Posts tagged “Birds

Downtown with the Unexpected (Two Photographs)

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I saw a group of cab drivers standing around staring at a tree, turned out to be a female downy woodpecker. This is the first time I have seen a bird like this, or for that matter any interesting birds in the concrete jungle. This reminds me I have to send a note to the Museum of Nature to suggest they put decals on their windows so the sparrows don’t fly into them, sends an ironic message about a nature museum.


The Most Important Thing in Birding is Birds (Three Photographs)

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I hear birding is having a renaissance. I am hoping that the recent scarcity of interesting birds will not discourage people. The heat, the rain and some forest management seems to have scared off a significant number of birds in the two reserves I visit most. The other day, apart from distant gulls, chickadees high up in the trees, a skittish robin and few loud geese there were none of the more exotic birds, even the normal music of the birds was muted. Moreover in places where we see many dozens of squirrels and chipmunks, we saw one. I am hoping this is temporary and as the weather settles down things will return to normal.


A Yellow Rump and MacPhun Luminar (Two Photos)

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It’s not a secret I am a fan of Macphun’s software, and it is now becoming available for PC with the release of Luminar. In my view it’s not yet a replacement yet for Lightroom or Photoshop, but it does have some great filters. Here I used the Accent AI filter (AI for artificial intelligence) and the image enhancer preset. Macphun’s implementation of presets, easily adjusted and edited, is one of things that made me a fan. This software opens opportunities for me to try new things. As for the Yellow Rump, they are common at the end of spring and again in the early fall, nice subjects.


Female Cardinal (Two Photographs)

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This is a bird that I will stop everything to shoot, simply because they really do not like human company so when you find one that is in range and staying in one place it’s a gift. I used spot metering here and I could have used a smaller aperture than 6.3, I was shooting at 1/1000th of second and ISO 280 (auto-ISO). I really like the first shot.


More Art Less Birding (Two Photographs)

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I used the above phrase in a earlier post this week. This is another example. I have shot many photos of Grackles; they are certainly among my favorite birds. So I never hesitate to try to shoot them even when they are buried in the bush as is the case with this bird. I have not done much to stylize this photo in color or black and white. But again it’s more art than birding.


Phoebe (Two Photographs)

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My access to nature reserves this summer is limited by a number of things so I am making the most of what I have. This Phoebe was taken in spite of the rather complicated background. When I got home I thought it looked a bit too painterly. However, after some time I decided to work on it using its painterly quality to best advantage (e.g. more art than birding).


Noise

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It will be great when we finally get cameras where noise is not an issue regardless of ISO. In my experience that camera does not yet exist, what we do have are cameras that are better at handling high ISOs but that stops around 1600 ISO. When you take a photograph and the sensor is being taxed at an ISO higher than 1600 like this photo, it’s almost impossible to get a photo that looks tack sharp even with the best technique. I spoke to a professional photographer who put it well. It will be, he said, great when cameras perform like we are told they do.