Wednesday, May 20, 2009


These images are more shots from last July when the cardinals hatched outside my kitchen window. I don't think either one would win any awards but I think it is interesting to see the mother squirting liquid into the mouth of the baby in the first image. I don't know if the liquid came from the seed you can clearly see in the mother's beak or if the mother has to provide liquid for the baby to be able to swallow the food. I caught several shots with the female feeding the hatchlings and the one with the male cardinal passing something to the female to feed to them but my depth of field was too shallow to get them all in focus at once and I did not want to use a flash in this situation. With the low light my shutter speeds were often too slow to freeze the action. Also a branch often blocked part of the view. Still, those 2 days were fascinating to observe and photograph this little bird family.

Camera info: Nikon D200, 70 - 200mm 2.8 VR lens, first image at f3.4 and 1/180th, with a -.33 exposure compensation at ISO 400, shade white balance. Second image f6.3, 1/40th, -1 exposure comp, ISO 320
Post processing: set white and black points in ACR, used the white balance tool on a section of the baby's feathers to set the white balance better, duplicated the background layer on softlight blending mode at 28% opacity, ran Touch of Light/Dark action and lightened areas and darkened the edges, levels adjustment layer to brighten upper part, ran the Edge and PopSickle from Kubota for sharpening.


  1. Cindi, I'm constantly amazed at what great images you captured despite limited shooting through the sticks and leaves! Nature is so wondrous!!

  2. I don't know much about photography but I've tagged your blog as a favorite.