As with my last few bird posts, I thought of continuing to post a few bird images that may be examples of non-ideal techniques that sometimes work on-the-spot.
Here is a grey-bellied cuckoo, again from my balcony in Goa that overlooks a patch of woodland (it is not a reserve or protected area). This species lives in my neighbourhood but doesn't always show itself so openly. Needless to say, I did not want to miss the shot. Wanted to put a face to the calls I was hearing everyday.
It is not always preferrable to photograph a shadowed subject against a bright background, and this can often confuse the meter on entry-level cameras. Having no choice of repositioning myself for this shot, I photographed this one by trying to meter for the eye, the brightest part on the bird, with a slightly negative exposure compensation (-0.3) to keep the background under control as much as possible. Used evaluative metering (as I usually do) because I wanted the overall scene lit as evenly as possible, despite the circumstances.
I had decided to sacrifice the light on the bird's body, but later recovered it to some extent by opening the shadows. Some of the plumage details were lost, but I knew I was taking that gamble . A touch of recovery was done to the background as well.
Canon 760D, Canon 100-400mm L IS USM
Shadows opened, background highlights recovered (Lightroom)
Full frame image
Comments or suggestions to the workflow are most welcome.