Puffin Portrait Headshot- Grimsey Island, Iceland
Nikon D500, 500mm f/4e AFS, f/11, 1/320sec, ISO 400
I found puffins acted differently on one side of the island than the other. The southeastern side of Grimsey Island, the birds were extremely approachable. If you took your time, you could easily get to the minimum focus distance of your lens. On the western side of the island, that was a completely different story. Birds would fly away if you got anywhere near and weren’t practicing your best slow approach techniques.
A challenge when getting close is keeping most of the subject in focus. Long lenses at their widest apertures have incredibly narrow depth of fields, well less than an inch. The only way to overcome this is shooting with a smaller aperture which leads to a whole host of other problems. But, when it all works together, the imagery is fantastic, definitely something you can’t see with your naked eye. In this case, the pupil of this bird is very prominent which I think draws the viewer in.
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