Backyard Sparrows

This article features a selection of images of backyard sparrows that I photographed a couple of days ago. I haven’t been able to get out with my cameras very much lately and I could tell that I was getting a bit rusty. Backyard sparrows may be very common birds, but they are still enjoyable to photograph.

NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/1600, ISO-2500

You’ll find a variety of images that include perched and sparrows in flight in this article. I find that backyard sparrows make good practice subjects. I spent some of my time using Pro Capture H. The last time I was in the field with my camera gear I could tell that my shutter release reaction was a bit off.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 260 mm, efov 520 mm, f/8, -1 step, 1/2500, ISO-4000, Pro Capture H mode

As you peruse the EXIF data you may find that some of my shutter speeds look quite high for perched birds. I was using Pro Capture H with my small bird settings and didn’t bother to change them. I knew that using high shutter speeds would drive up my ISO value. This wasn’t a problem as I needed some sample images with which to experiment with some new software.

Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-6400

I’m quite enjoying integrating Topaz Denoise AI into my post processing. Thus far, I’m pleased with the results and I do not regret upgrading the video card in my office computer in order to accommodate this software.

.Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-6400, Pro Capture H mode

It took about a half hour for me to get my Pro Capture timing back to where I wanted it.

.Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-6400, Pro Capture H mode

I spent some time trying to capture interactions between different birds.

.Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-6400, Pro Capture H mode
.Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-4000, Pro Capture H mode
.Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-4000, Pro Capture H mode
.Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-4000, Pro Capture H mode
.Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-5000, Pro Capture H mode
.Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-4000, Pro Capture H mode
.Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-4000, Pro Capture H mode
.Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-1000, Pro Capture H mode

There were also plenty of opportunities to photograph individual birds. At one point we had more than 50 sparrows in our backyard.

.Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-6400, Pro Capture H mode

Some looked quite dainty… like feathered ballerinas.

.Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-3200, Pro Capture H mode

An abrupt mid-flight turn provided a good opportunity to photograph the feather pattern on the back and wings of a sparrow.

.Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-1000, Pro Capture H mode

My practice also included ‘both eyes open’ shooting. This technique is helpful when trying to anticipate a subject bird flying in to a particular spot.

.Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-6400, Pro Capture H mode

It’s been about 16 months since I started using Olympus gear. The more I use it, the more I appreciate its ‘go anywhere, shoot anything’ versatility.

As is often said, “there’s no such thing as a perfect camera”. For my specific needs Olympus certainly hits a sweet spot. As a result, I’m planning to add a bit more gear to my kit.

Technical Note

Photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process.

.Olympus OM-D E-M1X + M.Zuiko PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 with M.Zuiko MC-20 teleconverter @ 300 mm, efov 600 mm, f/8, 1/2500, ISO-6400, Pro Capture H mode

How you can help keep this site advertising free

My intent is to keep this photography blog advertising free. If you enjoyed this article and/or my website and would like to support my work, you can purchase an eBook, or make a modest $10 donation through PayPal. Both are most appreciated. You can use the Donate button below. Larger donations can be made to tom@tomstirr.com through PayPal.

As a reminder to our Canadian readers, you can get a special 5% discount when ordering Tamron or Rokinon lenses and other products directly from the Amplis Store.

Word of mouth is the best form of endorsement. If you like our website please let your friends and associates know about our work. Linking to this site or to specific articles is allowed with proper acknowledgement. Reproducing articles, or any of the images contained in them, on another website or in any social media posting is a Copyright infringement.

Article and images are Copyright 2020 Thomas Stirr. All rights reserved. No use, duplication or adaptation of any kind is allowed without written consent. If you see this article reproduced anywhere else it is an unauthorized and illegal use. Posting comments on offending websites and calling out individuals who steal intellectual property is always appreciated!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *