Little Bee-Eater
Merops pusillus
Little Bee-Eater (Merops pusillus). This bird was perched near a nesting burrow on the Okavango River near Shakawe, Botswana, in October, 1998. The photo was taken with a Canon EOS 1N & EF 300mm F4L IS lens with a 1.4X extender, hand-held on a BushHawk shoulder mount with available early morning light. The film used was Fuji Sensia 100. An earthen bank, about 40 feet away, is the background. The exposure was at f5.6, shutter speed unrecorded.
What a difference a little fill flash and background change makes! The three below images were shot within an hour of each other. The first photo was shot with available morning light, and while an acceptable image was obtained, the bottom two photos illustrate the way fill flash and a different background can bring out colors and detail in many cases. When photographing birds, it is important to pay attention to background and lighting as these images illustrate.
The two below photos are of the same individual as the above photo. All photographic equipment was the same, except that a Canon 540 EZ flash on a "Really Right Stuff" flash bracket was used. The exposure and film were the same as the above photo with the flash used as fill. The background shown here photo is the blue water of the river. In the below image, blue sky is the background.