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on Apr 23, 2014 in Wildlife Photography

Back Up Slope They Come

We know spring has sprung at our home when the Steller’s Jays are back in mass. In the winter, the majority of them do a down slope migration to warmer haunts. But once the spring equinox occurs, back up they come. As the time gets closer to start a nest, the males are quite spectacular like this one individual. We had a snow today and that big, soft, overcast light was perfect to give them a little attention, especially with their lookin so good. Shooting from my desk, I just watch until a gorgeous individual appears and then simply go click.

Their blue stripes in the crown are simply a blazed right now! With their crown erect, their stare down their bill penetrates the lens. This male was so close, I had to go vertical. Shooting with the D4s / 800f5.6AFS, horizontal cropped the tail so I had to go vertical. I was being, well, lazy and didn’t want to take the time to set up the softbox so I simply raised the ISO to ISO 800. With the D4s, no big deal but I won’t make a habit of it. Because of where the Jay was perched, I went to handholding (this body/lens combo is incredibly balanced) to make the shot and even shooting at ISO800 I was at 1/40. These guys are such characters though. The Pine Siskins, Evening Grosbeaks, Cassin’s Finchs all scatter when the Jays come in and I think the Jays do it on purpose.