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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.


  1. chapeau bas!!!GREAT WORK!!!

  2. The pics look beautiful and great colection of birds.

  3. الحمد الله ..!

    طيور جميلة ورائعة فكم أسعارهم وخاصة الصورة الثانية ..؟

    وشكراً لك ولصاحب الطيور الرائع ..!


    • Ya ahal bi-ssimi 🙂

      These are ‘stock’ birds. Their prices are therefore high, ranging from 200-1000KD. They are not for sale.

      They will be selling the next generation. I will update this post with their website when it’s launched.

    • Mathai
    • Posted 5 March 2010 at 1:58 am
    • Permalink

    Fantastic series! I love how you used the black background and the lighting. Small birds can be very difficult to shoot and I’m glad to see so many sharp and clear shots! Nice work once again Bu Yousef 🙂

    • Thanks… In some, I focussed on the backs/necks etc. because these are the interest areas for those particular birds.

  4. You keep amazing me with your fotos and writing style.

    • … and you me with your genuine kindness 🙂

    • maitham
    • Posted 5 March 2010 at 6:36 pm
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    wonderful 🙂

  5. Wow, marvelous! Thank you for sharing how you took the photos. The birds are so cute.

  6. Hmmm…maybe you can organize a photographer club….

  7. Simply stunning!

  8. Hi,
    I am also into Finches and Photography but still have a lot to learn regarding the latter.

    I love the black background idea (that I’m gonna try) and your crisp photos.

    Check some of my pics on my blog if you could.

    Regards from Lebanon

    • Hello Pascal.
      I love the one of the two little brown ones…

    • onlooker
    • Posted 7 March 2010 at 3:09 pm
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    looks absolutely lovely and bright and amazing and endearing..! 🙂 the petit bright orange beaks, in the black background has a mesmirizing effect!

  9. Mashalla Mashalla! The birds are beautiful ! Amazing shots as usual, but I honestly think this is your best work yet!

    Post up the website link when you have a chance!

    U really need to open Flickr account and just post one single photo from each post which you think is the best! Seriously!

  10. they don’t look real, i love the contrast in all your photos

  11. Nice ya boyousif, everyone is amazed from those pictures and they are preparing their own mini studio for their birds for photo shooting. (^_^) .

    we just brought a new bird that I might need your help to photograph him, and I’ll bring my tamed finch with me this Friday for photo shooting.

      • hammad
      • Posted 14 October 2010 at 3:32 pm
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      yr plz sand me finch motation color

  12. you just amaze me… i heart your work… i wish i could learn photography from you!! 🙂


  14. Dear Brother

    it’s more than nice, fantastic & so proud to see your works.

    i love birds specially Zebra’s… you have showed them in there reality & great colors, as much some one could see them are just birds.

    keep it up…… enjoy your time

    UAE Zebra.

    • Posted 12 October 2010 at 9:50 am
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    بسم الله ماشاء الله
    الطيور رائعة وفقك الله وزادك من فضله و بارك لك فيها . هاوى الزيبرا معاوية السويدى

    • hammad
    • Posted 14 October 2010 at 3:29 pm
    • Permalink

    nice shote plz sand me a graff me help of this make new motation of zebira finches plz any man plzzzzzzzz

One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By Zorro « on 31 Jul 2010 at 3:13 am

    […] a silver java finch who was born in Kuwait January this year.  You may remember my post about the zebra finches. Well, this little boy also comes from my brother-in-law.  He kindly looked after him in the […]

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