Posts Tagged ‘birds’

Finding My Expression

April 12, 2011

Lately I’ve been a little less than inspired by the landscapes here on the Island. Until things begin to grow again and the birds return to nest, I don’t go out and take as many photos. What I do do at this time of year is go through a lot of my old photos and “play” with them.

I’m trying to find my “style”. Letting myself go wild in Photoshop in hopes that I might find the secret recipe to make my photos uniquely mine.

This is my latest one. I had a photo of this young Common Yellow-throat that had a few too many branches for my liking but the bird itself seemed pretty good. What could I do with that? Well, I could soften the branches and lighten them up, add a slight texture and fade out to the edges creating a light vignette. What do you think?

Common Yellow-throat

And a few more…

Blackburnian Warbler

Red-winged Blackbird

Beach Dune

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I Prefer To Photograph Small Birds

March 28, 2010

While most photographers like to go after the large birds of prey for their dramatic poses and overall regal presence, I prefer to shoot the small birds. The tiny little Warblers and insect eaters like Kinglets and Flycatchers.  Large or small, they both have their challenges.  It can be difficult to locate large raptors and they tend to keep quite a distance. It is, needless to say, quite exciting when you do spot one. However, if they see you first, which they usually do, they don’t hesitate to fly off which tends to leave you with yet another shot of a large bird’s rear end in flight.

Is this Seagull hiding from the Eagle?

Looking for dinner

The small songbirds birds are more my style though and I always look forward to their spring arrival. The little ones seem to be everywhere in the summer and they can be just as challenging to photograph, if not more so, than the large raptors. They rarely sit still, but they also have this curiosity for new things which brings them considerably closer to investigate your presence.  Of course close is a relative term depending on the length of your lens.  I like their charm and their cheerfulness. They seem so delicate and yet they are able to survive some very harsh conditions.

Common Redpoll keeping warm by fluffing it's feathers

This Common Redpoll is a tiny finch that is able to withstand bitter cold. They fly south to spend the winter here and then return to the North for breeding.

Northern Parula

It won’t be long now before the little Warblers are back here singing their summer song and I’ll be out in the woods or on the pond looking for them. Can’t wait.

I guess if I had to give a photo tip for capturing small birds it would be… Walk softly and carry a big lens.

Too Cold For A Fence Post To Be Out

February 2, 2010

It might be too cold for a fence post but it’s not too cold for the Blue Jays to be out.  I’m so impressed with how the birds flitter about in this stinging cold just like it was any other day.  They don’t appear to even notice the cold.  I, however, am not so hardened to the bitter temperatures. My tolerance for nippy weather is rather minimal and my mind quickly turns to running inside with another arm load of firewood.

The Christmas Bird Count

December 17, 2009

This weekend I will be joining in on the Christmas bird count for the first time.  Well, first time that I won’t be just looking out my window to do it. I plan to meet up with some “real” birders in Souris, PEI at 6:00 in the morning and from there we will go to the very eastern tip of the Island to freeze our…, I mean observe and keep a tally of as many birds as we can.

Here’s one…

Mourning Dove

An interesting thing about the Christmas bird count.  I didn’t know this until this morning, that before 1900 the bird count was actually a bird hunt.  A contest to see who could bring home the most kill. Thankfully, ornithologist Frank Chapman along with 27 other birders, suggested at the turn of the century that it might be wiser to count them rather than kill them. Thanks to Mr. Chapman and his friends we still have birds to enjoy today.