Saturday, 26 January 2013

Early mornings and golden light...

I've begun a new 'project' type of thing, where I have been trying to perfect my bird silhouette photos. To do this I have been using the sunrise as a backdrop. The reason I am doing it at this time of year is because you don't have to wake up too early to watch the sunrise (at the moment its about 8am) whereas in the summer you'd have to be up at 4am to have any chance, so although the title says 'early mornings' it's not actually that early...

I've been going to a site which is only about a 10 minute walk from my home which is at the top of a hill making for a good view of the sunrise. There are lots of fence posts as it's near a farm and there are plenty of Robins, Blackbirds, Sparrows, etc. which make for perfect subjects for silhouettes.

This is the fence post which I have been most commonly using as the sun rises perfectly behind it creating a wonderful silhouette and a bright glow. The mornings have to be clear for it to work but some small clouds or plane trails make for interesting pictures as well.

That brings me on to my next point. With this 'project' I am very much restricted for many reasons. Firstly for these silhouettes to work it needs to be a clear sky but there has been around 4 clear sky mornings in the last 3 weeks where I live. Secondly I have to leave for college on weekdays before the sun even rises. Lastly there is only a 10-15 minute window of time when the light is perfectly orange or 'golden' and if the birds to not comply and land on the perches in this time then I wont get any photos. 

So down to the photos. The first time I went to this location I knew what I wanted and set up my camera and set down some bird food to entice the birds in. However they weren't  interested and instead ate in the fields opposite. One bird however did perch on one of the fence posts but not the one I wanted. I was still able to get a nice photo with the beautiful orange light behind. I think that the plant around the fence does make for a more interesting composition as well.

I also tried to take some photos of flying birds as the golden light had gone however my camera didn't want to focus on the birds so left a slightly out of focus image which would have been great. This one was of 3 swans.

The next time I went was this morning. The light was amazing and their wasn't a cloud in the sky. I set up my camera (Canon EOS 60D  |  Sigma 150-500mm) and also set up my GoPro to time lapse the sunrise. I then waited until the sun began to rise. The birds were definatley a lot more co-operative and were eating my food before sunrise. I was slightly worried that they would finish it all before the sun had even risen but luckily they didn't. The sun rose at precisely 8.03am (in case you were wondering). The whole atmosphere and look of the area changes as soon as the sun peeks over the horizon. Everything turns orange and the birds behaviour changes. They begin to sing frantically and are more eager to feed. 

Many of the birds were using the fence post to feed which allowed me to get some nice shots but they weren't posing perfectly so I think another trip is in order. Before they feed they line up in the trees waiting for their turn which also made nice photos. Here's the best ones from this morning:

This is a robin which wasn't singing but was actually yawning... The different shades in the background were produced by small clouds and plane trails and made for a great backdrop.

I really like this photo but am not really sure why. The light was fading at this point but I still managed to get a dark silhouette and I fell the composition is quite nice.

This is a robin and although this is a nice silhouette its quite boring as the bird isn't singing or doing much.

So that concludes this part of the 'sunrise saga'... pretty catchy. I am definatley going to be taking some more as its actually really fun to do. Please tell me what you think of all of these photos, ones you like, ones you don't like... Thank you for reading.

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