We are moving into mid-summer and with our migrant birds back from the northern hemisphere we have an abundance of colourful birds to photograph. Amongst these travellers are the Carmine Bee-eaters which not only come south for the food abundance, but also to breed.
While we were out on game drive we spotted a number of these beautiful birds perched alongside the road keeping an eye out for their next meal. Fortunately for me this guy was very relaxed and allowed me to inch ever closer with the Land Rover until I was within ten metres of him.
The most important part of this composition was getting the background right as the strong greens of summer would help bring out the bright red of the bird. I positioned the bird between myself and a dense green tree in the background, making sure that my 100-400mm lens was set with an aperture of F8, blurring the tree in the background but keeping the bird in focus.
I had my camera on aperture priority to ensure I had control over the depth of field, setting the ISO to 200. The shutter speed was 1/500 which meant a fast enough shutter speed for hand held photography.
Expose your balance
Richard de Gouveia