04/28/10 - Almost a week later...
The baby bluebirds that I showed you a shot of last Friday sure are growing up fast! In this shot from yesterday, you can see quite a few feathers now. Notice on the left a blue egg. There were 5 eggs in this nest, and only 4 hatched. Yesterday was the first time I saw the egg under the babies. 4 healthy bluebirds would be a success, so don't be too sad about it although I certainly do wish the 5th egg had hatched.
Both pictures were taken yesterday. The one on the right with my S3 is just cropped. The one on the left, the male bluebird, was taken with my Dad's Canon 40D which I have on loan. I've gotta tell ya, that I can't take a SOOC good picture with that camera. The picture has been contrast and color corrected and sharpened, and I'm still not totally happy with how it turned out. The camera was in AV mode with whatever defaults that gave. I had it on a tripod. Tamron AF 70-300mm 4-5.6. Maybe just too cloudy of a day for that longish lens? But I've taken shots with the 40D and a Canon 28-135 lens with similar lackluster results. Any suggestions? I'll never upgrade if I can't do better than this.
I did get the raw image btw. The original male bluebird jpg shot is here:
Also, I had a close encounter with a rat snake while sitting near this nest for my shots. Either I nearly sat down on top of him or he slithered up to where I was sitting so quietly and intently looking through the 40D view finder. I looked down near my knees and feet (sitting legs crossed), and there he was inches from my shoe! I have to say that I did not scream and calmly stood up, grabbed Dad's camera on the tripod and backed up and started taking his picture. And then a few minutes later it hit me just how close that was. I will be watching for him next time! However, that said, he never bowed up or hissed or made any threatening moves. He was just sunning himself. I let him go on his way. Picture of him:
I hope you all get great shots today minus the near encounter with any snakes!
Thanks for the feedback on the peony shot. I took more yesterday of a different flower, but the bluebirds won the POTD slot.