Yellow-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 – 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 – 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 – 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.
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.