2020—Simple Background

One of the challenges of photographing Pine Siskins at the water feature at The Ranch in Montana was getting multiple birds in focus at the same time. The birds are small and they crowded the perches just fractions of an inch apart so it seemed like it was doable. Finally, on our last day, I managed to photograph two in the same focal plane so both their visible eyes were in focus. Although I’d hoped to get several crowded onto a single perch, and all on the same focal plane so all their eyes would be in focus, for me, it didn’t happen. I was using a Nikkor 500mm PF lens with the Nikon TC14eIII teleconverter, with the lens at its largest aperture, f/8. At that aperture, the depth of focus was very shallow and that difference softened the focus on one of the birds. If I’d reduced the aperture to increase the depth of focus to try to mitigate the slight distance differences, I risked losing the simple background. I chose the simple background and fewer birds.

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