Young phoebe


It’s Sunday, so it’s time for another photo of the week and the story behind the image.

I enjoy wildlife photography, especially bird photography. That’s obvious from looking at my recent photos on my website or my vast portfolio of photographs on my computer. A significant percentage of those photos are of birds.

It’s always my goal to get a sharp photograph of a bird in surroundings that don’t detract from the main subject. I don’t want unnecessary clutter pulling the viewer’s eye from important details like feather texture and color.

Occasionally I get lucky, finding a bird perched in a location where its surroundings actually enhance the photo. 

That’s what happened here.

I was hiking through a field when I saw this young Eastern Phoebe perched on wild sunflowers. When I saw it through the camera’s viewfinder I immediately liked how the bird was isolated against a defocused green background and how wild sunflowers were positioned at an angle in the lower portion of the scene.

It’s a nice photo of an immature phoebe, showing plumage beginning to change to its adult look. But it’s an even better “nature photo,” showing an attractive and interesting scene of a bird and its environment. And the environment itself is eye catching.

Each week I will post a photo from my collection with an explanation of how I got the shot. Previous photos of the week are in the archives.


Date/time: Aug. 14, 2011, 9:47 a.m.  
Location: 40°6’50” N, 82°57’30” W (Show in Google Maps)  
Camera: Canon EOS 7D  
Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L, Canon 1.4x teleconverter (840mm) 
Aperture: f/5.6
Shutter: 1/400th second
ISO: 400