Photo Of The Day: Soul Mates

FAA A male and female Northern Cardinal wait out our recent snowstorm here in Eastern North Carolina.   This pair took up in a River Birch Tree near the wetlands here.  I had spread a good number of black sunflower seeds around the tree.  Every few minutes or so, they would dart down to pick up a seed then return to their same perch in the tree.  Both were always together.  Shot with a Nikon D7100 camera using a Nikon 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6 telephoto lens.  Using this full frame lens on the small sensor D7100 yields a crop factor multiplying the effective focal length by 1.5.  Click on the photograph for a large view.

This shot and others from the same outing are available for sale at John Harding Fine Art.  Click on the link in the upper right. Thanks for the look and have a great evening.


Photo Of The Day: The Snow Flake

birds.096.edited_edited-1Of all the pictures I took of the recent Winter Snow Blast, and I took a lot, this is my favorite.  For starters, its a little male House Finch , a bird I had not seen on the farm in quite a while.  But suddenly, there he was along with his mate.  I zeroed in on him with my 300mm telephoto lens from my bird blind nearby.  He looked around a bit then he started looking up and he kept looking up.  My first thought was he was watching the snow coming down but then it dawned on me he appeared to be trying to get a look at the snowflake that had stuck on his head just above his beak.  He shook his head several times and looked back up  but the flake was still there. That’s when I snapped this picture.    Finally he seemed to accept the fact that the flake was not going away.  He darted to the ground below the River Birch Tree where I had spread some seed then flew back to his perch.  The flake was still there.  One of the little moments that makes wildlife photography so worthwhile.  Thanks for the look.  Have a Great Valentine’s Day, A Great Weekend and a Great Evening.

Nikon D7100/ Nikon 70-300mm lens

Photo Of The Day: Carolina Chickadee and Friend

birds.026.1.14.editedOne more bird shot.  This is an unusually calm  Carolina Chickadee and a Chipping Sparrow just after our snowstorm here a week ago.  The Chickadees are so quick I can seldom get a decent shot of them. The Sparrows seem content to just perch and watch the world go by.  Another with the Nikon D7100 and the 70-300 mm Nikon Lens.  Thanks for the look. Have a Great Evening and feed the birds!!


Photo of The Day: Mystery Bird

BlogWhen this rather large bird swooped into my viewfinder my first thought was, it’s a Brown Headed Cow Bird.  Obviously I need to brush up on my birding skills.  This guy plainly has a black head and a brown body so Brown Headed Cow Bird he isn’t.     A check of my wife’s bird books was of no help.  So get your bird books out folks and Identify the mystery bird.   By the way, that’s a bit of snow on his beak.  He had been scarfing up bird seed I had scattered around the base of the River Birch Tree.  Have a great evening and thanks for the look.

Photo Of The Day: The Birds Of Winter

birds.059.1.14.edited_edited-1I’ve been spending a lot of time this winter photography birds.   For one thing,  I get absolutely starved for color in the drab winter months. Especially so now that the bitter cold has wiped out all of the Camellia blooms. That plus the fact that the birds of winter are at their most colorful during the colder months.  It’s hard to top the brilliance of the Cardinal’s scarlet red,  the vibrant yellow of the Goldfinch,  the deep grays and browns of the Chipping Sparrow,  the subtle blue of the Tufted Titmouse and so on…  Plus, there’s no foliage to shoot around. I caught these Cardinals and a Sparrow in a River Birch Tree here on the farm.  Group shots are a challenge for me but I was right pleased with the overall sharpness of this take. Click on the photograph for a larger view.

As for the gear: Nikon D7100 with a  Nikon 70-300mm f/3.5-5.6 lens. I’ve tried the big 400 and or 600mm lenses from various makers  and found all of them wanting in the sharpness department  when fully extended.  I have yet to find a reasonably priced telephoto lens that is sharper.    As I have pointed out before, The D7100 is excellent for wildlife shooting because of its high resolution (24mp) and small sensor which gives you a 1.5 crop factor turning the 300mm lens into a 450mm.  As for settings, Auto White Balance, Spot Metering, Aperture Priority Mode,f/11, and the lowest ISO I can get away with.  In the shot above that was 160.  More coming. Stay Tuned.

Thanks for the look and have a terrific Sunday Evening.  Hope your team wins.

Photo Of The Day: Snowed In

Snowed In   Posted to Flckr January 5, 2011Lest you think that our phony winter in Eastern North Carolina has given way to the real thing,  I must tell you this is from several years ago when we actually had a heavy 20 minute totally unexpected  snowfall.  It was just long enough for me to grab this shot of a little Chipping Sparrow bundling up against the big surprise.  He didn’t have to wait long for it to melt.  By afternoon, just about every trace of it was gone and we were back to the phony winter.  Click on the Photograph for a much larger view.  Thanks for the look and have a great evening.

Photo Of The Day: Carolina Chickadee


I haven’t posted a bird shot in a while.  I caught this little Carolina Chickadee last week.  He had flown back to this River Birch Tree to crack open his Sunflower Seed and uncharacteristically paused a few seconds before eating it.  This little birds are very hyper and seldom perch for more than a nanosecond before moving on so this was a real treat.  Have a great week and thanks for the look.  Nikon D7100, 300mm lens.