Saturday, November 1, 2014

Putting it All Together 2

I got sidetracked for a few days and didn't finish what I wanted to say about the types of things I try to bring to the pictures I create. So, for a couple more days...

I would like to continue with the theme of showing examples of photographs that contain most of the elements I try to include in pictures.

At times, there will be a bird in the area where I am standing that I am unaware is present. That is the thing about birds. Most do not broadcast their presence. Two exceptions to that rule I can think of off the top of my head would be the Canada Goose and the Belted Kingfisher, both of which do a lot of chattering. Most are pretty quiet, however. I was watching a Great Blue Heron flying in what I call a threat posture (neck stretched straight out in front of it lower than it's body instead of the normal folded S-curve) and wondering why it was upset. They use it to threaten other birds (mostly other herons) but also when they are unhappy about something. That is when I spotted the Bald Eagle sitting on a tree that the Great Blue Heron had hoped to perch upon. The heron was out of the picture by the time I took this image and the Eagle had actually moved from the high branch on the right to fly into a flock of at least seven Black Vultures at the other end of the tree with which it was upset. It may be that the Eagle had a fish and the vultures were harassing it. What goes around comes around in the bird kingdom as well.

The elements that the image contains, at least in my mind are the chiaroscuro style as well as beauty, whimsy, innocence, and revealing. Revealing because of the interaction of the Eagle and Vultures which is not something you see everyday. I didn't include peace, but I'm a little conflicted about whether I should have included it.

This is one of my favorite Bald Eagle shots despite the Eagle taking up so little of the image. It isn't about the Eagle, but about the Eagle in it's normal habitat. We tend to think of birds as spending a large portion of their time flying, but that is not true. They spend the vast majority of their time just perched on a branch like this one. 

This has all five of the elements I look for in a photo (beauty, whimsy, innocence, peace and revealing) as well as the chiaroscuro style and a slight increase in saturation which I think infuses it with a slightly mystical quality.

I'm not sure that the Great Blue Heron saw the Osprey sitting on the tree. If it did see the Osprey and decided to land on that tree anyway, it was not being aggressive. The osprey thought it was too close and flew off leaving the deadfall to the heron. This is a good example of the storybook-like look I like to try to use.

After a Osprey chick has fledged, it will almost always get excited when one of the parents returns. They are hoping the adult bird has a fish. Even though the young bird is in front in this photo, it is "following" the parent. The adult bird doesn't have a fish either.

This photo also contains most of the elements I look for in a picture. When I say beauty, I am not saying, I took the photo and, therefore, it is beautiful. I am saying the photograph reveals the natural beauty that is present. One of the outcomes I hope results from sharing images on this blog is that it will motivate readers to want to protect and enjoy the "wild" areas we still have left in this country. 

Here is a picture that has everything I look for in a picture but is still fails because it contains no action. When you see this kind of lighting develop as a photographer, you pray that some kind of action will take place, but it doesn't always happen.

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