For as much as I enjoy photographing birds at Bird Kingdom, I let my membership lapse in 2018 due to my rather hectic schedule. About a week or so ago I renewed my membership and spent a couple of enjoyable hours at Bird Kingdom. This short article features a small selection of photographs of captive birds in dramatic light. All were shot hand-held in available light at Bird Kingdom.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
I liked how the light was hitting the feathers on the crown of this blue scaled quail. I shot this photograph from a crouching position so I could achieve a straight-on angle.
The silver pheasant in the above image, is often quite difficult to photograph as it moves constantly. I was able to momentarily line up the bird against a dark monochromatic background to get this image.
Sometimes the way the light hits a bird’s feathers can add drama to a photograph. I loved the highlights on this guinea turaco’s neck, upper chest, beak and around its eyes. They give the bird a regal look. I took a number of images as the bird was moving about, with the photograph above being my best capture.
The cattle egret in the above photograph, was up against an extremely dark monochromatic background. I captured a good selection of images and liked this one the best as the feathers on the crown of the bird are well defined against the dark background.
The zebra finches are extremely active and rarely sit still for long. I waited for one of the finches to perch in an area that would give me a dark background against which to highlight this colourful, little bird.
I’m not sure of the bird species in the above image. My best guess is a fife fancy canary… but I could be wrong. To get dramatic lighting on small birds when visiting Bird Kingdom I look for perches in good light that are up against dark backgrounds. I then select a shooting angle and wait for subject birds to enter into my predetermined shooting area.
The java finch is another bird that stays quite active and can be a challenge to photograph, especially when trying to get up close to one.
The domestic canaries are easier to photograph as they tend to stay on the same perch longer than some of the other small birds. I took a few images of this bird.
Again, I’m not sure about what species of bird is captured in the image above. My best guess, based on the information on the Bird Kingdom website, is a society finch.
Bird Kingdom is a great place to go to get in some practice photographing birds. I often go with an objective in mind, which makes the visit even more worthwhile. If you are in the Niagara Falls (Ontario, Canada) area and would like to experiment with photographing captive birds in dramatic light, Bird Kingdom is a great place to visit.
All photographs were captured hand-held in available light using Nikon 1 gear as per the EXIF data. All images for this article were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection.
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