I finally managed to get some camera and nature time last Friday with a visit to RHS Wisley Gardens. I had a delightful time having tea with the birds outside the Glasshouse cafe before heading into the Glasshouse itself to play with the orchids! On a very grey, damp and windy Monday, I thought you all might enjoy a bit of joyful colour.
Having just recently been awarded a Judge’s Commendation for Bird Photographer Of The Year (for the second year in a row), I decided to start creating more abstract and creative images, in camera, of various birds. Birdworld, near Farnham, provides the perfect setting for my experiments and the flamigos proved to be the ideal subjects for capturing unusual portraits. I really enjoyed studying the shapes and lines of their poses! This piece was my favourite composition from yesterday. I just loved the sinuous shape of the neck, flowing in and out of the frame. My commended images have both been in the Creative category for BirdPOTY and have involved a lot of processing. As most of you know, that is definitely where my passions lie, but I do want to expand my portfolio with creative pieces that only require minimal processing, like this flamigo. A bit of Topaz Clarity, selective blur, dodge and burn with some colour adjustments were all that was required. It’s also the kind of composition that I know I can get even more creative with, if the mood takes me. I’m posting it today for both the Wex Mondays and Fotospeed challenges. I would love to get some feedback and ideas! I shall include my commended images, below, for you to see, and do head over to the BirdPOTY pages on Photocrowd to see all the shortlisted and commended entries this year. There are some extraordinary images to view!
“Wren In The Woods”, BirdPOTY 2017 Judges Choice. Published in BirdPOTY 2017 book
“Caracara With Character”, BirdPOTY 2018 Judges Commendation
There’s another wonderful collection of images over on Leanne Cole‘s blog this week for Monochrome Madness. She and Laura Macky have really started something here! I have to say that Leanne just astounds me, her own work is just sublime and her commitment to blogging has really inspired me!
Every week she brings up new points for discussion, introduces us to fellow bloggers, hosts the Monochrome challenge, interacts with everyone AND creates her own work! Hats off to you Leanne 🙂
I’ve had some lovely comments within Leanne’s post that I wanted to share and discuss:
RoSy said “Beyond beautiful!” – What a wonderful thing to say! Comments like this mean the world to any artist.
Alex – buddhableu2000 – said “An excellent capture. Very well presented.” – Composition is really important to me! It’s good to hear when I get it right 🙂
Anica Art Photography said “Stunning portrait!” – I very often categorise photos of animals as Portraiture and have been asked why on many occasions! I treat a photograph like this in exactly the same way I would when creating a portrait of a person. A portrait is very much about capturing the essence of your subject. I like to create expressive portraits 🙂
hutchphotography2020 said “An animal created for monochrome. Beautiful.” – I couldn’t agree more! I’ve created many monochrome images of tigers over the years. In fact, cats both big and small are great monochrome subjects! I had a really interesting discussion with Laura about B&W photography. Not EVERYTHING looks good in B&W or monochrome. I wouldn’t photograph our garden birds in B&W but some birds-of-prey and sea-birds work really well in monochrome. Creating a good B&W image uses a very different skill-set to colour photography. I started out in photography using B&W Ilford film and my trusty old Praktica SLR. When I looked through the lens I almost saw the world in B&W. Processing is key! I always spent more time in the darkroom than I did on shoots and these days it’s more time with Lightroom, Photoshop and Nik. Learning to take good colour photos when I got my first DSLR was a real challenge! I’m always striving to learn more and challenge myself with my work.