Backlit Scrub Jay

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As soon as this Florida Scrub Jay landed on this perch I was moving to get the background I wanted. I got in place and thankfully the bird stayed on the perch for a few minutes. Next it was all a waiting game for it to give me an interesting pose that would show off the backlight glow from the setting sun. The jay eventually turned and looked down at something right before jumping to the ground, which is this pose captured here. I purposefully left the exposure at neutral knowing the camera would slightly underexpose the bird and maintain some detail in the sky. If I had lightened up the exposure to be proper on the bird the sky would have gone entirely white and I would not have been able to recover the sunset tones I wanted. Sometimes thinking ahead to how you plan on processing the shot can be really helpful in the field when shooting. Having a vision for the final image can help guide you in how you want to expose or compose the image and it really helps me think through the shot more then just pointing and shooting. Of course having the time to think all these things through is not common, sometimes it's all I can do to get the bird in focus and in the frame!

• Location: Sebastian, Florida

• Date Taken: 2/15/2019

• Exposure: 1/400 @ f/4

• ISO: 400 - auto

• Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority

• Focal Length: 500mm

• Lens: Nikon 500mm f/4 VR

• Camera: Nikon D4s

Nature photography has become a very passionate hobby of mine and whenever I get a chance I love to get outside and enjoy being outdoors. I am also the co-owner of KGM Expressions, a wedding and portrait photography business, with my wife Kim. This is how we make our living and I love that we get to do that together.