A Close Encounter with Mrs. Cardinal
(shots taken with Sony H50)
One very grey, and very chilly late fall day, 2008, I heard that familiar "THUD" against our picture window. Another Cardinal....why must it always be a Cardinal? After the last beautiful male died in my hands, with a crushed chest, I almost hesitated to go outside, but I knew if the poor thing WAS alive....our cat, Killer, would make short work of her.

I went out and picked her up, and since she was able to hold her head up, and her breathing wasn't labored, I thought she might make it.
I brought her in the house for awhile, held her and stroked her, and soon she seemed to relax in my hand. She clutched my finger with her toes, and seemed to be aware of her surroundings.

After a short time, I grabbed the Sony H50, and took her out in the back yard. The dogs were crated, and the cat seemed to be elsewhere....so I sat her on the large grooming table, and aimed the camera at her. The first shot was taken in Manual mode, my usual mode of choice.
Since it was a dreary, gray day, I decided to try the camera's "Easy Mode". It does everything for you, but often tends to select a very high ISO, making images grainy, or 'noisy'.
I figured Easy Mode would be like shooting in straight Auto, so I was surprised to get a shot this good. Even though it isn't on the same par as the Manual shot, it's a decent image.
Where Easy Mode comes in very handy is in situations like the one above. After sitting on the table, and posing for her 'shoot', Mrs. Cardinal decided she had taken quite enough of my jabbing a camera at her eyeball. She flew to the kennel, and perched on the chain link. I followed her, but the inner aisle of the kennel was way too dark for Manual. She sat there for awhile, still allowing me to stroke her feathers, and let me get a few more images.
Trying to get the entire bird in the shot, and get very close, wouldn't work unless I got 'artsy' and shot her sideways. Shortly after this she flew to the farthest and darkest corner of the kennel. She was done with me! By then I was freezing anyway, and retreated back to the warmth of my house. I was satisfied. She was alright...and I had 'exploited' her mishap to get some very cool shots.