Another photo from our recent day trip to Brazos Bend State Park. We were walking on a trail through the woods, with me lagging behind trying to get a photo of something that I can no longer recall. My family stopped and were staring at something up ahead. When I caught up they were trying to get me to take a picture of whatever it was they were looking at. But for the life of me I couldn't spot what they were so interested in! My wife finally said "Cardinal" and then at least I knew what to look for . But just then the birds flew away before I could get a shot. So my family continued on down the trail. But I was still looking and without my glasses (which I don't wear when I'm shooting) I spotted a tiny bit of red blur in the sea of green and I thought it might be one of the birds. So I zoomed in, focused, and it was in fact one of the birds. So I snapped a few before it flew off for good.
This picture is really a testament to the power of RAW image processing and Photoshop (or Adobe Camera RAW to be exact). Because in my hurry to get the shot, I forgot I'd locked ISO down to 100 and in the canopy of the forest, and with my slow telephoto zoom, that was just totally insufficient. So the resulting shots were terribly underexposed. Seriously, the unprocessed images were almost black; you couldn't even see a bird in them! But there's an amazing amount of detail in a RAW file and with Photoshop I was able to tease out the photo you see here. Another data point in the argument that if you're not shooting RAW, you probably should be.