Pictured in the Hluhluwe Game Reserve, South Africa, the Brown-hooded Kingfisher (Halcyon albiventris) is a fairly common species and found throughout the eastern regions of southern Africa.
Canon 20D with 500mm lens at f5.6, shutter speed 1/800 second at ISO 200. (Remember the 20D has a 1.6x crop factor and so the field of view at 500mm is equivalent to 800mm full frame)
Processing to overcome under-exposure
This was an instance where the camera’s light meter was fooled by the bright background resulting in the RAW file being underexposed. In addition to that, the bird itself is in shade and was therefore even further underexposed. Processed in Lightroom, I added a full stop of exposure to bring the sky up to a more realistic value and also used the fill light slider to open up the shadow detail (ie: the bird). This is a great example of the need to use exposure compensation in the field at the time of capturing the image. I could have/should have added at least 1 full stop of exposure compensation at the time. Having said that, it’s also a great example of how forgiving digital photography can be! ~KD
Suggested further reading about Brown-hooded Kingfishers.