Sunday, April 8, 2012

Nature Photography 104: Part 8: Easy Difficult Species

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 8: easy difficult species

A funny theme that sometimes causes me to do crazy things on my website; some fairly common species can be very difficult to photograph. Case in point, the Greater Yellowlegs:

These darn birds make a LOT of noise, and freak out every single bird in the area. I actually have nightmares about Greater Yellowlegs alarm calls (not actually)... But the “alarm” keeps them on edge and rarely in front of my lens.

Just one image for today;

GRYE from Hamilton in September. The only image currently featured on my site took a good dose of photoshop. Taken with my 600mm lens + 2xTC (1200mm + 1.3 crop factor = 1560mm). On a sizeable bird, that is a LOT of distance between me and the bird (resulting in extra Hamilton smog between me and the subject, clouding the picture).

In short, it isn’t a pretty image. It’s underexposed, a bit blurry and there’s a Lesser Yellowlegs (which are REALLY easy to photograph) in the way. But since it is a species that I just don’t have any good photos of, I bring out the digital shotgun to remove the LEYE, and do my fair share of colour/contrast work to try and “save” the image.

Would be a whole lot more satisfactory to just get a “good” GRYE pic, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.

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