I am trying a new processing method: rather flat, low contrast, with smooth tones. Let me know how you like it! Image taken in Everglades National Park at Mrazek Pond, with soft lighting from a mostly overcast sky. Mrazek Pond is nearly useless in full sunlight in the morning, due to the only angle one can get on the birds.
An America the Beautiful Pass is only 80 USD!!! This pass gives a person access to all federal recreational lands with no further fee (unless they try to bring in a canoe, which gets them for extra!). This vast freedom includes all national parks, national wildlife refuges, national monuments, and other related lands and facilites. This pass gets a person and all the folks with him in his car into the park with no additional charge!!!
The Florida Annual Park Pass? 60 USD. And, it admits ONLY ONE PERSON! ONLY ONE PERSON??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? A National Pass can get me and my entourage into the Grand Canyon, Denali, Everglades National Park, Glacier National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Redwoods, Olympus, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and so many more of the most iconic places in the entire world!!! These are the places National Geographic shows us, which calendars display, and Ansel Adams photographed. If I wish to bring my entourage into a Florida State Park with a Florida Pass, it costs 2 bucks extra per person. How much for a family pass? 120 USD!!!
The charge 1.5 times MORE for a family pass than the America the Beautiful pass, and mostly all I can see with it are places not worth remembering! To be sure, there are some good parks, and that be the rub… Riverbend, Jonathan Dickinson…
I think I need to write a letter to Congress to get them to adversely acquire all state parks around the Jupiter region, and call them “Atlantic Ridge National Wildlife Refuge”. They would be better run, have more amenities, and possibly even attract a volcano to erect some new epic national monument!
PS Bill Baggs State Park has no friends! But Biscayne Bay National Park has hoards of friends.
PPS To increase usage, get a reasonable pricing for the stupidly priced family pass…
This is a cool dominant color harmony image. The neck and bill of the reddish egret provides the warm accent, with the remainder of the image, both subject and setting, are cool. The overall effect of using green and blue together is very soothing; the warmth adds a mellow balance.
How to get a smooth background on a bird image? In brief,
1. Get low. Getting low puts the angle of the focus plane completely off the focal plane. In this image, I was level with the background, and could go no lower, based on the terrain (a boardwalk).
2. Shoot long. The longer the focal length, the easier it will be to blur the world. However, in this image, the I was using my longest focal length.
3. Shoot wide open. With my lens and TC combo I was using (300 2.8 + 2x TC), I like to stop down a full stop to give me better sharpness. Also, the large birds can end up rather out of focus in the wrong parts with too broad an aperture.
4. Position the background as far as possible from the subject. The subject was flying to and from an area where he was gathering sticks, and flying his pattern rather regularly. There was no perceivable way to get him farther.
5. Get as close as possible to the subject. Remember the boardwalk? This was as close as I could get.
6. Post processing. Once the image has been captured, it is possible, and often quite desirable, to render the background more out of focus in the post processing stage. This was not done on this image, however…
Because I actually like the background! The vegetation and water provide an excellent frame for the bird with the curve they make as they meet. The out of focus vegetation is still recognizable as vegetation. The bird’s natural environment is shown here. However, I do not like environmental context for all images all the time. This is art; there is no crime in processing or not processing. The decision is the artists’! The paint is photons and a sensor, as well as some digits in binary. In making the decision of how to process, the goal is not to simply copy what is vogue, but to deliberately select exactly to create in the final image, to express the message desired.
This image was slightly out of focus when taken; I believe that the bird had flown through the focus area. I really liked the bird’s pose, so I tried some Richardson-Lucy Deconvolution on the image. I managed to recover the image, to some degree. There’s not a whole lot of fine detail, but, it is better than it was. I will try this on some more images, and experiment with images where the eye is out of focus.
This guy was seen at Shark Valley; I tried a new sharpening method learned from Arthur Morris’ pdf, Digital Basics, https://store.birdsasart.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=252 (Home Site http://www.birdsasart-blog.com) I used what he teaches in the sharpening section. In this instance, I sharpened at 450, Radius .8, 0 Threshhold, with the image at full size. I had not tried this before, but was impressed at the level of detail it revealed. I also had first run noiseware on it though, www.imagenomic.com/nw.aspx. The lesson we can learn from this image, if nothing else, is to keep on learning and growing. The path of improvement is through change, and change comes when we listen. Sometimes, we are too smart for our own good and miss out on valuable learning opportunities because we would not humble ourselves to listen. Go out and learn something new this year! Stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone! Embrace change!
Today’s photography lesson is persistence. When I took this image, I was leaving Arthur Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, but had my gear ready, just in case something would appear. At Lox NWR, the water levels were too high for many birds to be in the impoundments, so I left for Green Cay. Never quit trying!
This image uses a blue and orange color palette, for warm-cool color harmony. This is a great example of natural color harmony; for color harmony in many pictures, the photographer must work a little harder!
Here is an image from my Maryland 2012 Trip; internet access where I stayed was slow, hence no updates for a while. Enjoy this image! There are a few things which could really help it though… 15 minutes of cloning could turn this into a much improved artwork.
Lesson for the Day: A little work can go a long way.
The lesson this week? Black and white can sometimes help and image immensely. Sometimes, though, color is very helpful to an image. Which version do you like about this image? What are the strengths of this image? Color version to be released in the next post!