Western Meadowlark

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I’m running late with last week’s image of the week as I have been very busy with a three day workshop on bird photography in Harney County. I caught this Western Meadowlark on Saturday but stay tuned for next week because there were some awesome birds on Sunday and Monday.

In post processing I cropped a little for composition, added a little detail and saturation and just a slight highlight on the bird to bring him out.

Mallard

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Truth be told I did not shoot one photograph this week.  I had to make getting out from under the chaos of moving a priority. Sadly, the job is still not done but significant progress has been made. I reached back to my last trip to North Mountain Park for this Mallard portrait. Sometimes we overlook the beauty of a bird that seems commonplace. I’ve seen the iridescent feathers on a Mallard’s head go purple in the right light.

I did my standard post processing, detail, saturation, highlighting the subject. Then added some sharpening. I’m looking forward to a trip to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Oregon next week so hope to have lots more birds to share soon.

Red Poppy

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I went looking for birds at North Mountain Park and instead found a beautiful display of red poppies. Most of them were past prime but this one by the house looked pretty good.  I had the telephoto lens on for the birds so I had to set up 10 feet away to get this shot. the background was kind of washed out so I added a green texture and blended it to get what I thought was just the right look for the background.

Spring Blossoms

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It has been raining almost every day for the better part of two weeks. So, I was forced to spend some time in the digital darkroom. I had shot this image back in April just down the street from my house. Though I liked the composition and subject,I was shooting up the light was not on the blossoms and it needed some work.

First I took it into Color Efex Pro for some detail and to add light on the blossoms. Next I added a couple of textures to bring more color into the sky. Finally, I took it into Topaz Impression for a painterly look. I think this one would look good as a gallery wrap.

Overgrown Fence

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Well, I had a devil of a time coming up with an image of the week this week. None of them seemed quite good enough. Of course coming back empty handed from my trip to Klamath Falls to photograph dancing grebes probably didn’t help.

But I like this one I took just down the alley from my house of a neglected garden fence. I gave it some treatments to emphasize the feeling of decay and abandonment.

Spotted Towhee

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So, I decided if I was going to be a bird photographer I needed to learn a little more about birds. Taking a Life Long Learning class on birds has helped me to see that I was even more ignorant than I knew. Take for example the spotted towhee which, it turns out, is a very common bird in these parts and a year round resident. Yet I had never seen one before. Perhaps because I wasn’t looking.

In any case this one was a good poser. One of the challenges of  bird photography is that most of them refuse to hold still. In post processing I added detail and sharpness, a little saturation and emphasized the bird with a darken/lighten center filter.

California Poppy

Poppy

I had to put off my trip to California again this week. But as I was walking down along the Greenway I discovered that I had an abundance of California Poppies practically in my back yard.  So, I geared up with tripod, macro lens, closeup filter and kneepads and headed out to see what I could do with them. It was a cool morning so some of the blossoms were reluctant to open fully. I like how the grasses blurred out to form the perfect background. I did add some saturation and detail in post processing as usual.

Purple Vetch with Horse

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I had thought to go to California to look for wildflowers this week but the weather was a little iffy for getting over the Siskiyous and back. Then I noticed the hills in my own backyard were turning purple. A short walk from my doorstep brought me to this view and the horse graciously posed to add an element of interest.

Some detail added in post helped give definition to an otherwise dull sky. I would like to try again with a little more light on the subject if the sun ever comes out again.

Great Egret with Lunch

Lunch

One of the holy grails of bird photography is catching the bird with lunch in its mouth. I don’t suppose this one will win any prizes because the fish is not sharp. I think it was wiggling around too much. I might get points for breeding plumage though.

In post processing I did the usual with some detail, saturation and darkening the edges. I also added a smart sharpen filter mainly to reduce noise which was needed because I was shooting at 400 ISO in order to help reduce camera shake from hand holding the big lens inside the car.

This ia another one from Tule Lake. I am really falling in love with that place.

Pansies

Pansies

I’m so happy to see flowers showing up everywhere. These pansies were in a planter by a store. The background was pretty busy and boring so I thought a texture might help. It did but the transition between the pansies and the background was still rough so I took it into Topaz Impression and applied a Georgia O’Keefe filter which brought me to something I feel pretty good about. Of course, if it were a real painting I would have the yellow flower facing into the frame, and purple. Oh well.