Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
It's not the sharpest of photographs but I was so excited my hands were shaking. This is not a common visitor to our garden.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
For all who celebrate Christmas I hope you have a very Merry one, for all who don't I wish you Happy Holidays.
I'll be back with some artwork later in the week.
Friday, December 19, 2008
I thought I'd share a photoshop tip for sharpening an image without altering colour.
Create a new background layer
In the layer palette select luminosity (the colour and saturation in the lower layer will be retained)
In the filter menu select unsharp mask and adjust the sliders until you like the result
I have found this works better than applying unsharp mask direct to the image.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
I thought it would be useful to let you in on a few of my tricks for taking photographs of garden birds.
I place feeders in locations surrounded by vegetation that the bird can perch on, as my aim is to avoid photographing on the feeder whenever possible. I want natural looking shots to use as reference material for future paintings. I do however try to ensure that they are never placed where cats can sneak up on the birds.
Once I've placed the feeder I try not to move it as the birds seem happier to visit familiar objects. I also keep them filled as I've found birds continue to visit as long as food is available.
I rub cheese and fat into the tree trunks as I've found this attracts Woodpeckers, and keeps them reasonably still while they peck at it.
I always provide water, Blackbirds in particular love to splash about in it.
If I had to give one tip to increase the chance of successfully photographing garden birds, it would be learn about their behaviour.
I've found that most species tend to have fairly predictable visiting patterns.
Long Tailed Tits tend to visit early and late afternoon, passing through quickly, they never stay longer than a few minutes.
The Woodpecker visits early afternoon and spends several minutes on one particular tree.
The Jay and Sparrowhawk visit early morning, the Jay tends to be on the ground but is very shy and hard to photograph. If the Sparrowhawk has caught a bird you can approach quite close while it's feeding, otherwise it just shoots through the garden.
The Blue, Great and Coal Tits are about all day often taking a seed or nut and perching on a branch to eat it.
So on and so on.
Oh and one other thing, you need an endless amount of patience and good humour when several Collies decide to tell you all about the one you're trying to sneak up on.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
I have also been thinking about how little my photographs actually get looked at because they are files stored on a hard drive.
So each day until the end of 2009 I am going to try to print one of my photographs. I'm just going to do a small version, probably around 4 x6, each one will be a subject I intend to paint.
I've bought some blank 8 x 5 cards and I will stick the photograph to the card. I will then record details about the photograph and which folder it is stored in on my hard drive. The back of the card will be used for thumbnail's, tiny sketches etc. Once the card is full I will laminate it to help preserve the information.
As often as possible I will use a photograph taken on that day, so for today it is a Robin on the garden fence.
I will then be able to share my photographs with people who don't have access to a computer.