Hennie van Heerden's Wildlife Diary

October 31, 2010

Autumn Glow in the making

Filed under: October — Hennie van Heerden @ 6:09 pm

 The bird feeding table is awesome. Every day I spend at least an hour with it. I’ve put up the blind on the terrace so I can very easily leave the house and dive straight into that little tent.

In the meadow behind the table the Beech is in full autumn attire right now. First it turned all yellow and green, now the colors are gold, ocher and brown. The long lens, combined with a  shallow aperture and the distance the tree is located behind the feeding table,  totally blurs out the real shape of the tree and forms an almost artificial background for the birds. But it is 100% natural! That’s exactly the reason why I want to shoot the birdies with that lens. I just love that creamy bokeh!

Today it was rainy and cloudy, so I couldn’t make any in-flight shots (using a mirror which reflects the sun on the branch, as light source). So I focused on ‘pretty pictures’ in stead. So all of these pictures you see here are 100% natural in light and background colors. The tree trunk and the Maple branch however I have placed in the garden. (see my earlier post: Buffet-de-Luxe

To give you an impression on what would happen if I would use an aperture of for instance f14, have a look at the two woodpecker shots: Both come straight out of my camera; no editing or post processing whatsoever, only converting from RAW to jpg.
One is taken with f5.0, which totally blurs out the background, and the other with f14, which still leaves some of the shapes of the leaves visible. In the case of the woodpecker I also like the f14 version, but with the tiny birds I think it’s too distracting.

  These two shots I made with my cell-phone to show the real situation. The picture to the right I just took and shows the dug-in tree trunk with the tiny Maple branch. Hans has made cuts in the trunk that I fill with a mixture of fat, seeds and nuts. He also drilled in holes where I can stick in different branches every day, so the birds have a perch from where they can attack the buffet. To the left is the Beech (planted some 15 years ago) how it looked yesterday afternoon, when I shot the Autumn Glow picture.



  1. Ongelooflijk, wat een prachtige kleuren!
    Interessant, zo’n f5/f14 vergelijking.

    Comment by J. — November 1, 2010 @ 8:47 am | Reply

  2. I am going to try and do something similar with the squirrels that I get in my backyard. May be, I get some birds too. Lets see. 🙂 Your blog is very interesting, Hennie! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    Comment by Senthil Muthiah — January 13, 2011 @ 10:02 pm | Reply

  3. Hennie, you are so dear to me. I study the EXIF on your beautiful art posted on Flickr. I am taking a photography class to try and learn to manually shoot with my EOS30D. Thank you for being so generous with your awesome talent. With warm aloha, Kathy Harrison, Big Island of Hawaii.

    Comment by Kathy Harrison — August 2, 2012 @ 1:23 am | Reply

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