The Martins Are Back (and in the sun)

Three male and one female Purple Martins showed up at our place today. Birds were late coming in until this last weekend when we suddenly started getting a lot of species showing up. This was taken in pretty bright, late morning sun and I used settings that barely kept from blowing out the white plastic gourds which really brought out the colors that you so rarely see in this species.

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Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Sony A7Riv, FE200-600 + 1.4 TC @ 840 mm, tripod with ballhead and Sidekick mount, f/9, 1/2500, iso 1000, manual exposure, processed in LR & PS CC. Cropped to 7690x4922 and straightened for appearance. Cleaned up some bird droppings on the gourd and used a levels adjustment layer on the bird to actually bring the darks down a trifle because they were a bit brighter than I liked.

Nice job, Dennis. You’re right that these guys are difficult to photograph and get any details. Especially difficult with all that bright white behind him.

I miss my Martins. Had a nice colony at my previous home, but I guess there are just too many trees for them here. They will come and investigate the house, but don’t stay.

I’m impressed that you were able to get a good exposure on the Martin plumage with so much detail considering the white gourds.

@David_Schoen Hi David. I exposed for the bird, fully expecting the gourds to be blown beyond repair and was pleasantly surprised when they weren’t.