Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nature Photography 104: Part 10: Which way is up?

To make a very long story short, I keep finding myself annoyed with nature photography. I was very worked up a few days ago, when I became quite confident that the winner of a fairly large photo contest must have edited/doctored the photo... I then look at said persons website, and found some very blatant editing along with large amounts of shameless self-promotion as a truly expert photographer. 

This really wasn't anything new, but I learned something from it: People can do whatever the heck they want, and I shouldn't care about it. If it bothers me, I can just focus on how I conduct myself and my photography! And with that said, I had the idea to reveal some of the work done on my own photos on my personal website. 

Are you ready for a look at everything you may or may not already know about nature photography? I'll post the website version first, followed by the totally un-edited original.


Part 10: Which way is up?

This is not a common theme in my photography, but could think of two images where this happened and figured it could male for a decent installment.

The short story of the first image: I was photographing two Oystercatchers at Fort de Soto in Flordia. Earlier, I had noticed that an uber-colourful beach umbrella made for some crazy background colours (when I had been photographing a Skimmer)... But now I was knee deep in a saltwater lagoon, waiting for the Oystercatchers to come wandering down the shoreline. I knew the umbrella was there, but the birds were too close to squeeze everything into the frame. In a last second decision, I decided to simply photograph the colour (which appeared in the reflection in the water.

Before I took the shot, I thought about rotating my camera upside down, in order to make it look as if the bird was facing up right... Then I realized that this inconvenience of having my camera upside down would make it more difficult to take the shot... So I decided to shoot first, and rotate the image later. Something I was quite happy doing. Here's the result:

It seems to make the world of difference (to me personally) to have made the decision pre-shooting to rotate the image. The end result was what I had envisioned all along, whereas my next example wasn't "figured out" until the next day when I was looking at the pic on my computer. 

I took this image back when I was first getting interested in photography... Just a preening Trumpeter Swan from LaSalle in Burlington. The un-planned rotation seems to make a world of difference (to me) 

You can see some of the colour correction I've done here as well. (Brightening + cooling the temperatures to be less yellow)... Shade/shadow = yellow...  *** edit, I just noticed that these two actually aren't the same picture, but taken a second or two apart from each other, so you still get the idea*** 

Just for fun, here's an extra image (web and original) from each of these species pages, that have had very little work done to them:

A little digital shotgun on the Mallard... + fixed the slight underexposure (made it brighter). 

Not too much at all.. Some photographers would be pretty keen to remove the shells in front, but I liked them.  Till next time!

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