White-breased Nuthatch checking me out

I must have looked harmless enough as the feeders were getting some good traffic on a thankfully cloudy day today.

Specific Feedback Requested

All comments welcome!

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Canon R5, 100-500 + 2X at 1000mm. Wide open at f/14, ISO 1600, 1/250 sec (thin ice even with a good tripod and head). Only very slight tonal corrections in LR (the usual Shadows and Highlights). In PS, NR and very minor cloning on the perch. Then I went to Nik CEP’s Tonal Contrast to bring out a little more detail in the BG, to see if it would minimize the posterization I had in the plain BG of the house finch I posted yesterday on the same perch.

Cropped to 60% of the original pixels.

The halo on top of the head is in the unadjusted raw file – a brighter spot in the BG trees, apparently. I think it’s a nice touch, but can’t take credit for it.


Very nice capture here Diane. Position of the tree and bird are perfect and his pose is so cute- good timing! Background sets both off nicely without attracting attention.

A very nice look at a nuthatch and the image shows how big the feet are in this species. Comp is fine and I especially like the soft lighting…Jim

Great catch and great pose, Diane. I might consider cropping from the left to remove the background–up to the tree…that will also off-center the bird. Nice background too.

Excellent close-up look at the classic nuthatch pose. Nice background, setting off the bird and tree.

Hi Diane
Allen is correct, this is a classic Nuthatch pose and the feet really stand out. The photograph is nicely framed and the Nuthatch has good color and detail.

These guys always look so curious. I also like the feet and that we can see the grip that supports this little light weight Also like the full look at all the feather groupings. All three elements: subject, tree, and background work together beautifully. Great shot.

Thanks guys! I enjoyed this session with nice light – a rarity here these days. I may be scarce here until I resolve numerous issues with a new computer (read: new MacOS) and (among other things) a new Lightroom bug. I’ve been swatting bugs and having to figure out where things are now hidden for 6 weeks. It’s getting really old. At this point I can’t use Lightroom. I have threads running on four forums with assorted issues. It seems I have lots of company for all of them.

This is just great, Diane. The pose, the perch, the light - all very nice. The techs seem spot-on as well. Wishing you all the best with your Mac issues, I am still working on Catalina 10.15.7 and luckily all still working fine… But with an iMac from 2013 I may be needing to go for a new machine this year as well … Cheers, Hans
p.s edit: I just read the line which states 60% of the original pixels, so should you be able to have a bit more room around the bird, it may even be nicer :wink:

Outstanding image with incredible clarity, background, and perch. A nice package. I wouldn’t change anything. Every time I look at one of these that you’ve taken with this lens and 2X extender, I am simply blown away by the image quality. I don’t even use my 2X extender on my Sony 400 F2 .8 because I can see the degradation in image quality.

Thanks everyone! @Hans_Overduin, unfortunately, the top of the frame was not cropped further, so that determined what felt balanced to me for the rest of the composition.

@David_Schoen, thanks – I would say the same about your birds! I’m surprised that I can compete with the Sony a1, and very surprised about the 400 lens. I would have thought that lens would be as good as any!