A challenge today, Captain, Jack and Sparrow are three grey parrots that were born approximately a month ago… they are being hand reared and we are lucky enough to be babysitting them a few times over the next couple of months. Today I choose to just focus on one of them – and to see if I could capture the detail and character on a white background. At a month old, the African Grey parrots can not yet stand, but they are able to lift their heads and wobble about.
Today’s set up was
- Off camera flash on maual
- Camera on manual mode, shutter speed 250, ISO 100
- 100mm canon lens
The challenge was to try and make the foam background white, to capture the detail of the baby parrot, to use the shallow depth of field to draw attention to the details of the month old bird and to deal with the relevant shadows … my flash light is very harsh – so a light box would have softened the light more or moving the light source further away could have been an option. I think I would like to try again, with a light box and maybe a second light source as well.
Getting in close with my macro lens you can see he has just been fed with the remains of dinner on his beak, and wings and dried poo on his foot. This photo above is an example where I have missed the focus point and should have gone for the eye or increased the aperture of the camera so I would have had a bigger depth of field.
The parrot was moving and so was I … my phone in the background is very distracting, but I just love the detail on his chest as you can see how sparse the feathers are and how full he looks. His pose looks uncomfortable but he is only a tiny baby.
Moving in closer and you can see all the food particles on the parrots cheeks, I am just annoyed that I cropped off the bottom of his beak.
Moving closer again with my fixed lens, and I think the photo draws you in more… there is more of a story to this shot, the African grey fills the frame, you can see it is just a chick and you are left to decide for yourself the rest of the story – like who fed it, where he is etc… and I am really pleased with the catch light in his eye.