I never seem to get enough of cardinals during the winter. After an ice storm in late December last, I was out early to a place I know will be visited by these red-hot beauties. There was great texture and pattern from the ice covered branches and the overcast made for shadowless, low-contrast, cool light. So this flaming male cardinal was all I needed to make the image complete. I placed him well off center as I knew wherever he was, he would be an attention getter. 

In this composition I designed the image so that the cardinal does not dominate to the point of preventing the viewer from exploring the intricacy of the ice and tree. I also thought that this showy male would work well looking out of the frame as there is plenty of weight in the rest of the image to draw the eye back in.

I was working with a Canon 1D Mark III and Canon 500mm f4 L IS with a 1.4x teleconverter. A tripod is a must, along with a Wimberley Sidekick on the ballhead. I set the ISO to 800 for an aperture of f7.0 at 1/400.

On the Rocks (c) Paul Grecian/www.paulgrecianphoto.com

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