As much as I had hoped that my photo art topic would allow me to get comfortable with Topaz Studio version 2, I haven’t actually even tried it yet. Fingers crossed that this week coming up I can make some time to a watch a tutorial or two and get familiar with the program operation, but for now, I have stuck with the original version, and I am really happy with the results of this weeks experiments.
I decided to focus on birds this week, and played around with two basic combinations of software. The sunbird and hornbill were edited primarily using the Topaz AI Remix module, while the rest were done with Impression (along with the usual basic edits to start for tone, cropping, etc.).
Do you have a favourite this week?
I hope you enjoy, and wishing you a great week ahead.
Everyone that enjoys watching birds and photographing them knows that there are some species that are harder than others to get images of. I love the challenge of trying to capture that elusive clear image of a bird that tends to hide in the densest part of the treetops.
Locally, we have beautiful birds like the Western Tanager; a bird that I have only seen a handful of times, and photographed only on a rare occasion. The incredible yellow plumage on the males makes them targets for predatory birds, so sticking to dense areas makes a lot of sense. I admired the beautiful song of the Hermit Thrush for years before I finally saw a small brown and white bird singing, and had my first clue to discover the identity I had wondered about for so long.
While traveling, I kept up with trying to ID and photograph birds hiding in treetops and thickets. Some were deep amongst the leafy trees foraging for fruits, some were naturally shy and trying hard to stay out of sight, and sometimes, it was just unlucky positioning of the vehicle, and having to shoot through branches and grasses, before the bird flew away.
Here are a few of my shots of some of the more challenging birds spotted on my last trip.
I’ve skipped the January Month in Review post, because my posts were so infrequent and inconsistent, there doesn’t seem much point in trying to recap so little. A friend posted a meme the other day that seems a bit fitting ” January was a tough year, but we got through it”. We’re on to a new month now, and while I haven’t yet picked a theme for the month, I am going to get back to that as I enjoy the focus for a weekly post. Based on the current weather and forecast to come though, it probably won’t involve being outside shooting. It was too cold this morning to even get the dog out for a decent walk. And I’m not even in the midst of the polar vortex!
It felt like a good time to go through some of my photos from southern California, and today I focused on the roadrunner. These quirky birds were all around the golf course I stayed at in October, though they proved to be a bit shy when I got the camera out. With some patience though, I managed to capture a few images. I feel like these images should be accompanied by comments about Acme products and Wile E Coyote, but I’m coming up with nothing, so let’s get to the photos instead. 🙂
I was going to post some of these images on Wednesday last week for a wordless Wednesday post, but I was having a few site issues, and just didn’t have the patience to wait while WordPress loaded slowly. So instead, I’ve gone through my images and found a few more hummingbird images and am sharing them all today.
While I was in Southern California, I enjoyed my morning coffee on the patio, and loved watching the hummingbirds fighting over the best spots at the feeders and various flowering bushes. I also noticed how chattery the Costa’s hummingbirds are. They spent a lot of time singing from the branches of the bushes in the garden. The link below is the All About Birds page for the Costa’s hummingbird, and you can hear what they sound like there.
This is a topic I haven’t done in a while! I’ve been trying to keep my camera close, as there is such an abundance of birdlife in my yard at the moment. It can be a bit challenging though, with the days being so short, and we’ve had a lot of overcast days recently. But even when the light isn’t great, it’s still awesome to have camera in hand.
I was busy working last week and something caught my attention outside, out the corner of my eye. I spotted this gorgeous barred owl in a tree in my backyard, and rushed to grab my camera to take a quick photo through the window.
I decided to take a chance and dash outside and hope to get a better shot. The owl gave me a quick glance, let me snap 3 photos, and then was off, deep into the forest.
I love when beautiful creatures like this decide to make a stop in my yard 🙂
I had flagged this image to include with my Monochrome Monday post yesterday, but when I started editing this in Luminar, I was so impressed with the transformation, I thought it would make for a good before and after post.
These flamingos were far away; I had the Panasonic at full 400mm zoom and they still are really small, so I shot this mostly as a proof image. With a digital camera, there is little downside to snapping a photo or two even if you don’t think they will be great.
At least you have a record of what you saw, and it might actually turn out okay.Needless to say this isn’t getting printed to hang on my wall, but it is a great example of how far you can recover a rather drab image.
As I said, I brought this into Luminar planning to include it with myblack and white shots, but all it took were a few sliders to bring to colour and texture of the image back to life.
I saved a split shot with the before and after (I really like this view option, I find it much more helpful than toggling before and after on and off).You really get an idea of how flat and lifeless the image was out of camera, and how much detail and colour be recovered.
I edited this in under five minutes, so it definitely wasn’t a big time investment to play around and make this image the best it could be.