Chestnut on Black

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During a workshop to photograph the handsome Chestnut-sided Warbler we had pretty much the perfect light possible. There was a really thin layer of clouds that softened the evening sun just enough to make it not harsh at all but provide plenty of light and some direction to that light. It was like a giant soft box coming in from camera left. When the bird landed on this thorny perch I could instantly see we had a wonderful black background to photograph it against. I dropped my exposure compensation 2 full stops to make sure my camera didn't over expose the scene and I started shooting. The bird turned to show off that lovely chestnut color on its sides and gave us all a full song. I didn't realize until seeing it on the computer but the bright green vine really added something to the perch and stood out well against the dark background. I processed the image with a bit of added shadow contrast to make the background solid black but it was pretty close to this look in the original shot.

• Location: Central, New Jersey

• Exposure: 1/500 @ f/4 -2EV

• ISO: 450 - 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.