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One of Rick's Birds

One of Rick's Birds
Photo Information
Copyright: John Plumb (JPlumb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-06-15
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, AF-S VR Micro Nikkor 105mm w/ TC14EII
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/90 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-06-16 19:08
Viewed: 3982
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is a portrait of an Apostle Bird (Struthidea cinerea). It is a very gregarious bird, and is almost always seen in the company of several others.

They are found within inland areas of Eastern Australia. They feed on seeds and vegetable matter, insects and other invertebrates. They are typically found in woodland areas, but in autumn and winter they will move to more open areas. They tend to forage on the ground.

They form a breeding unit of around ten related birds, with a dominant male and several females, as well as immature birds, that act as helpers. The nest is a large mud bowl, reinforced and lined with grasses, placed on a horizontal branch, 3-20 m high. All members of the group assist in building the nest, as well as feeding the young. More than one female will lay eggs in the nest, and all of the adults will incubate the eggs. Two broods of about 4 birds will be raised in this manner in a season.

This is a bird I had never seen or even heard of before. I believe it is new to TN as well. My wife and I dropped in to see Rick Cridland (rcrick) and family, and I had to take a couple of shots in this wonderful backyard that they’ve created. Rick is a great friend of all of the birds in the area, and when the natural foliage that he and his wife have planted isn’t enough, they will supplement this with other food. The birds love it. I’ve included a couple of other shots in the workshop here and here, that show the birds on a couple of the feeders.

Much of this from: http://www.birdsinbackyards.net/finder/display.cfm?id=133

I follow a generic workflow now as outlined in my Bio.
Details and differences to this are as follows:
Shot taken at 150mm, ISO 320, f/5.6, 1/90 sec
Fill Flash used (-1 TTL)
Used overlay layer with 5-10% opacity black and white brush for dodging and burning
Saturation (incremental +10 to master - based on proof colours compare)
Saved at 100% quality for 230K

CeltickRanger, goldyrs, boreocypriensis, Jamesp, Miss_Piggy, rcrick, maurydv, darwin, mlines, NinaM, marhowie, MMM, uleko has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To mlines: Not Familiar with TwinsJPlumb 2 06-17 20:09
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Critiques [Translate]

I love the idea of tow wonderful photographers together, you and Rick!This is an excellent profile(?) of this bird!


Great job. You've ended up with a very nice portrait. It looks like you didn't have a lot of DOF to play with but you've still managed to pull of great shot. Its nice to hear you guys help our feathered friends out in times of need - good for you. TFS.

Best Regards,


  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-06-16 22:48]

Hi John

Nice portrait of this gird - good eye contact and nice detail throughout.


Hi John
A lovely portrait of a bird I hadn't seen or heard of before. Nice catchlight in the eye and detail on the feathers on his neck.

Hallo John
Wow this is a real close-up. Not just a small one. A real big and glamorous one. This is a wonderful example of an excellent portrait. The detail of this bird is really stunning. Lovely big shiny black eye, and the clarity of the fine feathers around the beak area is really great. Thanks for sharing. It was most enjoyable to look at.
Kind regards

Hi John,

Excellent shot mate, and congratulations on a first for T.N, love the catch light and the detail just awesome, looking forward to seeing some of the other work, went back today and our little friend was on his perch, also went up to the hide for a while, had some fun, all the best,

Cheers Rick :)

Hi John,

Wonderful portrait capture of an Apostle Bird with superb clarity and perfect DOF. Composition is great too. I love its facial expression. TFS.


Bellissimo ritratto, eccellenti POV e composizione con la messa a fuoco selettiva sull'occhio, molto buona la nitidezza nonostante la poca luce a disposizione, molto belli e naturali i colori e BG. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

Hi John
Wonderful closeup with excellent detail and nice natural color
Great catchlite in the shiny black eye
tfs jon

hello John

excellent portrait shot of this wonderful bird,
fine POV, excellent sharpness and details of his head's part,
i love the catch-light just on the center of the eye,
in the workshop i love the Altered Image #1, TFS


Hi John, Excellent close up of this Apostle bird whi=ose feather details and colour are very good. Maybe a female? One of the best birs compositions seen for a while. The glint in the eye and the DOF are both excellent. TFS. Murray.
PS Pls check out Twin's bird photos on TL also.

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-06-17 14:26]

THose are great shots John, I love that kind of bird, they are cute and look like a finch in black and grey. I like the "serious" cinematographic lighting on the head of the bird leaving the body in darker zone. I like glimmering pictures like the background here, it shines and has shadows, it's a nice effect. Thank you!


  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-06-19 0:58]

Hi John,
Wonderful portrait shot of this bird with amazing details on its plumage and a fine glint on its eye. Great use of flash lighting and you have captured it in a nice pose. Excellent POV and composition. Kudos.

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2008-06-19 14:59]

Ola John
Linda foto desta ave, os detalhes de sua pelagem são incriveis, a nitidez esta muito boa.

Hi John,
The head is well focused/sharp with excellent detail and exposure, your dodge/burn has "spotlit" it well..
Great BG separation and catchlight too.
Nice work :)

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-06-20 7:29]

Hi John
Nice portrait.Sharp image with good POV.Pluamge details are excellent.I like the nice catch light in the eye.OOF BG is also nice.
TFS Michel

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-06-20 10:02]

Hello John,
Excellent close-up of the Apostle Bird in good light. Great focus on the ey' sharp details and fine colours of the plumage. Well done!
I very much appreciate these notes of yours on Brisbane and sincerely hope we can visit Brisbane when we next go to Australia to see my son in Sydney.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-06-23 21:08]

Hello Rick

Excellent eye detail.
The focus is sharp on the head.
Very good plumage detail.
You have filled the frame well.


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