Today is house finch day - at least it is in my yard!

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Comments (16)

Patty Arsenault on April 14, 2013

Lucky you, David. Nice capture! like



david g Johnson on April 14, 2013

Howdy David.....A well lit little dicky boyd picture here...with extremely narrow depth of field...yet you have the bird smack on sharp focus....
Did you use manual focus here..? ..Cheers from Dave 2.......Uk.

David Brown Photogra… on April 15, 2013

Thank you Patty - yes we are lucky if you ignore the pine pollen that is collecting inches thick on our lakes and like a snow storm elsewhere.

David I used my old flash gun that I use with my Nikon (safely as its a low voltage flash) and I used auto-focus and manual exposure. I had been working with manual focus that day but having no success.

The flash gives it the light and whilst you say a narrow DoFoF it is taken with f7.1 the highest I could go and keep the 1/200th shutter speed.

So here are my exposure priorities on this..........

  • Need fastest shutter possible because birds move very fast!

  • Need aperture as close to lens sweet spot as possible for clarity. Sweet spot on this lens is about f13.

  • Need ISO as low as possible for low noise (but its going to be well lit, so low on list of priorities)

Hope this helps, come back with any questions mate, especially if you've not determined your sweet spots yet! :o)


Unda J. on April 15, 2013

thats very complicated engineering lesson :D it's very beautiful picture! are you sure it is called purple finch? it looks more like pink;) lovely spring colours!

I can't figure out why i cannot master the shutter priority mode. i feel more or less comfortable with AP, but when i use SP pics allways are or whitewashed or black.. and i've not sussed what exactly i get wrong.

BTW since you got a nikon too maybe you will be able to help me too. few moons ago :D i experimented with the focusing, focuspoints etc.. and i used focus lock.. and since i have trouble to get my multiple focuspoints back. (i did unlock the focus) i've been over and over the settings and manual and still with same one focuspoint! (in AP mode) i lost my other focuspoints!!! sorry for being a pest. thank you!

David Brown Photogra… on April 16, 2013

Everyone is more comfortable in Aperture Priority Unda - here is the explanation.


  • If you have too much light the shutter goes crazy fast 1/6400 or worse!

  • If you have too little light the shutter goes slow - 1/8th second and then you might have motion blur.


  • If you have too much light you're stuck with f22 or whatever the smallest aperture is and it comes out too bright.

  • If you have not enough light then you are stuck with the biggest aperture (smallest f number) and it comes out dark.

That's why the majority of TOGs use AP or manual. SP gives you a very narrow range of adjustment - driven by the f number.

The multi-focus feature ? That is only on Auto (I think)

Switch your AP/SP dial back to Auto and watch the screen light up. Of course then you don't know what will be in focus..... everything or nothing.

So happy to help with my engineering explanations dear Unda Thanks for asking


((Ospr3y)) on April 17, 2013

Hi David, great shot! It's always nice to have them in the yard!

Just a note - Purple Finches have a straight culmen (top edge of the bill) and blurry streaking on the flanks, often a distinct facial pattern as well. I would call your bird a male House Finch. Nonetheless, a beautiful bird to watch! You've photographed him very well.

Still have the 55-300mm? I see you found the sharp spot on the focal length.

Best wishes to NC!

Liam ;)

David Brown Photogra… on April 17, 2013

Thanks Liam Corrected. Yep I love this lens when I use the sweet spot - its rubbish everywhere else!


I have some super sharp raptors that I will post to Flickr that you'll like!!!

Cheers ol' buddy - David

Suzi in Oregon on April 17, 2013

Very nice image, layout, and thanks for all the tech info, David. We see these lovely birds here as well. Happy Spring (O:

David Brown Photogra… on April 18, 2013

Thank you Suzi I like this one very much too.

Happy spring to y'all! - David

joyfotos on April 18, 2013

Beautiful shot! He looks like he is listening for directions from you:) Like!

Nick Weall on May 24, 2013

What a lovely looking bird David ~ Well caught Sir ~ all the best ~ nick

David Brown Photogra… on May 24, 2013

Thank you very much Joy - but he like the rest of the world.... he needs no advice from me!

Thank you Nick - they are a most endearing species as during this season the male and female hang out together, nest building and flying around (when she is NOT on the nest). Here they were pulling my hanging basket to peices for nesting materials.

Best wishes both from sunny and warm North Carolina - David

brian gillman on June 2, 2013

Great shot! Would grace any bird book. Y*. Beautiful colours, could so easily have been garish. Love the soft light.

Best wishes, Brian.

David Brown Photogra… on June 2, 2013

It was all taking place in front of a tree full of raging pink blossom! So it was hard to take a dull picture with that background.

I try not to be garish except when there's tulips involved.

Many thanks


brian gillman on June 2, 2013

Thanks, David. On reflection, perhaps garish was too strong a word. Probably thinking of how my attempt at your photo would have turned out! Must resist the 'saturation' button; suits some subjects but not others.

Best wishes, Brian.

David Brown Photogra… on June 2, 2013

Its a good word Brian - this same young fella was just on my green bird feeder hanging from a red pole, facing me in full sun! Now I would have had to convert that to B&W to not be garish!



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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 12, 2013
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by David Brown Photogra…
    • Taken on 2013/04/12 15:54:08
    • Exposure: 0.005s (1/200)
    • Focal Length: 210.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/7.100
    • ISO Speed: ISO500
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • Flash fired