Posts tagged “Bird Photography

Red-Winged Blackbird (Three Photographs)

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The color in these photos made my day; red-winged blackbirds are very common, territorial and certainly noisy. Full disclosure: I edited out a few branches in Photoshop. One of the oldest of photography issues is whether to edit or not; before digital you had people doing a lot of editing in the darkroom. Ansel Adams even wrote a book about it. Photojournalism has strict rules on what can be edited, as do many competitions. Very few people who do extensive edits tell their audience. An amateur photographer who is not constrained by professional standards has significant latitude and perhaps it’s not such a bad idea to explain that the result really did benefit from one’s photographic skills writ large.


Wood Ducks (Two Photographs)

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I wrote this post on May 5th looking at another five days of rain. The wood ducks probably love the rain apart from the fact there are few if any people feeding them. Five years ago the wood ducks were a bit scarcer and were a much-anticipated arrival in spring. Now they seem to have made a home in our local reserve and breed here and we see them sooner in the year and later into the year than before. They make for marvelous photography; the detail and colors in their feathers are remarkable. To make things easier they come close enough that photographing them does not require a very long telephoto lens.


Goldfinch (Two Photographs) and a Word on Location

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In many articles on animal photography the suggestion is to get to know the behavior and habits of the animals you wish to shoot. These photos of goldfinch were taken in two different nature reserves. In one, the goldfinch are elusive and tend to hide, in the other they are more comfortable around people. Similar things happen with common painted turtles; in one reserve they scatter as soon as they see people, in another they ignore you completely. Understanding even a small part of the behavior of animal subjects can prove useful.


Warblers (Two Photographs)

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Warblers, in this case a Yellow-rumped Warbler, are the most sought after birds in the areas I visit. During the warbler migration, you see birders and photographers in numbers with long lens and scopes. While you can hear them, seeing these small birds is another thing altogether. Plus, it is rare for them to remain still for long. People come to a reserve because they have heard that a certain warbler might be there; often by the time they hear about them they have moved on. To add insult to injury it is early in the photography season and most of us are getting used to using long lenses again. Needless to say these are my first warbler shots of 2017. I am still tweaking my settings, specifically the minimum speed I will allow the camera to use when in auto-ISO mode. Given that vibration reduction is meant to permit steady shots at lower shutter speeds, my first efforts were at 1/360th of a second. I think a slightly higher speed would provide better assurance on my 200-500mm Nikon lens.


Adventure (Two Photographs)

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The weather turned, the snow melted; the mud and flooding were obstacles but double-digit temperatures made all the difference. Like every year when the weather breaks new opportunities arise. There are all the things about my camera I forgot, plus the added excitement of seeing new things but not knowing quite what they will be. For me these are some of the elementst that makes photography both a challenge and an adventure. (Unfortunately shortly after this the incessant rains and flooding began).


Egret in Black and White – Luminosity Masks (Two Photographs)

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To get white objects white we often have to under expose to get detail. I wanted to take that a step further and make the Egret really stand out. I used two different kinds of luminosity masks: Greg Benz’s Lumenzia and a luminous mask in Tonality Pro (the Mac only black and white conversion software). My aim was to see the results of really darkening the background while maintaining some detail and at the same time pulling out as much of the detail as I could in the Egret. An interesting experiment that I can build on with other shots but probably not to this degree.


American Widgeon in Black and White (Two Photographs)

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I wanted to separate the black and white from the color versions I posted two days ago. The B&Ws are very different pictures; not a lot of work involved in the processing; choosing a color filter and addressing contrast issues. These photos speak for themselves and in a different way than the color versions. I am not choosing between them, I chose the original shots with the four versions in mind. I have tried to figure out why there is a loss of contrast when some B&W photos are turned into SRGB JPGs, this is something I need to work on.