This Cooper’s Hawk has become a frequent visitor of the birdbath in our back garden. His interest is obviously the bird feeder hanging there and his interest is not the sunflower seed in the feeder. These hawks prey on feeder birds and with the amount of such bird activity we have here (owing to the presence of a hanging feeder) the hawk is likely to think it idea for easy pickings.
The main challenge of this shot was that it had to be made through the glass of our kitchen window which is double pane. the glass with the two panes is about a half inch thick or perhaps a little more. The shot was at an angle through the glass which can cause some loss of light and definition. That means the amount of glass between the camera and the subject could be as much as an inch thick. Even if it’s not that much, it’s enough to contribute to a significant amount of optical distortion and attenuation.
The shot was made with the Canon 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L IS USM lens at 400mm. That means, with the lens wide open, it is only f/5.6. Certainly at a distance that is enough to cause a respectable background blurring. At a distance of no more than perhaps 30 feet from the lens to the fence, there is not enough blurring to produce the pleasing background which I’d like to have had. Oh for a 400mm f/2.8 lens. Ok, I can dream……
After several experiments I settled on using Topaz Clean 3 with one of its presets. The one called “CrispStyle”. Many people would have resorted to layer techniques in order to significantly modify the background. That would have been a good option and perhaps I should have taken that route. Perhaps next time. Or, I may do it yet. As I’m ok with the result of this work, at least for now I’ll leave well enough alone.