American Goldfinch

An american goldfinch clings to the narrow branch of a cherry tree
An american goldfinch clings to the narrow branch of a cherry tree. Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the EOS-7D. ISO 400. Evaluative metering -2/3 EV: 1/2000 sec. at f/8.

This week’s photo involved nothing more than setting up my camera and walking out my front door. The cherry tree in my front yard is a welcome perch for birds flying in to survey the feeding station. However, they usually only stay still for a brief few seconds before moving to the bird feeders. Here, patience and a quick trigger finger save the day.

When I’m photographing birds in the front yard with my long lens, I always use an extension tube to decrease the minimum focus distance of the lens. Otherwise, even standing all the way across the yard, I’m too close and can’t get a focus lock on anything in the yard. This closer distance allows small birds to fill the frame, but makes photographing large birds impossible, unless I’m just going for a head shot or head and shoulders portrait (and how many mourning dove portraits do you really need?)