David Alaniz Photography

Natures turn…….

Monthly Archives: August 2013

Painted Bunting – Juvenile

Photographing migrants last spring someone said, “Painted Bunting.”  That perked me up and I think I was the only one not taking pictures.  Looking everywhere, I couldn’t imagine missing such a beautifully colored bird.  After asking where, someone pointed.  Ok, only one bird in that location.  I must have been color blind but I was going to take some pictures anyway.  That’s when I heard the word juvenile.  I’ve learned the young males will remain green until the fall of their second year.  You can’t miss them after they molt into their new colors.  The following is a young  juvenile male bathing after his long migrating flight.

Nikon D4, 500mm + 1.4tc, f/5.6, 1/320s, ISO 1600


As suggested from good friend Doug Haass I cloned out the two bright spots above the beak.  Thanks Doug, much better.  I also adjusted the horizon.  That is one of the first things I check but this one slipped by.  I need to slow down and get some rest. 🙂  A good lesson.


Rose-breasted Grosbeck

When I first saw this bird last April during the spring migration I was taken by its beauty.  I liked the combination of colors with the red breast standing out in the mix.  Not knowing what it was I listen intently to the birders as they were calling out names of the many types of visiting migrants.

The photographers and birders had their own special viewing area with occasional mixing of birders with the photographers.  It was all good as everyone was willing to share their knowledge and information.  It makes for a great outing especially when there is a large crowd.  You meet a lot of very nice people, some from other parts of the world.  I asked one photographer where he was from and it surprised me when he said Singapore.  I wanted to know why he would travel such a great distance.  He simply said he heard it was the place to see so many different birds in one area.

Nikon D4, 500mm + 1.4tc, f/5.6, 1/500s, EV -0.67, ISO 1600


Photo Rescue

When shooting birds your subject isn’t always “clean”.  It’s usually another bird getting in the way as was with these two.  If it’s a twig, leaf or perhaps a small part of a bird along the edge I may remove.  But, if a bird is totally in the picture I just skip it, grin and move on.  I decided to give these a larger rescue crop for a different look.  Hope you like.

Nikon D4, 500mm, f/5.6, 1/1600s, EV -1.0, ISO 500


Nikon D4, 500mm, f/5.6, 1/2500s, EV -1.0, ISO 500


Egret – Wind Blown

Back in April this Great Egret was enduring a cold wind blown morning as it waited for it’s mate.  With todays heat I thought I would throw in a cool picture. 😉

Nikon D4, 500mm, f/6.3, 1/1250, Ev -1.33, ISO 320


Ohhh – So Hot

Brought a smile to my face when I saw this Romeo.  Most of the birds showed some signs of molting but this guy had them all beat.  He didn’t look pretty but at 103F he must have felt cooler.

Nikon D4, 500mm + 1.4tc, f/7.1, 1/320, ISO 800


Cardinals – RAW / JPG

RAW / JPG / RAW / JPG, who’s right?  There are a lot of discussion forums, blogs and books with excellent reasons one way or the other.  I had a full day of taking JPG and another day for RAW.  I thought I would present three photo’s.  Just to give you a little help (out of the goodness of my heart), two are JPG and one RAW.  You be the judge……  Oh, by the way, I’m a RAW shooter.

All were shot using spot metering.  ISO ranged from 640 to 1400 and shutters 1/1000 to 1/2000.




Northern Cardinal – Jumper

Recently while photographing I noticed my pictures lacking some sharpness.  I swapped over to the 1.4tc and it just got worse.  Since I was headed to my mother in-laws for the weekend I loaded up all my gear.  Woke up early Friday before anyone started stirring.  I set up on the porch with the D4 tethered to my laptop and aimed it at the LensAlign.  Sure enough it was back focusing so I made a slight adjustment.  Next up was the 1.4tc and it was also off in the same direction.  One last test with the 2.0tc and the result was dead on.  The tests got me wondering but I couldn’t argue with the repeated results.

I spent the rest of the day Friday shooting with the 500mm.  While reviewing I noticed they were all in jpg where I had set it for testing.  I’m bad, just forgot to change it back to raw after testing but I was still happy with the results.  Saturday was devoted to the 500mm + 1.4tc which looked good.

I was taking a lot of pictures of cardinals since they were abundant.  This one crouched down and raised it’s tail right before leaping to a lower branch.

Nikon D4,  500mm + 1.4tc, f/5.6, EV -0.33, ISO 800, center weight