Experimenting with a Little Grebe

It has been some time now since my last visit to Schinias wetland, so I decided to go there and check the place out. Unfortunately although I went to every known location it wasn’t my day. There were very few birds and even the Greater Spotted Eagle that spends the winter there made just one appearance far away from me. My last hope was to visit the Olympic Rowing Center of Athens which is located just beside the wetland and you can usually find something interesting there. I was very disappointed when I found that beside the Black-headed Gulls and Coots that were there in abundance, there were very few birds and even these were quite far for photos. I only found a Little Grebe that was feeding close to the shore where I was standing. As a result although this species is quite common, I decided to spend some time with it in order to go home with a few photos for processing.

I lay on a small wooden pier and soon the little bird was fishing close to me without being bothered by my presence. When it was on my right, the sun was behind me and the conditions were ideal for photos, while when it was on my left the sun was behind the bird. In these cases you usually stop taking pictures or you can try to make some silhouettes with better results when it is early in the morning or late in the afternoon. In my case and since it was already noon (but the light was not so harsh) I decided to make some pictures ignoring the light direction. I switched the camera to manual and set the shooting parameters so that the subject will be properly exposed. Two of the resulting images are shown here. It is clear that in the image created in backlight conditions the background seems to be mostly “burned” without any color info but the Little Grebe looks Ok since it is properly exposed. I remind you that you can see the Exif info for all images by clicking on the pictures.

At the end of the day I must admit that I like both images and I am not sure if my preference is the normal or the hi-key image. What is your preference?

1 comment to Experimenting with a Little Grebe

  • Hi Petros. I like both of them. The Hi-Key one, has the additional plus of the water drops on the body of the bird. My updated opinion is that I tend to like Hi-Key photos even in harsh light conditions when it is correctly exposed. Different but still beautiful.
    The burned bg can add in the photo an odd effect and a strong contrast.
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