50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Life on My Street

Spring is coming to my neighborhood, and I’m pretty excited about it.  The house across the street from ours has some lovely trees including this one:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/4000

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/4000

I am considering using this bloom in a Photoshop project I am working on.  It was an overcast day, so the light was OK even at 11:30am.  If you look at my shutter speed, you will see that it is really high.  That is because it was really windy!  I set the f-stop at f/5.6 because I was pretty sure that would capture the detail I needed.

If I do end up using this photo, I will actually take the bloom out of the photo and place it in another one.  So, after I was finished taking the photo, I put it in Photoshop.  I used the magic wand tool to select the bloom and then made a copy.  Then I opened a new document that had a transparent background, and pasted the bloom into it.  There is sits waiting for the rest of the project to come together.  The edited version looks like this:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/4000

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/4000

You can see more clearly in this version the little insect that is visiting.  In my final project, this image would be scaled down, so you will not be able to see him.

Even though I am not sure if I will use this bloom, I was certain that I needed to take this photo.  The petals on this tree are pretty delicate and a few good rainstorms will knock them to the ground.  Rain is in the forecast for this week.

The WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge for this week was street life. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into what is going on on my street this week.

Cheers!

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Animals, Birds, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Found In Nature

Signs of Spring, you can find them here if you are looking hard enough.  I’m on the lookout, so I have noticed the increased number of birds that I can see outside my kitchen window in the morning.  This little sparrow really likes the cover of a pile of sticks we are collecting from a recent storm:

ISO 1600 19mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

ISO 1600 19mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

I’ll show you the original in a moment but I decided to convert this image to black and white for Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge: Found in Nature  I used my point and shoot to get this image. This little bird was pretty still, so I was pretty confident the camera would get a decent shot.

I opened the original in Camera Raw and increased the exposure and the clarity.  Then I converted it to black and white.  From there I opened it in Photoshop, cropped and sharpened it a bit.

Here is the original:

ISO 1600 19mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

ISO 1600 19mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

One of the reasons I cropped the photo was to make the bird look like it was in a more natural setting.  I also wanted to make him a little more obvious, since he gets lost a bit in the black and white.  What do you think?  Does black and white work here?

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Looking through the Incubator Window

For the last few weeks I have been taking pictures of chickens as they developed.  Today’s first picture was taken while the eggs were on lock down.  That means that they are in this incubator until they hatch.  It is nice and warm in there:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/60

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/60

These eggs were put in the incubator on a Saturday and by Monday they had started to hatch.  Here is one just out of it’s egg for a few minutes:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/40

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/40

In this photo you can see that they don’t all hatch at once:

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/60

ISO 640 50mm 0ev f/5 1/60

It takes a few days for all the eggs to hatch, and not all of them do.  Being born is a tough process for a chicken, if for whatever reason something goes wrong the chicken will not make it.  This particular group of chickens did well overall.  I will be updating you as they grow, and they do grow fast!

As the photographer, the biggest challenge in getting these pictures is the glare of the window.  I just had to move around and get the best angle I could.

This post was written as a response to the challenge, Thursday Lingering Look Through Windows.  Check it out, and feel free to participate.

Cheers!

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Birds, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Nature, Photography

A Nest Update

I am happy to say that all five of the robins in this year’s nest have hatched.  Here is a family photo:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/400

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/2.7 1/400

Part of the reason I am sharing this photo is because of the size difference between the birds.  The five of them were hatched over a 36 hour period.  Look how much bigger the one at the bottom of the frame of the photo is than his siblings.  He is eating whole food now, at least some of the other birds are still on a regurgitated diet.  Now that everyone is hatched the next step is to see if they will all adequately be fed.

This post is a continuation of a series.  If you would like to see earlier photos of the nest and see how I am getting these photos, please click here.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: (The Set-)Up

The weather here has been pretty crummy this past week.  During that time a robin has been busy building a nest outside my kitchen window.  I’m pretty excited about this development.  I got some great pictures last spring when we were lucky to have four baby robins grow up in a nest in that same spot.  This morning the weather had cleared so I set up my camera, and then went back inside to take some photos using my remote shutter. I couldn’t resist taking this photo of my set-up with my point and shoot when I saw it outside my window this morning:

The robin is off the nest and framed in-between the tripod legs.

The robin is off the nest and framed in-between the tripod legs.

With the camera I have set up outside, I got this shot:

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/50

ISO 400 50mm 0ev f/7.1 1/50

I’m hoping to have some robin babies appear in the next few weeks.  My camera set-up is my response to this week’s photo challenge, up, at WordPress.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Travel Theme: Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and mirrors or anything that is illusion.  Now that’s an interesting theme provided this week over at Where’s My backpack?.  Last week it was Spring, but it seemed like an illusion considering I took this photo:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/8 1/100

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/8 1/100

In a way the photo itself is an illusion.  It is an HDR image that I created in Photomatix.  I like processing snow photos in HDR.  Snow is difficult to photograph and I think HDR helps give it a bit of boost.

So, I didn’t travel far to get this photo, but sometimes when the weather is bad, it is nice to stay close to home.

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Flowers, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Searching for Spring

I know Spring is coming.  It has been a bit slow in getting here though.  We have had a lot of (needed) rain.  The other morning I went running at 7am and it was 29 degrees and windy, not my ideal!  With that in mind I went for a walk in the park searching for signs of Spring.  Here are two photos I found:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/8 1/1000

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/8 1/1000

I deliberately blurred the background because I found it distracting from the buds on the trees.  The fast shutter speed gives away the fact that it was windy and I needed the speed to freeze the motion of the branch.

Here is my next shot.  I was a bit sad to find these on the bench.  Someone picked them and then left them there, I’m not sure why you would do that.  Although given that this is at a playground, it is possible that it was a little someone who just didn’t know any better.  Anyway, daffodils are my favorite:

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/8 1/800

ISO 800 4mm 0ev f/8 1/800

I liked the color in the flowers contrasting with the lack of color in the bench.  I didn’t arrange this photo at all, the scene was just like this and I took the picture.  Kind of neat when that just happens!

I took both of these photos with my Canon Powershot ELPH.  In Aperture I cropped them.  No other editing for either photo.

Cheers!

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Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photography

Award winning photography (mine)

A short movie, it runs about 4 minutes, chronicling the nest.  Still photos are available in the gallery.Cheers!This short video won an honorable mention in my photography club the other weekend. I was super excited.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may have seen this video before. I put it together this fall for a digital photography class I was taking. The photos were taken last spring. This nest was right outside my kitchen window and the photos were taken over a few week period. It was amazing how quickly the birds grew.

In order to get the pictures I set my tripod up on the kitchen chairs which I drug outside. I used a remote camera trigger. That way I could be inside the house and not bothering the robins. I am really hoping we get another nest this spring.

The program runs about four minutes.

Cheers!

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Animals, Canon 50D, Flowers, Nature, Photo Editing, Photography

Sepia in Spring

It has been cold here and while that is fine since it is winter, I do find myself looking forward to warmer weather and longer sunlit days.  A few days ago I was looking back through some photos from the spring and I found one I hadn’t yet edited.

ISO 800 100mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

ISO 800 100mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

I have a series of pictures of this bee and I have been trying to edit them in different ways.  Here is one edited version:

ISO 800 100mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

ISO 800 100mm 0ev f/5.6 1/60

This version I edited in Aperture.  I cropped it, put it in a sepia tone, and sharpened it.  I like this version, not really sure if I love it.  I think this photo shows one of the downsides to not having a macro lens.  With a macro lens, this picture would be sharper, even before editing.  My kit lens did a decent job though.  I think the 50mm lens I have wouldn’t have worked because I was having trouble getting any closer to the bee.

So, what do you think? do you like sepia for this particular subject matter? Your comments are welcome in the comments section.

Cheers!

 

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Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photography

Robins

A short movie, it runs about 4 minutes, chronicling the nest.  Still photos are available in the gallery.Cheers!

Just click if you would like to view, this is a short movie that runs about 4 minutes, chronicling the nest. Still photos are available in the gallery. This was my final project for my digital photography class.

Cheers!

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