Mockingbird Portraits

by Bethany Plonski January. 27, 2020 406 views

Yesterday was my lucky day for animal portraits.

I swear, birds can pose when they want to. :)

I swear, birds can pose when they want to. :)

I guess animal photography always has some element of luck to it. Sometimes it's the weather or light. Sometimes it's being in the right place at the right time. And on a rare occasion, you find a subject that almost seems to enjoy having its portrait taken, like this northern mockingbird. Mockingbirds are such good sports about people - very curious and tolerant.

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Lee Santiva 1 year, 2 months ago

Wow Bethany - the degree of detail, clarity and sharpness is amazing. How many megapixel does your sensor have?
The eyes caught my attention the most. The bird knew you were there and anthropomorphism aside, yes, I believe they enjoyed posing for you.
Now I don't want to post my photo of a small bird since it just doesn't compare. 
Or I could post it just for comparison purposes: Full sensor vs 4/3, Nikon vs Fujifilm, SLR vs mirrorless

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Lee Santiva 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you, Lee! It’s a 24mp crop sensor. I’ve been really happy with this camera’s capabilities, but to be honest it took me well over a year to learn the features and settings well enough to feel like I’m using it appropriately.
Birds are a real challenge too. I take hundreds and hundreds of crap photos for every good one, sometimes from user error and sometimes from sub-optimal conditions like poor light, background distractions, or the bird being too far away. This was definitely a case of lucky factors combining for a better than usual shot.
I’m curious about your camera – does mirrorless have fewer megapixels? Did you just go mirrorless recently? I'd love to see your bird photo, and I don't judge anyone knowing what a challenge it is. smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Lee Santiva Replied to Bethany Plonski 1 year, 2 months ago

Hi Bethany, I just posted the photos of the small fir tit which I took in Austria.https://www.photoblog.com/leesantiva/2020/02/08/tannenmeise-fir-tit-in-winter/
My camera has an APC sensor which is not full-sized and it has 16 mp.

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Lee Santiva 1 year, 2 months ago

Thanks, Lee! Looking forward to checking it out. :)

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Trinicia Perch 1 year, 2 months ago

Beautiful!  So sharp and clear.

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Trinicia Perch 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you! smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Gary Luker 1 year, 2 months ago

Great shots...Bethany !!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Gary Luker 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you, Gary! Much appreciated.

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Russell Smith 1 year, 2 months ago

Mockingbirds are such amusing little critters. Sweet shots of them .

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Russell Smith 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you! They are funny, aren't they? This one initially got my attention by buzzing right over my head!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Buster Bruce 1 year, 2 months ago

Well your eye is as sharp as ever! Luck yes, sometimes, but you framed these without luck! So great a capture Bethany!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Buster Bruce 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you, Buster! When things work out this well, I feel like all the practice and missed shots along the way are worth it. smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Tsao T-F 1 year, 2 months ago

You really had a very lucky day with animal poses.smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Tsao T-F 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you! I got to take some squirrel portraits that same morning and saw deer too. Deer are much more difficult for photos though - very shy. :)

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Tsao T-F Replied to Bethany Plonski 1 year, 2 months ago

I have no idea how to photograph deers. Do you mean they don't like to watch your lens or they do run away?

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Tsao T-F 1 year, 2 months ago

Deer get frightened easily, so it is difficult to get close to them once they know you are there. Even small noises or movements will scare them and they run away. But sometimes if you stand very still and wait patiently enough they will watch the lens. smile I think they like to be sure you will stay in your place and not come too close.

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Tsao T-F Replied to Bethany Plonski 1 year, 2 months ago

I don't know if you have time to have a vacation in Nara Park in Japan. There you can take a lot of photos with deers. All my friends love there.heart eyes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DRK7cZIxuv8

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Tsao T-F 1 year, 2 months ago

This is great! Thank you for the video link. I would love to visit Japan someday - not sure if it will happen soon, but if I go I would love to meet these deer. smile They look different - smaller and more fluffy. And of course, more sociable!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Pete Fitzgetald 1 year, 2 months ago

great set, I love the close up, beautiful

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Pete Fitzgetald 1 year, 2 months ago

Thanks, Pete! Mockingbirds are great for close-ups since they really don't seem to mind people much. smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Francis Parker 1 year, 2 months ago

A great series, so clean and sharp.

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Francis Parker 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you! If only that were the case with all bird photos. smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Antonio Gil 1 year, 2 months ago

The level of detail and resolution is astonishing. Love the technique here

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Antonio Gil 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you, Antonio! Sometimes I fall in love with this lens all over again. It is a gem!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Greg Blaney 1 year, 2 months ago

Very well done, Bethany. These are fabulous bird photos!!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Greg Blaney 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you, Greg! These are the kind that redeem all the "d*mmit"/throwaway photos that happen along the way. smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Pete 1 year, 2 months ago

Stunning photos

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Pete 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you, Pete!

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Benny Law 1 year, 2 months ago

All top-notch photos, Bethany. Amazing work.

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Benny Law 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you, Benny! Shots like these are such a joy.

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Björn Roose 1 year, 2 months ago

There certainly is some luck in finding the subject and having it pose for you, but it takes craft to use that luck. Great photos, Bethany smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Björn Roose 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you, Bjorn. I enjoy the skill and craft elements of photography much more now that I’ve practiced with them enough not to feel too overwhelmed when a good opportunity comes along. smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bill Baird 1 year, 2 months ago

Wow. the light sure contributed to the great detail in these. Nice.

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Bill Baird 1 year, 2 months ago

Thank you! It's more of a challenge to motivate myself to go out early on cold winter mornings, but the birds are worth it. smile

1 year, 2 months ago Edited
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