A male Pileated Woodpecker breaks from feeding two begging youngsters in a Seattle area park. The youngsters, both males like the adult, are a few days from fledging. I waited for long periods between feedings, but one of the joys of the wait was to hear the return of an adult bird, accompanied by its primeval call that shattered a rain forest silence and would make Johnny Weissmuller pause.

A difficulty here was shutter speed, sometimes as low as 1/15s, not so good w/ a 700mm lens. I balanced the lens on a sturdy tripod, turned off IS, locked the mirror, and used a cable release with live view. That achieved a sharp image as long as the birds were reasonably still. I discuss this in a photo tip on my website at http://garyluhm.net/big-lens-low-light/.

In Photoshop I changed the background of the image because the original was full of hot spots. I dodged and burned as well, trying to emphasize the light shaft from above.

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