Blog Archives

The Chase

Friends, this is Trumpeter Swan 47E and i think he/she woke up cranky.  As these swans were settling into their nightly roost, there was lots of chasing and jostling to vie for space.  After about ten minutes of this activity all were quietly preening and tolerating the presence of others.  Not your typical swan image but tells of behavior not often shown, I love the feathering on the underside of the wing, til Tomorrow MJ

Weekly Photo Challenge:Silhouette

Friends, I know I cheated a little by leaving some details in my silhouettes, but when totally dark against a light background they lose that flying delicate feathery look.  These are Greater Sandhill Cranes that are gathered by the thousands on the marshes and corn fields around Crex Meadows.  They are feeding and resting for a while before another push to southern climes, the snow will eventually drive them from Wisconsin.  They keep me outside, hiking, photographing and waiting for the snow, BAH Humbug, til Tomorrow MJ

Weekly Photo Challenge:Solitary

Friends, this Great Blue Heron is fishing alone .  They don’t like company when they are seeking food in the lake.  A solitary figure for our weekly photo theme: solitary. He stalks the shallows along the shoreline and with a quick jab catches a small fish which he swallows whole and head first.  He has been in Crex all summer and i see him in the same area every day.  He has some rust stains on his blue feathering from the water. til Tomorrow MJ


Feather details in Ice-Part two

Friends, more bird (Northern Flicker) feathers in ice.  Using the same technique as in a previous post these feathers were frozen in ice.  In a single image, the whole field was not focused as the feathers were on different planes. Multiple images (8) with different focus points were taken and combined as layers in a single photoshop image. Briefly all the layers were selected and the two commands auto-align layers and auto-blend layers were run sequentially  from the edit menu. This process combines the images with layer masks that only allow the focused region to be part of the overall image. I love the bright yellow shafts and the small details that show up in the feathers and in the ice.

These feathers were found in Crex Meadows and are from an unfortunate Northern Flicker.  The feather identification was facilitated by an online data base at this address      til Tomorrow MJ

Feather details in Ice

Friends, I have always been frustrated by the limited depth of field when using my macro lens.  When trying to photograph this bird feather in ice, the bubbles and the fine feather details were not in focus even at f/22 on a single image.  Other macro photographers have remedied this problem by shooting multiple photos at different focus points and then blended the images together in Photoshop,  to achieve the focus range that they want in the final image.  To find more info on this technique, there are several excellent tutorials online, just google “image stacking  in photoshop”.  Viola, the method works, this image is a merging of four separate images taken to focus the bubbles, the feather shaft, and the tiny barbules on the barbs above the shaft.  These elements were on three different planes but were combined by Photoshop to my satisfaction.  More practice is needed to be able to go nose to nose with the wild flowers of spring.  til Tomorrow MJ

I’m Ready for my Closeup

Friends, In an old movie, Sunset Boulevard, Gloria Swanson told the Director Cecil DeMille, I’m ready for my closeup.  Lately i have been experimenting with converting color digital to black and white, and this black-capped chickadee begged for attention.  I love how the textures appear more prominent when the image is in black and white.  The big challenge is to preserve the black details as well as the white details.  These birds are extremely friendly, waiting for their seed ration every morning and practically landing on me while i fill their feeder.  No patience needed to photograph these guys so they make good practice subjects. til Tomorrow MJ

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