February 19, 2008: Birds at Our Olympic Peninsula Home

Bird photography at my Olympia Peninsula, Washington, home

This is my season for bird photography at home.  When the winter rains stop and the lighting gets good, I often set up my 500mm lens with 1.4x extender, and concentrate on the subjects at hand.  Karen and I live on a small Olympic Peninsula lake, so there are also opportunities to photograph ducks and other water birds.  These are my favorite bird photographs so far this year. 

2009_wa_1833Chestnut-backed Chickadee

2009_wa_2256Hooded Merganser male with female and juvenile male

2009_wa_1791Purple Finch male

2009_wa_1872Purple Finch female

2009_wa_21661Merlin stretching

2009_wa_1832Chestnut-backed Chickadee

2009_wa_1829Black-capped Chickadee

2009_wa_2233Bufflehead female and male

2009_wa_1869Dark-eyed Junco

2009_wa_22041Merlin scratching an itch

2009_wa_1868Purple Finch male

2009_wa_1770Double-crested Cormorant juvenile drying its wings

2009_wa_1804Black-capped Chickadee

To see my web site, which includes photographic prints for sale, please go to LeeRentz.com

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Author: leerentz

BS and MS in natural resources, with early career work as an artist and nature center director. Became a full-time photographer in 1990. Sells photographs at art shows nationwide. Publication credits include National Geographic, National Geographic Adventure, US News & World Report, Prevention, National Wildlife, Audubon, and scores of other magazines, books, calendars, and electronic media.

5 thoughts on “February 19, 2008: Birds at Our Olympic Peninsula Home”

  1. Spectacular photos!! I love the first chickadee shot and the stretching hawk. I’m glad to see you’ve gotten such clarity with a 1.4 extender. I have one as well, but I haven’t had much success with getting such crisp images, even when shooting on a tripod. Do you have any tips?

  2. Hi Monika. I use a Canon 500mm lens with image stabilization and a 1.4x Canon extender, generally shooting at 400 ISO on a Canon 5D camera and using a tripod. The image stabilization and high ISO help immensely with sharpness; prior to having a digital camera my ISO was limited to 100 and I was never quite satisfied with the results. For the small songbirds, I also use an extension tube so that I can focus closer; even so, the songbird photos I showed on the weblog are cropped. They are shot in the camera raw format, then tweaked and sharpened in Adobe Bridge and Photoshop. I also use a fill flash at a weak level to provide a spark in the eye and a bit of extra light to help fill harsh shadows. That’s all my secrets … plus patience. Thank you for your kind comments.

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