Steady Head

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My great friend Scott and I were photographing some Northern Parula when we decided to put on our close focus lens setups and see how close we could really get them. This photo was barely cropped and I'd guess the bird was roughly 5 feet away or so. I got a series of nice portraits of it sitting on the perch but what I didn't expect was it to shake out its feathers like this. What was completely surprising was how the head remained completely still while the body and wings and tail were in fast motion. Even at 1/500 shutter speed the feathers blurred from the motion and the head is so stable and still you can see individual feather detail. It's an impressive feat for the bird to be able to keep its head stationary like that and I'm guessing it really helps them when flying around or jumping from branch to branch to search for tiny insects and caterpillars.

• Location: Southern New Jersey

• Date Taken: May 1, 2019

• Exposure: 1/500 @ f/5.6

• ISO: 1600 - auto

• Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority

• Focal Length: 420mm

• Lens: Nikon 300mm f/4 PF VR + 1.4x TC III

• 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.