought you were in Virginia - see now its Delaware.

Hello Gregory,
Wow, your photos are all amazing.
This photo is also great. perfectly focused on birds, excellent details and DOF, clean and neat BG, framed nicely!!
Thanks for sharing this lovely photo.

  • Great 
  • Bufo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 404 W: 69 N: 951] (4247)
  • [2006-12-19 1:12]

Hello Greg,
I am glad you keep on posting these superb pictures of woodpeckers and other animals here on TN. The picture is well balanced between soft light, warm color tones and great sharpness.

perfect pic, TFS Ori

Hi Greg

This is a beautiful shot. The quality is awesome! Love the colour tones too. Brilliant!! :-)

Hi Greg
Fantastic shot of this Downy Woodpecker, with excellent details (eye) and composition.
Regards, Jorge

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-12-19 3:36]
  • [+]

Hello Gregory,
Excellent capture.POV,lighting,exposure,clear details,simple BG and composition are wonderful.I used also Nikon d200 and d2x with sigma 50-500mm but i couldnt get so clear images at 500mm focal lenght.Masterpiece!

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-12-19 4:01]

Hi Greg and "welcome back" :) It's nice to see some more picture from you :)
...And this is a perfect example why! What a charming looking woodpecker!
The POV here is exceptional and the DOF simply impeccable.
Also i really like the way the light shines on the bird and the branch it is on, creating some very charming colors adn tones.
The details and textures are extremely sharp - as always, the framing is lovely and the overall composition very beautiful.
Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2006-12-19 4:48]

Hi Greg,
Very impressive shot, razor sharp, beautiful light and nice colours. The colour of the background is perfect as well making the bird stand out clearly.I like it very muich!
TFS, Ulla

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2006-12-19 6:18]

Hi Gregory,
Excellent ! I think there is nothing to add. Well done.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year :)

Hello Greg,
This is a wonderful, excellent and so sharp capture. You did really great with this peanut butter set up; I must try it someday. You had very good control on this difficult lightning with perfect composition and POV. This is a great post! Thanks,

PS, I might have tried to reduce a bit the yellow dominant color...

Hi Gregory,
WOW, what a complete detail you have provided us. Great DOF and POV. However the BG seems to loosing up some pixels which i believe caused by compression.

Hello Gregory...
No words needed, I think.

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2006-12-19 13:03]

Una captura prácticamente perfecta Greg con el exacto foco y DOF que realzan aun más la silueta del ave sobre el fondo tan bien logrado.
La iluminación precisa, la nitidez captada con los bellos detalles del ave y un apropiado encuadre vertical con el tronco totalmente descentrado, componen una gran presentación.
Sólo criticaría el grosor del marco que distrae la atención, pero es sólo una opinión personal.
Mis mejores deseos... Ricardo

A practically perfect capture Greg with the exact focus and DOF that even enhance more the silhouette of the bird on the background so well achieved.
The precise illumination, the sharpness captured with the beautiful details of the bird and a appropriate vertical framing with the completely uncentered trunk, they compose a great presentation.
Only I would criticize the thickness of the frame that distracts the attention, but it is only a personal opinion.
My best wishes... Ricardo

Bonjour Gregory

Très belle capture, j'aime cet oiseau, il en vient souvent dans mes arbres chez toi.

Beau fond arrière ainsi que netteté

Bravo et au revoir...JP

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2006-12-20 12:40]

Hi Gregory.
Excellent done shot of this cute bird. I like your crisp sharpness and details of the woodpecker and the trunk. so much also as well as the outstanding composition and cropping. The colour palette is not natural, I think, but very beautiful and corresponds to your style. POV and DOF are perfect and BG is simply amazing.
My best regards and TFS.

Hi Greg,
Some nice warm and soft light. Excellent balance in the colors across the entire tonal range. Perfect composition and framing. The long lens does a great job on the isolation, and it is tack sharp. Looks great!

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