Photographing Yellow-rumped Warblers in Cluttered and Clean Habitats

/, Birds, Box Elder County, Davis County, Salt Lake County, Utah, Yellow-rumped Warblers/Photographing Yellow-rumped Warblers in Cluttered and Clean Habitats

Yellow-rumped Warbler in breeding plumage during Spring migration, Box Elder County, UtahYellow-rumped Warbler in breeding plumage during Spring migration – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1250, ISO 640, +0.3 EV, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

When it comes to small birds like Yellow-rumped Warblers I prefer photographing them in clean habitats over cluttered habitats because the small birds stand out better when the background isn’t so messy.

I photographed this Yellow-rumped Warbler in breeding plumage last Thursday in Box Elder County and while I love the pose of the bird, the great look at the eye of the warbler plus the sharpness and fine details in the plumage I find the setting a bit cluttered and I don’t think the bird stands out all that well from the background. The bright yellow feathers do draw my eye right to the warbler but then they kind of wander through the frame because it is busy.

Mullein & Yellow-rumped Warbler during Autumn migration, Antelope Island State Park, Davis County, UtahMullein & Yellow-rumped Warbler during Autumn migration – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

This Yellow-rumped Warbler was photographed last September on Antelope Island State Park as these warblers were migrating through the area, I have a nice clean background, the warbler stands out well and my eye is drawn immediately to the bird. There is nothing cluttered, messy or busy in the background so my attention stays on the bird and the Moth Mullein it is perched on.

Spring Yellow-rumped Warbler in breeding plumage, Box Elder County, UtahSpring Yellow-rumped Warbler in breeding plumage – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 640, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

This Yellow-rumped Warbler was also photographed last Thursday and the habitat in the background isn’t quite as messy as it is in the first image posted above so the warbler stands out nicely even though there is some clutter. Still, my eyes wander a bit through the frame when I am viewing this photo instead of staying on the bird.

Yellow-rumped Warbler in nonbreeding plumage during Autumn migration, Salt Lake County, UtahYellow-rumped Warbler in nonbreeding plumage during Autumn migration – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/800, ISO 400, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light

This last Yellow-rumped Warbler photo was taken in September of last year in Salt Lake County and it has a wonderful, smooth background which brings my eye straight to the bird and the curved branch it is perched on. There is absolutely nothing to distract me from the bird.

Of course it is all a matter of personal taste and aesthetics but I find I do prefer the cleaner habitats & backgrounds of the second and last photo simply because they make it easier for me to maintain focus on just the birds.

I’d love to be able to photograph the Yellow-rumped Warblers I have been seeing in their finest breeding plumage with clean backgrounds this spring, I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Life is good.

Mia

The last image may look like I was using a set up but this is a completely natural setting at a local park. Some photographers use simple to elaborate set ups with carefully selected perches where the birds are drawn to them by using food, calls or a combination thereof where it becomes an outdoor studio of sorts. I don’t use set ups.

5 Comments

  1. Elephants Child April 29, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    Like Laura and Patty I am perfectly happy with the cluttered images. Life is cluttered. And messy. And beauty sits very comfortably in that mess.

  2. Laura Culley April 29, 2018 at 12:38 pm

    I’m not that fussy with background in the context that life is messy. My attention goes first to the bird in the “cluttered” shots and then goes to the background. I’m also one of those who finds the background interesting in the context of where that bird is living/feeding/nesting (whatever), which makes it easier for me to find the bird in real time knowing what kind of flora to look for when I’m out there. In other words, it’s instructional to me to have an idea where the bird is more likely to be found. So there’s my two cents. But also let me add that I’m easily amused 😉

  3. Patty Chadwick April 29, 2018 at 11:10 am

    A series of wonderful shots…like the most “cluttered” one, the first one, best of all..u

  4. Bob mcpherson April 29, 2018 at 6:55 am

    Nice

  5. Liz Cormack April 29, 2018 at 6:08 am

    I have a photo of a male Yellow-rumped Warbler sitting in front of cherry blossoms. The cherry blossoms catch the eye well before the Yellow-rumped Warbler does so I know what you mean about a cluttered background.

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