Flash or exposure compensation

In Wildlifeby Patrick

Even though we are in the middle of winter here in the midwest, there is still plenty of spring planning going on with our resident woodpeckers. On a crisp winter day, when I walked out onto our deck to check some of the feeders, there is a distinct rat ta tatt tatt on the trees. Having heard this before, I realized that our downy woodpeckers are in the area. They are frequent visitors to our feeders filled with peanut butter suet, a personal favorite of many species, but especially woodpeckers. Overall we have 8 different species of woodpeckers in Michigan. To date, I only have 2 of the eight in my files. The chase continues! I post this shot because it is another example of my previous post on exposure compensation as an in camera light shaping tool. This picture was shot at -2/3 EV and natural light. It looks as if a flash was used, but it is simply front lit with the dialed in EV to reduce the highlights. You can even see the sun in the eye which resembles a catch light. Flash is an essential tool for wildlife photography, but that is a whole different post. I have drawn a line in the sand with my wildlife images and I do not crop or post process. That is just the standard that I have set for myself and it really makes me think the image through and get it right in camera.

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