Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Becoming A Better Birder

"To become a better bird photographer, you must first become a better birder", Shawn Carey. With that in mind Tuesday morning I joined the Menotomy Bird Club visit to Great Meadows lead by Alan Bragg.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111108 &emdash;
Group Silhouette

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Fish basking in sun by the bridge


Most of the interesting birds including a Long Tailed Duck, Buffleheads, and Green Winged Teals were far out in the impoundments but visible by scope from the tower. However, as we walked, I did occasionally grab a shot or two with my camera.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111108 &emdash;
Mute Swan touches down

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Bumpy landing continues

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Coot stretching

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Shy goldfinch

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Swans bonding


After the walk I continued to explore the refuge. If the light was at the right angle you could see strands of silk spun by spiders that are ballooning to new locations streaming off the cattails.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111108 &emdash;


I met up with Alan and Cherrie Corey for a quick visit around the rest of the refuge. Along the path to Borden's Pond we encountered this Woodcock. It briefly flew down the path, landed, and pause for just a few moments before heding into the flooded woods along the river. It let us know our stealthy approach was not so stealthy as it proceeded to fly away further down stream.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111108 &emdash;
Woodcock along trail to Borden's Pond

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Woodcock fleeing back into the flooded woods


Along the way some of the plants caught my eye as their colors and shapes danced in the sunny day.

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Backlight leaves

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Lacy oak leaves

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A new technique keeps the whole plant in focus
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Golden head of seeds

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Reflection of foliage in the river


For reading to the end of this post, you have been rewarded with my favorite photo of the day. One goal of this project was to become a better photographer. Having arrived at the right place at the right time, I took a moment to find the right angle and background for this photo. I selected just the right aperture to capture the spider, while rendering the background a pleasing blur. In the end the shot resembles what I saw in my mind's eye. I just love the way that this spider stands out against the neutral background.

Light Chronicle | Photography: GM20111108 &emdash;

4 comments:

  1. Very nice photos, I love the Woodcock capture -- that's rare to get on "film". What is your "new technique" for keeping the entire plant in focus?

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  2. Robert, I used "Focus Stacking" which takes multiple photos in focus at different depths and combines them into one. Photoshop does a pretty good job of automating this.

    Check out this YouTube tutorial for an example. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiwHsbrMycA

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  3. Not liking spiders, I did like this photo.

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  4. Larry nice photos and really like the Blog. Plus you are now quoting me. NICE! Now we all have to work on becoming better birders. Keep up the good work and hope to see you at GMNWR soon.

    Take care.

    Shawn

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