Verdin, Chandler AZ

A few years ago I bought my first serious camera: a DSLR just a little too heavy for me.

Yikes. This was harder than it looked – the “this” being capturing photos like those I see online all the time. All. The. Time.

Then I started taking pictures of birds: a subject just a little too flitty for me.

Yikes again: The smaller the bird, the harder it was.

I’ve lost track of my blurry shots of verdins: tiny yet forceful singers in the trees all over Metro Phoenix. I even have more than one blurry shot of leaves, where a verdin used to be.

So it is with new eyes that I appreciate super photos of birds, like these, forwarded by photographer neighbours. Although I know that I will never duplicate or, likely, even approach them, I can still take something from the lesson being offered.

Within my own technical and patience limits, I can try to see with new eyes: not to capture the perfectly posed (and perfectly boring?) shot, but to capture the bird’s personality (umm, avianality?). In that respect, this is a perfect shot of a verdin.

Close-up of verdin on yellow daisy, with head turned away from camera at last minute.

Oh, look, a chicken!


Action shots? Well, maybe next decade.


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2 Responses to Verdin, Chandler AZ

  1. Providing information about the back of the bird is surely as useful to birders as a shot of the beak side, apart from having the same level of interest as the backside of the moon. Descriptions of birds routinely include those details but photos are regarded as portraits in the human sense and favour the beak views. I am more likely to observe the bird’s plumage as it is zooming away from me. Nice verdin.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – I think you’re right – that connection with the eye seems all-important, just as it is in human portraiture. One thing I found interesting in the lessons on bird photography was its shift of emphasis from still-life portrait to bird-in-motion. Or, at least, bird in context. Much more interesting and often more fun, too!

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