Garden Feeder

I only very rarely photograph birds at the feeders in the garden. We actually have quite a few; five at the count today covering quite a range of foods.  The feeders are there to support the bird-life in the garden.  I note not wildlife because we discourage the grey squirrels because they become a bit destructive and are very greedy.  However, today I wanted to test out some remote photography gear and we are a bit restricted on getting out and about.  Consequently I gave garden photography a try out. I set everything up and then sat in the kitchen and snapped away.  Just as well I tested really because the set-up it didn’t take any photos in the first session despite giving the impression all was well.  A second round went better and allowed me to photograph a female blackbird, amongst others, on a hanging feeder.  A bit unusual because blackbirds tend to favour trays or the ground.  They don’t tend to like using hanging feeders but I haven’t given them the option due to our squirrel deterrent measures.    

Kit.  This is taken with the Z6 and a 24-70mm f/4 at about 42mm (maybe 50mm on the slight crop shown).  However there is a bit more to it than that.  The camera is mounted on a Zihyun Weebill 3 gimbal head mounted on a tall tripod and another levelling ball head.  Then the gimbal together with the camera, is remote controlled (including the viewfinder image in HDMI) using the Zihyun app on an iPad and a wireless transmitter fitted on the gimbal and connected to the camera and gimbal. There are a couple of wrinkles in the setup but it works and gives a full remote control rig.  I should also mention that the Z6 was also setup with the (completely) silent electronic shutter.  This worked really well as the lens was about 45cm from the feeder and a normal camera shutter (e.g. DSLR) will scare the birds at that range.  The relatively short focal length lens allowed me to keep something of the background suburbia within the image even if it is held out of focus.  Quite different from using a long telephoto.