Last week I spent the morning enjoying two passions. It’s no secret that I love photography, and I’ve loved birds for as long as I can remember. My brother-in-law breeds zebra finches. I should point out immediately that I’m not talking about the bird market in Rai. These are the best of the best. This is a private ‘collection’ and the guys match different pairs, in order to achieve wierd and wonderful colours with their off-spring. It’s science and art – at the same time.
They’re designing a website, and needed quality shots of their birds. The perfect opportunity for me to try something new. The studio was a modified cage with, black cardboard for the background. This dark backdrop is perfect to bring out the magnificent colours and it means I don’t worry too much about shadows. If you don’t know these birds, they’re tiny! The size of a finger beak-to-tail. They’re full of energy and love to hop and fly around. Their wings remind me of hummingbirds. The shutter speed had to be fast (1/250 seconds for most shots) which also allowed me to hand-hold the camera. This allowed me to control the composition better. The lighting had to be right. I used the window for natural light and bounced the external flash off the ceiling.
To our untrained eye, these are cute ,colourful, and energetic birds. However to the experts, the one below – for example – is a masterpiece in-the-making. Apparently…
With the dark background and the beautiful branch, I wanted to achieve a natural environment with a studio feel. These very birds that don’t seem to ever stop moving, look as if they were posing for my camera.
I hope you enjoy the collection. I’m pleased with the results and my laptop background is currently the image above.