Vote of Confidence

The chicks are growing and maturing quickly. The youngest one is often still at the bottom of the pile underneath the rest. There are five in this image. The youngest one is peeking between the middle one and the one on the right. Photographing through glass presents challenges for clarity and sharpness. That is one of the reasons that we do not use UV filters on our lens, except sometimes when we are photographing with sea spray coming toward us.

We had a vote of confidence today. When we went back up after a lunch break to try some video, one of the adults came in and fed the chick at the top and then stayed for several minutes peeking at the camera over the pile of chicks. This is a crop of a frame extracted from the video. The depth of field was shallow, the ISO very high and the window was in the way. However, we are so pleased the parent is starting to consider us part of the scenery, though still a bit strange.

The lighting for the video was our newest LED flashlight. We have several smaller ones that work well for putting light in dark areas. This one has more lumens so we thought it would work better. Well, when we tried it several days ago, it made the birds and any dark areas a weird blue-purple color. To human eyes it looked like a nice white light. To our cameras it looked like the lighting for a horror film. Some LED lights produce a much bluer light than human brains see.

So we practiced at home making some light filters of colored tissue paper and photographing small items in dark corners. Most color wheels show the opposite of blue and purple to be yellow and orange. A light orange piece of tissue paper secured to the flashlight with a rubber band was an acceptable color correction filter. It is even more neutral lighting than the small diffused flash use in the top photo.

Here is the pile as photographed through the knot hole using ambient light and a long shutter speed when they were very still. The still images are much sharper than the videos we made today. The eye that is visible in this image must have opened recently. It is still a cloudy silver color. We noticed that eyes were darker at some angles and more silver at others. There must be differences in how they reflect light.

We wonder what new thing we will learn the next time we go to the Tower.

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