Sunday, November 7, 2021

The fault is not in our birds


There has been a lot of waxing eloquent around here concerning a day I spent recently with 10,000 small birds. And in all that talking I mentioned some photographs. I took 300 or so pictures of the birds. None of them turned out, so I didn't show you any.

Well I showed some pictures of water and leaves in the creek, but none that were on the main issue under discussion, 10,000 friendly birds! But today I am going to show you a few of those pictures I took of the birds to try to explain just what went wrong!

I just want to be clear from the start: It's not the birds' fault!

1. Robin in profile.

What went wrong:

I was too close and so my camera wouldn't focus properly.

2. Woodpecker takes a short pecking break.

What went wrong:

As I said, don't blame the bird. Blame the tree. I don't think the tree wanted to be photographed, which is its prerogative. Also the sun got in my eye. And the angle was tricky.

3. Bird in disguise!

What went wrong:

A mysterious hair got in my photo emulsion and the bird came out looking like an albino squirrel.

4. Woodpecker peeps.

What went wrong:

The sun got in my eyes and it was too dark and it got over exposed and under exposed and my glasses were dirty and I kind of like this one anyway. 

5. Robin not quite in profile.

What went wrong:

I got super distracted wondering if this was the same bird as the first bird, and concentration is everything in high quality amateur wildlife photography, along with expensive equipment, good luck, and a gentle understanding on the viewers' part of the terms "amateur" "wildlife" and "photography".

6. Robin en Mosse

What went wrong:

I failed to capture the bird in front of a suitable backdrop. And I was underhydrated. And it was muddy.

7. Redheaded woodpecker, partial view.

What went wrong:

In the excitement of being so close to this large woodpecker, while, for a single moment, he wasn't woodpecking, I was unable to correctly gauge the ideal framing to express the bird's soul (and, alas, beak).

What have we learned?

I didn't really learn anything; you probably learned loads!

the end

1 comment:

  1. Your photos are great; I wouldn't see any problems if you didn't point them out. Many years ago I took an adult-ed photography course. This was in the time of B&W film. I remember only one thing from that course: "If you want to improve your reputation as a photographer, just don't show your "bad" pictures. Better to show two great pictures from a roll of film than to show all 24 pictures and apologize for 22 of them." The world changed drastically when photography went digital.

    BTW, there have been ads on public radio out here for a new business in town that will provide instruction and a source for materials for people who want to do film photography. Out where you are this would probably be done through a "Maker Space" at a public library. The Maker Space idea is being very slow in adoption here.


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