Nicobar pigeon at ZooTampa (Lowry Park Zoo)


The aviary at ZooTampa (formerly the Lowry Park Zoo) is a wonderful opportunity for photographers. It is large, has plenty of great birds and provides visitors with a chance to see interesting and colorful birds.  

This is the Nicobar pigeon. According to Wikipedia the Nicobar pigeon is founding on small islands and in the costal regions from the Andaman and Nicobar IslandsIndia, east through the Malay Archipelago, to the Solomons and Palau. It is the only living member of the genus Caloenas and the closest living relative of the extinct dodo.

Photographically, shooting in the aviary presents some challenges with areas of strong light and deeper shadows. This brightly colored bird was enjoying snacking at the bird feeder in the shadows and did not seem to be interested in moving to a brighter location. 

I was using a 100-400mm lens wide open, but still could only manage 1/200 of a second at f/5 at an ISO of 5000. Post-processing started in Aurora HDR. Ordinarily, Aurora likes at least three different exposures for best results, but the Nicobar pigeon was moving too much to get three images with no movement. Nonetheless, Aurora HDR was able to bring out the bright feathers and increase the contrast a bit.

My typical workflow then followed: Back to Photoshop for any local adjustments, running through Nik Effects Dfine to clean up the noise and Nik’s output sharpener. The frame was created using one of Fred MIranda’s actions and the signature was added in PhotoPolish.