Saturday, April 12, 2014

Beauty And The Beast

Grackles. Not the most popular or most beautiful bird in the woods. They have a fearsome visage, a rather grating and demanding call, and most of the time appear to have deep black feathers. But in the right light, they glow with iridescent colors.

Look carefully at all the colors in this image. The feathers glow with shades of pink, green, and blue. The just-blooming pink dogwood and azaleas in the background create a pleasing backdrop.

The diagonal line created by the branch and the angle of the grackle's body provide a simple yet strong composition. His position and the turn of his head give him an almost regal appearance.

Very often nothing complicated is required to create a pleasing image. The simple approach can be the best approach, depending on the subject and the lighting.

The Wild Songbirds Photo Workshop Part 2 concluded yesterday, and like Part 1 it was spectacularly successful. Each and every participant created truly world-class images, kept their good humor throughout each day, worked well together, laughed at my jokes, and generally had a blast. I want to thank each of you for making the entire week so successful and fun.

I'd also like to thank Gary and Janice, our hosts at their fantastic bird habitat, for being so gracious and good-humored, and for going out of their way to make everything perfect in all respects. Gary, thanks for your constant tending to keep the birds close to the blind, your bird identification skills, and the care and forethought in creating such a perfect shooting area for photographers. Janice, thanks for all your time and work creating those delicious lunches, your kind and smiling face, all your input throughout the week, and keeping Gary on the straight and narrow!

Shutter Speed 1/800 sec.  Aperture f/9.  ISO 800.  Lens: Canon 200-400mm f/4L IS with 1.4x extender, set at 400mm.  Camera: Canon 5D Mark III. Gitzo tripod with Really Right Stuff ballhead and Wimberley Sidekick.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "I get by with a little help from my friends."  --song lyrics by Paul McCartney and John Lennon

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