So the other day I was sitting in our family room with Lisa when she pointed out that we had a woodpecker on a tree just outside the window. Now I’m no wildlife photographer so I have no idea what make and model it was but it looked pretty cute so I grabbed the camera.

I got out the Nikon D4 and the 70-200 lens and walked outside to get a picture. I was convinced that as I got closer it would just fly away so stayed back pretty far and started snapping.

The bird didn’t seem to care I was there so I slowly moved closer – again expecting the bird to take flight. But this thing was brazen, it didn’t seem to be bothered at all by me so again I started moving closer.

At about six feet away the bird clearly decided that I was getting a little too close but rather than fly off, it decided to simply move around the tree trunk so it couldn’t see me – or more precisely I couldn’t see it.

I just followed the bird around the tree and continued to shoot away. I have no idea what was so good about this particular tree but it must have been pretty special, as the bird wasn’t going anywhere.

Eventually, I just got board! I’d taken around 200 pictures and decided to go in and see what I had.

I’m told that to really capture wildlife you always need to focus on the eye, so it’s tack sharp, and I was doing this while taking pictures but clearly I’m not very good as a lot of pictures were soft focused. Sure one of the wings or the tail looked great but many didn’t have a sharply focused head – and really that’s what I wanted.

Also I needed to get a picture where the bird wasn’t backed by the tree. Because they were colored pretty similarly if the tree was behind the bird it weakened the composition. Sure you knew the bird was the subject but it didn’t really stand out.

Eventually I found some images where I caught the bird in profile clinging to the tree. I think I actually ended up with around 30 OK images.

The best of which is below.

What I learned from this is that wildlife is definitely NOT for me. I think I got an OK picture but I know I don’t have the patience to do this too often.