• Erika
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I’ve been mostly shooting in Shutter Priority mode to quickly adjust for fast- or slow-moving birds, so switching to Manual is a bit of a struggle for me! I also tried a different metering mode than I had before, so that might account for some of my difficulty in adjusting. The aperture exercise really highlighted for me the value of having a shallow depth of field. Not only does it help keep the attention focused on the bird, but by allowing lots of light in, it avoids having to compensate for low light by having the ISO increased, resulting in a grainy photo! (Which is what I ended up with at higher F stops.) For the rule of thirds exercise, I practiced on an Anna’s hummingbird. For a side view of the hummingbird, following the rule of thirds created a nice composition to include both the bird and its environment. For a view from the back, I favored a centered composition that emphasized the symmetry of the bird’s position, as well as the single pink iridescent feather on the back of its head. Both exercises were illuminating and certainly made me feel like I needed a lot more practice!DSC03783DSC03779
      • Jen
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        Both are very beautiful! Both are very successful compositions.
    • Marilyn
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      I usually like to shoot with the rule of thirds, but there are times that I think the image just looks better having the bird in the middle based on the birds position. DSC_9078DSC_8897
    • Ellie
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      <i>In this shot, I used the rule of thirds but also thought that shooting the Chipping Sparrow from behind with its head slightly turned, made it more interesting.Chipping Sparrow made it alittle mor</i>
    • Ellie
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      In this image, I chose to almost fill the frame with the duck. I was standing on a small bridge, looking down on the bird. The surrounding water is blurred. I like this shot as it gives a very different perspective and also allowed me to focus on the feather pattern.Duck-1
      • Jen
        Participant
        Chirps: 17
        Wow! Fantastic! A very unique perspective, and the diagonal element of the composition enhances the abstract nature of the image.
    • Ricardo
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Flying1500pxI do feel the space in front leaves more breathing room for the inflight image.
    • Monsi
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      Perhaps this isn’t the most sharp image, but I tried to respect the rule of thirds on it. May be I should have given more space to the flycatcher to fly higher. Nevertheless, to me it’s better in that upper right corner than in the center. Then, I present a grackle located at the center of the frame. I intentionally placed the grackle there. My goal planning this image composition was, first, to show how packed grackles tend to be, and, second, to underline the individuality of this bird. 211102 flycatcher1 211213 Zanate Aquismon 1      
      • Ellie
        Participant
        Chirps: 20
        Love the silhouette effect in your grackle image!
      • Bruce
        Participant
        Chirps: 3
        Hi Monsi, Great Grackle shot. I find it very difficult to get separation and any type of composition when I encounter a flock of Grackles. In your shot we can distinctly make out your 'subject' while also perceiving a bigger flock.
    • Leonard
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      DSCN0001
      • Ellie
        Participant
        Chirps: 20
        Great catch light in eagle's eye and the detail in the feathers! Perhaps cropping or turning your camera to portrait instead of landscape, would give even more attention to this awesome bird.
    • Ricardo
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      BuffyHelmetcrest2000pxGot lucky when I had a wide aperture of F/5.6 mostly because of very weak light since there was a lot of fog passing by but created a very colorful background to my composition. I was trying to get a frontal shot of his colors on his crest.
    • Ricardo
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      LemonThroatedBarbet3000pxWorked with the rule of thirds and created more breathing space to make more contrast with the colors of the bird and the dark background.
      • Ellie
        Participant
        Chirps: 20
        Beautiful shot! The bird commands the viewer's attention, which is the purpose of bird photography!
    • Shannon
      Participant
      Chirps: 11
      I favour the rule of thirds for photos because I like how these photos look generally, although occasionally I like to mess things up by putting the bird in a far corner and giving a lot of free space in the photo (tweaking while processing) like, here you go, roam free. Alternatively, sometimes it just feels "better" to put the bird in the middle of the frame. And, full disclosure, sometimes I see a new bird and just frantically shoot to ID. I almost always shoot wildlife with a mirrorless camera and 40-150mm lens with 1.4x teleconverter, at around F4-F5.6 if possible. I haven't been brave enough to open my wallet for a longer low Fstop lens but I like the effect that mine gives. I'm enjoying this course because I've been lazily resting on auto for awhile, a few years back I always shot in manual, IDK why I stopped. PA160388PB130783
      • Ellie
        Participant
        Chirps: 20
        Lovely shots with such clarity in the eyes!
    • Dotsie
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      The chickadee on snow is shutter priority 1/1600, spot metering, focused on the eye.  The charming mourning dove was caught in the act of making herself beautiful, and she succeeded! How many layers of feathers she has! This photo says phooey to the rules but has the highest light on the head and upper wing, and the more shadowed areas emphasize the layers of feathers. The tufted titmouse is has a shadow from a stick, but its alignment emphasizes her crest. Half her face is in shadow, but the combination of the two shadow regions goes to emphasize her beak and eye. And she is in a wonderful dynamic pose.Chickadee_Black-capped_20210221_rulesDove_Mourning_preening_20210317Titmouse_Tufted_20210221
      • Ellie
        Participant
        Chirps: 20
        Love all 3 of your images, but the chickadee is probably my favourite-feather detail & bright eyed expression are top notch!
    • Eleanor
      Participant
      Chirps: 1
      P7122351P7111579P7111668This white throated tree creeper didn't lend itself to the rule of thirds and I wanted to show it in its camouflaged best The previous two were practicing at the lowest f stop  one just from the balcony at home, a grey butcherbird preening and the other a pretty grey fantail where I paid attention to the light and colour in the background
    • Sasha
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      ptw_2 Female Pin Tailed Whydah taken with ISO priority mode; looking to switch to manual soon Another note - the point regarding the different types of AF settings will I think make a big difference, I didn't know that aspect before
    • Paul
      Participant
      Chirps: 6
      Amazing to see the difference that the aperture settings made.  Tried it with wide and narrow apertures (f/4 versus f/16) and was able to get the nice fuzzy background at f/4) Since my camera has only a 220 zoom, I did trials with the composition rules in the processing stage. Was indeed revealing to notice that following the "rule of three" made for a more pleasing composition. I had not realized earlier that it helps to leave the extra space in front of the bird.
    • Amanda
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      6O1A9589 copyBlack and White Warbler on spring foliage, low F stop, which created a satisfying blurred background. Image taken in Central Park, NY.
    • Kathleen
      Participant
      Chirps: 28
      I was attracted to this scene of Canada Geese because of the unusually sparkly water and the dramatically silhouetted design: the geese were swimming in alignment with one another and framed by branches, leaves & berries.  I decided to crop it in an elongated composition to enhance the way the geese were swimming - and so that the geese are in the lower third of the composition. 4C.Geese.COMP
    • Sharon
      Participant
      Chirps: 4
      DSC00265aDSC00229 I learned shallow focus works better in some circumstances than others.  The birds gathering for a turn near our feeders give me the luxury to set up a blurred background without blurring the bird!Titmouse Nibble
    • Danya
      Participant
      Chirps: 20
      Rule following:  the Pileated Woodpecker obeys the rule of thirds and is also in focus against a blurred background like the Turkey Vulture. Rule bending:  for the Mute Swans, we used f/5 so the farther one is still barely in focus, but they are basically centered rather than at a cross points, which gives them space to travel. IMG_1508 IMG_1571 IMG_1454  
    • Scott
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      DSC_0443
    • Scott
      Participant
      Chirps: 22
      DSC_0297
    • Harish
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      These are unique photos for me. Despite very bad in quality I found out that they have an illusion effect due to light. Can you tell which way they are headed?D72_1858D72_1859
    • Belinda
      Participant
      Chirps: 8
      The first thing when I follow or break the rules of composition is that I consciously spend more time composing the shot and thinking about what I see - then make a decision - and take the shot. In the picture of the cardinal, I like the cardinal centered (breaking the rules) with the strong color statement and the algae covered tree behind surrounded by brown and white in each direction. It seems to draw the eye away from the feeder and to the bird. The heavy red seems to balance the color palatte. Had the cardinal been placed according to the rule of thirds the emphasis would have been on the feeder and the picture would seem to be off balance. I also see the eye sparkle and the bird eating - not just resting.2021 Jan 8 Cardinal 2Rev With the Merlin, I like the position of the Merlin facing out from the top of the only2021 Jan 31 Merlin 13R tree with the head turned slightly  seeming to scan the area to locate a small bird for dinner. Perhaps a slightly higher position would be even better. I think there is certainly room for improvement in the shot but the eye twinkle is there slightly and I like the artistic appearance of the small limbs surrounding the bird making the setting almost show the violence this small bird is capable of bestowing. The background grey - while realistic - is lacking.
    • Harish
      Participant
      Chirps: 7
      Here is a Rock Pigeon perched on wire with front light but at an angle. D72_4973a In the following photo the shadow cast by leaves on the breast part of Rose-ringed Parakeet makes it artistic as if a body art D72_5751a In the following photo the front-top light details the face and breast of this White-throated Fantail D72_5769a  
    • Ian
      Participant
      Chirps: 3
      Snow_Goose-8V2A0365-2020-10-31 This broke a few rules.  The light was harsh and late morning, but the dramatic contrasted black and white of the snow geese is emphasized by the light.  In some situations the rule of thirds is difficult to use.  The blur is from trees branches in the foreground, which was unavoidable at the time from in the woods. 8V2A7026-2020-11-10 This one had top lighting of the wild turkey and no glint in the eye, but the expression seems to make up for some of the broken rules. 8V2A6916-2020-11-07 Getting close to the dark-eyed junk makes up for some of the top lighting and almost makes it look like back lighting. The breast of the bird seems to work as the contrasting background for the beak.
    • Hilary
      Participant
      Chirps: 2
      0A98B6A4-9BFF-4D88-864C-ED52CC5860F6Because these two were looking in opposite directions, I chose to center them in the composition. This choice gives each bird some gazing distance within the frame.