Looking through my images from the Space Coast Birding Festival, I don’t have many shots of White Ibis. In fact, in retrospect, I didn’t see a lot of White Ibis: maybe a half a dozen birds total, scattered widely in the ponds at Black Point Drive. Other years they have been more abundant…but they are never present in the numbers of say, the Great and Snowy Egrets.
This mostly backlit shot is a good example of how implicitly I have come to rely on the exposure systems and dynamic range (enhanced as it often is, an is here, by special in-camera processing) in today’s digital cameras…cuppled, of course, with the post processing available in programs like PhotoShop and Lightroom. Not so long ago, and certainly back in the days of slide film, this would have been a very tricky exposure, especially with the birds in constant motion. Today I just frame and shoot. To me that is the essence of the Point and Shoot method. Let the camera do what it is good at…exposure…focus…white-balance…and stay concentrated on the behavior of the subject, or the changing light on the landscape, and make full use of the zoom framing tools today’s cameras provide.
The other thing that pops out here it the forgiving depth of field of today’s superzoom cameras. We have here the framing of a 1240mm lens on a full frame DSLR (840mm optical zoom, plus the Canon’s unique 1.5x digital tel-extender), yet the depth of field of 150mm lens. The extended depth of field of a superzoom can be a problem with macro and close up shots…but at the telephoto end it is a real blessing. To achieve this effect with a conventional DSLR and a long lens, you would probably need focus stacking…multiple images taken with different focus points and digitally combined for greater depth of field…which of course would be pretty difficulty with subjects moving rapidly across the field, like the Ibi.
Canon SX40HS as above. f5.8 @ 1/1250th @ ISO 125. Program with iContrast (for the dynamic range enhancement I was talking about) and –1/3EV exposure compensation (my standard setting for this camera).
Processed for intensity, clarity, and sharpness, with some fill light to further open shadows, in Lightroom.