Posts tagged “Bird Photography

Never say Never (Three Photographs)

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This bird (a vireo?) was bit high for me. I think the advice to never shoot up the nose of a subject is a good one. But the Black and Whites reminded me of the some of the portraits of Mao and Stalin (that over the top look of authority a look of omnipresence). A left of center candidate I know used a portrait of himself that was very similar on his website (chin up overlooking the world). I tried to talk to him about this but he wouldn’t listen. Production values in politics are very important and advice and the final product is expensive for a reason.


Cormorant (Three Photographs)

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Cormorants are fun to shoot. I was shooting an egret when I noticed this bird just behind the egret. With a 200-500mm this bird was just at the limit of acceptable resolution. But it was a cormorant and I could not resist processing these shots of a majestic bird (yes they do tend to vacuum up all the fish, but still they have a certain presence). You will note the color of the water changes. The difference is a cloud between the subject and the sun and no cloud covering the sun.


Wood Duck in the Fall (Three Photographs)

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Fall colours reflected in the water almost always make a great background. In this case I had to darken the water and then lighten the bird, same mask used twice, I just inverted it. Came out rather painterly but nice. The B&W was simple, though the spots in the water stood out more so I removed more of the flotsam in processing than I had originally planned. Overall this wood duck stands out and rightfully so.


Thanks Robins (Three Photographs)

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I often see Robins on the ground, usually hoping off as I approach down a path. I see them in trees much less often. This collection shows the challenge. On the ground they can be hard to distinguish from the background, in a tree they can be back-lit or deep in the shadows. All of which was true here; white balance, masking and opening the shadows helps in that order for these kinds of circumstances.  They are the rules/measures to take and then you need to balance colour and exposure to make it all work. It is precisely these kind of circumstances that make it important to spend some time on learning processing as an adjunct to photographing birds.


A Successful Hunt (Three Photographs)

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I came quite close to this Heron, only a meter or so away, but it still took me awhile to notice that it had caught a frog. It spent some time preparing its meal and then walked away with a smirk. These kind of shoots usually happen after a great deal of patient waiting, and one gets shots of the catch etc. In this case I was just walking through a public park looking for birds, I had been told there was one heron and it was exactly where we were told it would be. But it had already caught the frog. Most other herons would fly away with their catch but this Great Blue Heron was almost tame and seemed to ignore humans completely!


Wood Duck and a Few Thoughts on Eye Level Shots (Three Photographs)

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You often see nature photographers flat on their stomachs or kneeling to take photographs because eye-level shots have their own drama. There is a third way of getting eye level shots with a long lens and that is backing yourself up so that only a slight bending of the knees brings the horizon up. Some animals will react,that is move away even if you back-up, so take a shot when you can and then change positions.

 


An Egret Among the Geese (Two Photographs)

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I metered off the white of the bird so it is no surprise the surroundings are darker. Because I liked the effect I reduced the shadows, that accentuated the dark surroundings. I won’t call it Rembrandt lighting, but that was the theory. I was shooting off a cliff down on a windy cove off a river. A different way of doing things, both the shooting and the processing.