18-55mm IS lens, Birds, Canon 80D, One Word Sunday, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, What I Am Working On

What I Am Working On: Listening to the Experts

Like most weeks, I was working on several things, but one of those things was this image:

ISO 800 50mm f/11 1/200sec

I shot it in St. Stephen’s Park in Dublin. It was one of those moments that I didn’t have time to think too much, I had to just take the shot. Someone had just dumped the remains of a bread bag and this was the resulting frenzy. I took the photo knowing it would need some work.

Here is the result of my various edits:

ISO 800 50mm f/11 1/200sec

I would say that the first thing I thought about was the crop. I tinkered with this a bit, should I leave some people in or not?  Ultimately I went with no. It does mean that the final version is a bit top-heavy, with all the birds congregating there. I tried a black and white variation, but it didn’t really sit right.

It is also my habit to read or research about photography and as I was working on this image, I also came across a webinar about bird photography by Scott Bourne.

Here is the webinar I was listening to. Scott has a lot of experience with birds, so what he had to offer on that front is worth considering. I also found it interesting that he spoke a bit about really knowing your gear. I think that is a really important part of photography, you can get better results if you understand the tools you are using. In the case of the photo above, I see me getting some practice, and also demonstrating that I do need some work on getting to know my camera a bit better.

There’s always room for improvement, at least in my case. While this photo isn’t one of the best I’ve ever taken, I like it as a reminder of that moment in the park. Your thoughts on getting to know your gear better or on this particular edit are welcome below.


Added to One Word Sunday, Movement.


28 thoughts on “What I Am Working On: Listening to the Experts

  1. Willow says:

    My gear is my phone, so I can’t offer much on that front. I mostly use Photoshop for editing my stuff because that’s what I have. On your picture, I would have cropped it differently with more space above the birds and less water below them. I’da then painted the people out if you didn’t want them in — since that seems to be the way of things these days — no people in pictures. But that’s me. You did a good job of lightening things up in the picture.


  2. When I first opened the posting on my laptop, I only saw the upper half of the image in an elongated panorama-style shot and that is the crop that I really like. It makes the image feel more balanced. As for getting to know your gear, I totally agree with that idea. I think it is good to shoot as much as you can and by doing so, you learn the strengths and weaknesses of the component elements. You also develop instincts in changing settings, because you have seen what effect those settings will have on an image. I now know without thinking which button to press to change focus modes or metering modes. In some ways for me it is like driving in my own car–I know where the parking brake is, how to adjust the heating, and how to operate the windshield wipers at varying speeds as conditions change.


  3. “Know your gear.” Ah! This is something I think about wrt writing also. Knowing what works best for you when you’re doing setting, characterization, dialog, etc. really pays off. There is a lot of charm in “free writing,” or just jotting down words in a story without revising, and beauty often arises from raw words written down. But as you get more experience and gain more knowledge of your “gear,” you can accomplish even more satisfying work. Maybe like the sometimes-lucky photo one gets with the right light, etc.?

    I always enjoy reading about your process and what you’re learning, Amy. Thanks!


  4. Really cool photo – and I did not feel the end result was too heavy- in contrast, the original had a heavy top feel with those trees.
    The edited version also sucked me right in with the ripple/reflection to the left.
    Then harmony was felt with the organic shape of the ripples (left, top, and splash right) and the arc from the concrete –
    The crop was perfect (IMO) and the light edits allowed us to see so much more

    Liked by 1 person

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