Red-backed Fairy Wren

I had one of my best mornings of bird photography on Sunday morning; possibly best ever. Although I must say, it’s tough to beat a day in Namibia when you see ostriches, Lilac-breasted rollers, secretary birds and flamingos, all for the first time in the wild. Certainly one of my top three days of bird photography ever. Both quantity and quality made it a great day; around 34 different species and some nice keepers, including Sacred Kingfishers, Red-backed and Variegated Fairy-wrens, and Pacific Golden Plovers (first sighting ever for me, despite them being a common migrant from the Arctic).

The highlight of the morning was the fairy-wrens. One male red-backed fairy wren in particular had super striking breeding plumage. His back was almost too red for my eyes (and camera) to resolve any detail in it. It was bordering on fluorescent. The before-and-after shot below shows a jpeg export of one of the RAW files, straight out of camera, and the post-editing image after I’d cleaned up all the distracting twigs and branches.

All of the clean-up work was done in Photoshop with a combination of the spot healing brush, clone stamp tool, and the always time-saving content-aware-fill.  I sharpened in Photoshop with a High Pass filter and the rest of the exposure, tone, and colour corrections were completed in Lightroom.


Canon  |  7D MkII  |  200-400mm f/4 + 1.4x

f/5.6  |  1/400s  |  ISO-1000  |  560mm


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