Song Sparrow in northern Utah – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Most of the time I prefer to have the birds I photograph out in the open without obstructions in front of the birds, with silky smooth backgrounds caused by the bokeh of my lens and where the primary focus of interest is completely on the bird. Those type of photos are what some people call “guide book quality” and for good reason which is because guide books are often used to help identify the species and fewer distractions are better in that case.
This Song Sparrow photographed in northern Utah was out in the open and could easily be used in a guide book because it shows the bird well and the background isn’t all that distracting, the foreground is clear and this photo shows many of the key ID features of the Song Sparrow that can be used to help narrow it down to its species.
Song Sparrow peeking out of a greasewood – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
I also enjoy taking images that aren’t what people would call “guide book quality” where the bird might be small in the frame or where the part of the bird is hidden from view. I often call this type of bird photo “hidden treasures“.
This Song Sparrow photo is one of those images that I find appealing but mostly likely would never be used in a guide book because the tail and legs are hidden by the out of focus greasewood and the bird is small in the frame too. Some people may even consider this type of bird photo more “artsy”. The photo might work well in a magazine or online article but I don’t really think about that while I am creating a photo, I take them solely for me.
I can’t pick a favorite between these two Song Sparrow photos because I find them both visually appealing and I don’t feel a need or a desire to pick one over the other. But I’m just a bird photographer who knows what she likes to photograph.
Life is good.