Photo of the Week #23 - Breakfast in Red

June 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

The Photo of the Week is posted every Monday.  Each photo aims to document the things I've seen, places I've been and all sorts of curious things I have encountered as I go about my daily activities.  Along with the photo I will provide some background and interesting facts about the image and some technical information as well.



I am an early riser and wake up at 5:00am whether I have work to do or it's the weekend.   The quiet early morning is my favorite time of the day.  Some of the things I like to do while my neighbors are still sleeping are walking my dog Lizzie, having a leisurely breakfast and perhaps capture a photograph of a dramatic sunrise.  With trees, bushes and an expanse of tall reeds around my house, many species of birds are also awake and their noisy chatter ensures that you won't forget that they are the true masters of the early risers!


While sitting at the table eating breakfast, I heard a particularly loud and impatient bird call and it seemed like it was coming from just outside the window.  After a few more squabbles, my curiosity got the best of me and went to the window and looking back at me from a pine tree branch was a brilliantly colored male cardinal.  The fact that it did not fly away when I appeared in the window really surprised me.  I went to get my camera and with him in the same spot where I had left  him, I managed to capture this image.


The cardinal bobbed his head and chirped again leaving me to wonder what's got his feather's all in a huff.  And then, in the same tree just a few feet away, I saw that the bird feeder that I religiously keep filled was.....EMPTY!  Was Mr. Cardinal trying to tell me something?  I put on some shoes and went outside to fill the feeder, scaring off the cardinal in the process.  Upon returning inside the house and looking out the window, about 5 minutes went by when the cardinal appeared cautiously hopping from branch to branch and after seeing the full bird feeder, chirped loudly and took his place and began feeding.


This photo was taken through the kitchen window, something I would prefer not to do since any additional glass can degrade the quality of your image.  To get closer to the cardinal I used my zoom lens maxed out to 200mm and the ISO setting was raised to 800 because it was actually not very bright outside and this higher value will capture more light in the scene.  Thank you Mr. Cardinal for being so patient and for being so kind as to give me such a great pose!


Equipment and Settings

Canon 40D
1/200sec at f8, ISO 800
Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS USM lens set at 200mm


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