Eastern Yellow Robin: Portrait Session

Today was going to be hot.  So we ventured out early, only wanted to look at one pair of Eastern Yellow Robins,  Dorothy has named them “Jack” and “Jill”, so now we have it.

The hot wind was racing through the trees even early in the morning, and the gums gave patches of cool or hot depending on the shade in the area, the hot sun being captured in the open areas along the track.

Jill is still hard at work on the nest, we don’t go there by mutual arrangement.  Jack on the other hand was obviously trying his best to fill her up, while it was relatively cool and steamed back and forth to the nest area.

After about an hour or so he must have been exhausted, I saw him take a really big grub, and he flew over my shoulder and landed on the tree behind, then gulped the grub down, preened a bit, and sat. Then I noticed his eye lid come down and I think he had a little nap.

The branch he was on was in the shade but the highwinds in the canopy opened up areas among the leaves for the light to come down. And I had a portrait session on my hands.  Light on the background, light on the top of the bird, the side, balanced evenly between foreground and background.
For once the D2x and the 500 mm lens agreed on something and held the focus the entire time.

Here are a few selections just to show the lighting effects.

Jack then moved to another branch in more shade, settled down on his haunches and took a well earned break from his modelling session. Such a great bird.

I also did a bit of scouting around further on, and to my delight found a another pair of birds.  I think these might have been the helpers in the earlier nest attempts.  They seem to have settled down on their own, and he was feeding her, so I suspect a nest is going in there too. Time will tell.

Let's work with the front lights on and the background subdued.
Let’s work with the front lights on and the background subdued.
How about we take out the bright front light and darken down the background
How about we take out the bright front light and darken down the background
Let's try moody front light and a little extra light on the background for effect.
Let’s try moody front light and a little extra light on the background for effect.
Ok, head up a little turn to your right, that's it.  Now its dramatic.
Ok, head up a little turn to your right, that’s it. Now its dramatic.
Hmm what about a shot for the corporate board room or the year book? Little light from the Right Hand side bring down the background lighting half a stop.  No wonder I used to love doing outdoor portraits.
Hmm what about a shot for the corporate board room or the year book? Little light from the Right Hand side bring down the background lighting half a stop.
No wonder I used to love doing outdoor portraits.

 

What about a cute one for the folks back home. Chin down a bit, tilt your head, ah. That's the one. We'll add a bit of top lighting to give it some drama.
What about a cute one for the folks back home. Chin down a bit, tilt your head, ah. That’s the one. We’ll add a bit of top lighting to give it some drama.

 

Being a super model  and a hard working dad is just plain exhausting.
Being a super model and a hard working dad is just plain exhausting.

Just wait for the family portrait with Jill and the Kids.

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2 thoughts on “Eastern Yellow Robin: Portrait Session

    1. G.day,

      I was so happy with the way the lighting worked this morning and the bird’s patience. He is now pretty much accepting us, and won’t flee the moment we turn up. Usually he’ll come over, check us out, do a facial recognition scan and if we’re approved he doesn’t seem to worry again. I just think he was plain old worn out in the heat today.

      If only the red-caps would be as obliging.

      (Thought you might be amused that they’ve finally gotten names!)

      Like

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