Posts Tagged ‘Bird’

“Golden Glory” by Vicki Tinnon

July 2, 2009

“Golden Glory”
© Copyright Vicki Tinnon

I really like this stunning photo of a gorgeous, majestic golden eagle by Vicki Tinnon. It’s one of the many beautiful photos that Vicki Tinnon has submitted for the Photobird Photo of the Hour. You can see more of Vicki Tinnon’s inspiring photos in her Photobird photo album at photobird.com/vickitinnon. Vicki Tinnon won the Photobird Award for the Photobird Photo Contest for May 2008 with her photo “Moving In“.

Photobird.com is the easy way to share your photos. You capture and share so many great photos on Photobird.com that we created the Photo of the Hour feature to give you the opportunity to share your very best with the rest of the world.

It’s really easy to submit your favorite photos to be featured on the Photobird Photo of the Hour: Simply view the photo from your photo album and click the “Submit for Photo of the Hour” checkbox. There is no limit to the number of photos you can submit and we always like to get new submissions.

In return for each photo we use on the Photo of the Hour or People Places and Things, you get more storage space for your photo album so you can store more photos. Details are here.

If you’d like to keep some of your photos private while you share your favorite photos with the world, you can read how easy it is to do that with Photobird photo albums in our Photobird Daily article entitled “Show Off Your Photos, and Keep Some Private“.

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See more great photos and photography articles in the Photobird Daily.

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Visit Photobird.com, the easy way to share your photos.

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2 Weeks Left: Photo Contest for April

April 17, 2009

“goldfinch”
© Copyright Chris Gorhum

Chris Gorhum entered an excellent photo shown above entitled “goldfinch” into the Photobird Photo Contest for April 2009. Click the photo to see a larger version.

There are several things that make this photo remarkable:

  • The photo has a shallow depth of field which makes the foreground objects sharp and clear and the background out of focus. Therefore, our attention is completely on the bird and the branch and we’re not distracted by the background.
  • The finch and the hook are roughly positioned on the Rule of Thirds. The left side of the branch is as well.
  • The branch on the diagonal adds a sense of dynamism and action to the photo. If the branch had been level, the photo would have been more mundane and average.
  • The photo has great balance. The term balance means that the objects in the photo frame are positioned in locations in the frame that are roughly equal in visual weight. For instance, everything in the photo isn’t pushed over to one side. The objects that catch our eye are distributed throughout the frame. For example, the location of the hook and the diagonal branch help balance the frame. The finch positioned on the right side but looking to the left contributes significantly to balancing the frame. If the finch had been looking to the right, the balance would have skewed more to the right, especially with the tilting of the branch in that direction.
  • Finally, what else makes this photo remarkable is that, as the photographer explains in the description of the photo, she is legally blind. Amazing skill and a beautiful, inspirational photo!

At about 4 to 5 inches in length and weighing less than one ounce, the goldfinch is definitely small.

“Small” is the theme for the Photobird Photo Contest for April 2009. Enter the contest here. The contest is always free to enter and this month’s contest ends Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 11:59pm Pacific time.

Photobird Photo Contest details:

The two winners for the Photobird Photo Contest for April 2009 will each receive the following cool prizes:

Read more details about the monthly contest here.

Every monthly Photobird Photo Contest has two winners. At the end of each month, we pick one winner for the Photobird Award, and we will tally your votes to determine the one winner for the People’s Choice Award.

See the previous contests and their contest entries at this link.

Go here to enter the contest. And be sure to have your family and friends vote for their favorite entries to help select the People’s Choice Award. (You can send them a quick little reminder here.)

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below or in the Photobird forums.

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The Key to Great Photos: Location and Timing

March 18, 2009

“Early Madness”
© Copyright Camil Seisanu

We’ve written before about how important location and timing are to produce great photos. It’s so important that I’m writing about it again — and we’ll probably write about it some more in the future.

Michael Reichmann, a professional photographer for over 40 years, states in one of his articles in the Photobird Learning Center that the two most essential elements of photography are location and timing. Not shutter speed, not aperture, not white balance, not ISO. It’s not important how many megapixels your camera has, or whether you have a compact camera or an SLR. In fact, the photo shown above, “Early Madness” by Camil Seisanu, was shot using a 5-megapixel, medium-sized camera from 2006, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1.

As Reichmann says, “You can have the greatest lenses, and possess the finest technique, but if you’re not able to shoot at an interesting location you’re unlikely to produce successful images.”

Reichmann also writes about the concept of “The Decisive Moment”: that split-second where all of the compositional elements coalesce, which, when captured by a fortunate photographer, result in an indelible picture. A perfect example of this is in Camil’s photo above, with the sun rising, its red-orange color cast on the water and the sky, and the split-second timing of snapping the shutter button when the bird is taking off. None of that would have happened if Camil hadn’t been there at sunrise — with his camera, battery charged, and memory cards empty, ready to go.

Be sure to check out the Photobird Learning Center for more helpful content.

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“Golden Glory” by Vicki Tinnon

March 12, 2009

“Golden Glory”
© Copyright Vicki Tinnon

I really like this stunning photo of a gorgeous, majestic golden eagle by Vicki Tinnon. It’s one of the many beautiful photos that Vicki Tinnon has submitted for the Photobird Photo of the Hour. You can see more of Vicki Tinnon’s inspiring photos in her Photobird photo album at photobird.com/vickitinnon. Vicki Tinnon won the Photobird Award for the Photobird Photo Contest for May 2008 with her photo “Moving In“.

Photobird.com is the easy way to share your photos. You capture and share so many great photos on Photobird.com that we created the Photo of the Hour feature to give you the opportunity to share your very best with the rest of the world.

It’s really easy to submit your favorite photos to be featured on the Photobird Photo of the Hour: Simply view the photo from your photo album and click the “Submit for Photo of the Hour” checkbox. There is no limit to the number of photos you can submit and we always like to get new submissions.

In return for each photo we use on the Photo of the Hour or People Places and Things, you get more storage space for your photo album so you can store more photos. Details are here.

If you’d like to keep some of your photos private while you share your favorite photos with the world, you can read how easy it is to do that with Photobird photo albums in our Photobird Daily article entitled “Show Off Your Photos, and Keep Some Private“.

You may also discuss your favorite Photobird Photos of the Hour in the Photobird forums.

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New Prize for Photobird Photo Contest

February 13, 2009

“Peek-A-Boo Woodpecker”
© Copyright Lisa Godshall

The Photobird Photo Contest for February 2009 has a new prize! You now have the chance to win a $50 Amazon.com gift card along with a Photobird account with 500MB of storage space.

It looks like Lisa Godshall’s “Peek-A-Boo Woodpecker“, which stops by twice a day, likes the sound of those prizes and wants more details. Lisa Godshall entered her photo in the Photobird Photo Contest for February 2009. Lisa Godshall won the People’s Choice Award for the Photobird Photo Contest for September 2008 with her photo “Stop for a Bite“. Check out her Photobird photo album for more photos.

With your $50 Amazon.com gift card, you can buy anything on Amazon.com including a new memory card for your camera, a photography book to learn new tricks, a tripod to practice those new tricks, or use the $50 toward a new camera, or even get the items you’ve had your eye on: the adorable bunny slippers (with pose-able ears!) or 115-piece tool kit (with locking pliers!). You choose!

Photobird.com is the easy way to share your photos. Read the article “Take a Quick Tour of Photobird.com” for details.

Photobird Photo Contest details:

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2 Days Left: Photo Contest for January

January 30, 2009

“the freedom”
© Copyright Jaimin Bhavsar

There are just a couple of days remaining until the end of the Photobird Photo Contest for January. The theme for this month’s contest is “Go” and the contest ends tomorrow, Saturday, January 31, 2009 at 11:59pm Pacific Time. Enter your photo here!

The photo shown above, “the freedom” by Jaimin Bhavsar is very well done. The composition is superb, including only a portion of the open windows, a small piece of the sky, and the bird near the right line of the Rule of Thirds. I think the black and white tones also work well with this image. The bird is simply black, the sky looks like it could have been overcast and devoid of color, and if the wall of the building had any color, I bet it would have detracted from the overall focus of our attention of the bird in flight. Also a necessity is that the bird is captured with its wings extended.

Photobird Photo Contest details:

The two winners for the Photobird Photo Contest for January will each receive the following cool prizes:

Read more details about the monthly contest here.

Every monthly Photobird Photo Contest has two winners. At the end of each month, we pick one winner for the Photobird Award, and we will tally your votes to determine the one winner for the People’s Choice Award.

See the previous contests and their contest entries at this link.

Go here to enter the contest. And be sure to have your family and friends vote for their favorite entries to help select the People’s Choice Award. (You can send them a quick little reminder here.)

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below or in the Photobird forums.

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“The Peacock” by Vicki Tinnon

January 22, 2009

“The Peacock”
© Copyright Vicki Tinnon

This is a stunning, beautiful photo of a peacock by Vicki Tinnon. In fact, it’s one of the best peacock photos I’ve seen. Click the photo to see a clearer, larger version in Vicki Tinnon’s Photobird photo album.

Here’s a list of what makes this photo so special:

  • The peacock’s feathers fill the frame of the photo. Almost the entire photo is filled with the peacock’s feathers. Filling the frame is a very effective composition technique for enhancing the look of photos. By comparison, imagine the photo showing more of the ground and more of the surroundings; the photo wouldn’t be as stunning. For more composition tips, see the Photobird Daily article “Composition Is Key“.
  • The photo shows the profile of the peacock’s head, instead of showing the head straight on. The side of the peacock’s head is much more interesting to look at and fills up more space in the photo than if the peacock was photographed straight on.
  • We are close enough to the peacock to clearly see the beautiful detail in the ornate rows of little feathers on the peacock’s back. We can also see the vibrant blues and greens in the peacock’s neck.

Vicki Tinnon recently added this peacock photo to her “Kansas” photo album in her Photobird photo album. Vicki Tinnon submits many of her photos for the Photobird Photo of the Hour. You can see more of Vicki Tinnon’s inspiring photos in her Photobird photo album at photobird.com/vickitinnon. Vicki Tinnon won the Photobird Award for the Photobird Photo Contest for May 2008 with her photo “Moving In“.

Photobird.com is the easy way to share your photos. You capture and share so many great photos on Photobird.com that we created the Photo of the Hour feature to give you the opportunity to share your very best with the rest of the world.

It’s really easy to submit your favorite photos to be featured on the Photobird Photo of the Hour: Simply view the photo from your photo album and click the “Submit for Photo of the Hour” checkbox. There is no limit to the number of photos you can submit and we always like to get new submissions.

In return for each photo we use on the Photo of the Hour or People Places and Things, you get more storage space for your photo album so you can store more photos. Details are here.

If you’d like to keep some of your photos private while you share your favorite photos with the world, you can read how easy it is to do that with Photobird photo albums in our Photobird Daily article entitled “Show Off Your Photos, and Keep Some Private“.

You may also discuss your favorite Photobird Photos of the Hour in the Photobird forums.

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1 Week Left: Photo Contest for December

December 19, 2008

“Fly”
© Copyright Pradip Datta

As I wrote last week, I generally prefer color photos over black and white photos. I’ve been thinking about that some more, and I think the reason I don’t care for many black and white photos is that there are few really good ones. The reason there are few really good ones is that I think black and white photos need to be extra special to reach a decent level. In order to create extra special black and whites, the photographer needs to know photography really well and usually have a lot of experience.

Color photos are easier to appreciate because color appeals to us humans. With black and white photos though, there’s no color so we must rely on other unique, attractive characteristics of the photo to enjoy it. If the black and white photo has no other unique, attractive characteristics, then it won’t be a good photo. With black and white photos, there’s no color in the photo, obviously, so the photographer needs to make a special effort to make the photo attractive in some other way. That’s hard to do, and a lot of people don’t know how to make a photograph look good without color.

One person who does seem to know his black and white photography is Pradip Datta who entered his photo “Fly“, shown above, into the Photobird Photo Contest for December. His photo works well for a few reasons. First, he’s using the Rule of Thirds with the positioning of the vertical pole on the left. The horizontal bar at the bottom with the two birds on it works well as a framing feature. Finally, the bird taking off is shown in an unusual, stretched form that we’re not accustomed to seeing; we usually see birds in flight with their wings extended to their sides and we usually don’t see their legs in flight.

How would this photo have worked in color? Probably not very well at all. Imagine a blue sky, brown or black poles, and green palm trees at the bottom in the far background. All of that color would have detracted from the elements I wrote about above, especially the unique form of the bird in flight. Therefore, the photo is best in black and white. Do you agree or do you have another perspective? Please let me know in the comments.

There’s just over 1 week remaining in the Photobird Photo Contest for December. Be sure to enter your photo before the end of day December 31. Your photo can be in color or black and white, and the contest is free to enter! The theme of the contest is “Up”.

Photobird Photo Contest details:

The two winners for the Photobird Photo Contest for December will each receive the following cool prizes:

Read more details about the monthly contest here.

Every monthly Photobird Photo Contest has two winners. At the end of each month, we pick one winner for the Photobird Award, and we will tally your votes to determine the one winner for the People’s Choice Award.

See the previous contests and their contest entries at this link.

Go here to enter the contest. And be sure to have your family and friends vote for their favorite entries to help select the People’s Choice Award. (You can send them a quick little reminder here.)

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below or in the Photobird forums.

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5 Tips for Photographing Birds

December 4, 2008

Mourning dove
© Copyright John Maher

If you enjoy photographing birds, you may agree that actually finding enough birds to photograph is the most challenging part. For instance, when I go hiking, I rarely see birds, unless it’s a hawk circling for its next meal. I actually see more birds in my backyard and in my neighborhood, besides the usual pigeons and ravens. Bluejays, sparrows, and robins are frequent visitors. John Maher photographed this mourning dove shown above at his workplace.

Photographing birds is a numbers game: The more birds you see, the more opportunities you will have for great shots. The best way to get photos of birds is right in your own backyard. You just need to keep ‘em coming!

Here are four tips on photographing birds from an article on the Digital Photography Now website, with an extra tip thrown in by me at the end.

1. Birds are creatures of habit. Keep the food coming and on schedule and the birds will be waiting there for you to bring them their food. Paul, the author of the article at Digital Photography Now, has four containers in his main feeding station: two for seed, one for nuts, and one for fat balls which all types of birds like. Every morning he puts food in two small trays at the feeding station, and the birds are often waiting for him. Don’t let any of the feeders remain empty.

2. Feed birds throughout the year, including winter. As Paul explains, “Winter feeding is very important because their natural food source is virtually nonexistent. If you maintain regular feeding through winter, they will be firm visitors for the rest of the year and will bring their young with them in spring. This establishes a regular feeding pattern for them.”

3. Bird baths required. Birds need a constant supply of water for drinking and bathing, so having a bird bath in your garden is definitely a good idea to attract birds. The bath also needs to be cleaned weekly.

4. Hide yourself when shooting. Paul sets up his camera in the doorway of a shed which is less than 12 feet away from his feeder station, so it’s easy for him to get his close-ups. The birds are used to him being there, and the shed also allows him to shoot without worrying about the weather. Even when he’s working in the garden, the birds don’t seem to mind at all. They actually may come very close to feed from the freshly dug area. Just work as normal, without any sudden, harsh movements.

5. Practice, practice, practice. Like any photography subject, the more practice you get photographing birds, the better you will be. In the article “Telling the Story” in the Photobird Learning Center, Michael Reichmann explains that professional photographers shoot with little regard to how many photos they’re actually shooting. In an article I wrote last month in the Photobird Daily entitled “Technical Details of a Professional Photo Shoot“, the photographer shot at least 3000 photos a day, 14,000 over a 4-day period. Memory cards and hard drives are inexpensive. Keep on shooting. And be sure to consult Photobird’s Simple Guide to Great Photos.

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Photobird Photo Contest Winners for September

October 1, 2008

“Blue”
© Copyright Sundae Aves

The theme for the Photobird Photo Contest for September was “Outdoors”, and there were a lot of excellent and unique entries. Thanks to everyone who entered the contest!

Congratulations to Sundae Aves, winner of the Photobird Award with the photo “Blue“, shown above. This spectacular photo caught my eye for a few reasons. Although it doesn’t follow the Rule of Thirds — rules can be broken, you know — it’s very well composed and actually quite symmetrical, which I like in this case. The horizon line is nearly in the middle of the photo, perhaps compensated down a bit to allow for balance with the buildings, the masts, and the illuminated sky. The left-most building is directly in the middle in the photo, slicing the photo in half vertically. The iridescent sky is gorgeous, and I like the soft tone of the water, which lends the sense of calmness and peacefulness to the photo. It’s a really well done image.

Congratulations to Lisa Godshall, winner of the People’s Choice Award with the photo “Stop for a Bite“. This photo is remarkable in its own right: It’s also very well composed, showing just enough of the bird feeder to be able to easily identify it. And this photo does use the Rule of Thirds, with the hummingbird on the left vertical and the rim of the feeder close to the bottom horizontal. The clarity and focus of the hummingbird are amazing, as are the droplets of condensation on the bird feeder. As one of the voters pointed out, “Look at those teeny weeny feet!!! Stuff you never see on a humming bird….” Another voter is pushing Lisa for a more dramatic shot, asking “how ’bout on your finger next time!!!” Yeah, I’d like to see that one too!

Sundae and Lisa will each receive the following prizes:

Congratulations again to both winners!

Now that we’re done shooting outdoors, let’s go indoors. “Indoors” is the theme for the Photobird Photo Contest for October. The Photobird Photo Contest is free to enter, so be sure to get your entry in and have your friends vote on their favorite photos before month’s end.

For more information on the contest, please check out the details here and, if you have any questions, please ask in the comments below or in the Photobird forums.

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