May 26, 2013

Redpolls, Alaska

Photograph by Tim Grams, Your Shot

This Month in Photo of the Day: The Stories Behind Your Shots

Common redpolls visit Anchorage every few years in large numbers. So many that they will crowd out the usual winter residents that visit our feeders—black-capped and boreal chickadees, nuthatches, and juncos. The large flocks inspired me to try a different perspective. I used a plate of regular glass for the bottom and cut clear acrylic for sides and support. I fastened the visible portion of the feeder to a simple wooden tripod that I built, then supported my camera on a photo tripod beneath the feeder. I used a wireless trigger to release the shutter on the camera. It took four to five hours to build, and I refined it several times. The images were taken in our backyard in Anchorage, Alaska. —Tim Grams

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27 comments
Frances Young
Frances Young

Having just spent the past week monitoring our little backyard flocks of sparrows, doves, and song birds during the polar vortex, you must've become really attached to the birds attracted to your feeder arrangement given the hundreds of photos you took of them. The shot is lovely and delicate. Thank you for brightening my day!

Ary Lay
Ary Lay

beautiful ...nice angle

Shannon T
Shannon T

What a unique way to get a photo. Very cool. Well done Tim.

Victoria R.
Victoria R.

Very nice picture, made me look at the picture for a couple minutes to understand what the clear object was. Pretty capture of the birds too. :)

Carol Music
Carol Music

Your photo is really beautiful. It's very 'clear' that you worked hard to get this great photo! (** sorry about the pun, but couldn't resist!!)

 We lived in Anchorage for 8 years in the 1980's and I remember there were so many different kinds of birds, though the Raven's are the ones that stand out. Such intelligent birds. We moved to Sitka and lived there for 14 years before returning home to Western WA. Ton's of ravens there as well. I once watched a raven take a fish from an eagle in the air - pretty interesting!

Once again
Once again

You sure love photography to do this great effort.loved the birds in the middle with the spread wings.

Susan McConnell
Susan McConnell

Such a creative photo with a unique point of view. Love this shot!

Jonathan Deitch
Jonathan Deitch

I would say this is impressive but I do question if this is a composite (multiple images) vs single capture. Really interesting idea none the less! Great work~

Tim Grams
Tim Grams

@Rok Dolnicar Hi Rok- You have a wonderful portfolio! I especially love your street photography- you have a very good eye for it. There is not much opportunity for that type of shooting in Alaska.  Tim

Tim Grams
Tim Grams

@Carol Music Thank you Carol! Both Anchorage and Sitka are wonderful places. Next winter I may try to get the magpies and ravens to land on my glass bottom feeder but I will need to make it more sturdy for the ravens. The ravens will be tough- they're SO cautious! I have gotten a few nice raven images when they visited our feeders on our porch, but it takes a lot of patience. Tim

Tim Grams
Tim Grams

@Jonathan Deitch  Hi Jonathan- This is a single image. NG is strict about their rules and I complied with those rules. I sent the RAW image to NG, which is the normal process before they use an image. I did take several hundred exposures while I refined the feeder, adjusted the placement of the camera and made exposures changes. I concentrated on capturing birds while landing or taking off and this is the most eye catching result.  Tim

Rok Dolnicar
Rok Dolnicar

@Tim Grams @Rok Dolnicar Hey Tim ... thanks for your comment. It's nice to hear it. I'll do my  best to post more of the images ... I wish you a beautiful and creative time in Alaska. Feel the nature and enjoy it. Thanks for your support again. My best to you, Rok Dolnicar

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