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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Bird Photographer Wannabe

Since my brother Steve gave me the new camera, I have been intimidated by it, so it sits in the bag on a shelf in the office. Today with 70 degree, sunny weather, without heavy winds, while working at cleaning up the garden for Spring, I had the joy of hearing and seeing a Curved Bill Thrasher in the Toad Haven trees. I girded up my loins (can women gird their loins?) took the camera from the case and decided I might as well see if I could get an identifiable photo of Mr. Thrasher.

He hasn't been around since last spring, when he sang his heart out trying to lure Ms. Thrasher to join him in creating a nest in the very healthy clump of Cholla cactus along the fence, north of the mini prairie. Unfortunately, Ms. Thrasher evidently had other ideas so he left us and hasn't returned until today. I wish you could hear his lovely aria. He even got Joe's attention early this morning with his gorgeous voice.

With this Canon Power Shot Pro in my hands I feel so ignorant and awkward; but I managed to turn it on, open the viewing screen, crank up the zoom (why I needed a camera other than my comfortable little Canon Elph, which had no optical zoom and couldn't capture birds, even not on the wing) and click the button. Wow! the shutter works a lot faster than the Elph. After following Mr. Thrasher from the front yard Russian Olive tree to the side yard Locust tree in the herb garden, I managed to get several shots.

I then rushed to the computer, opened my quick guide to "uploading photos to the computer" and they actually uploaded. I saved them, printed some just as they came from the camera, and then did some simple Adobe Photo Shop experimentation in improving the contrast, and cropping photos and here are some of the results. I was pleased to find that when I cropped to close ups of the birds and then blew them up in size, I could actually see some details instead of blur. Maybe if I keep experimenting I will get comfortable with this camera. And even better, maybe I will get some great bird photos.

[Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge them]

From this photo with lovely blue sky but the birds are not very clear

to this that sets off the birds from the limbs and sky.

To this single House Finch cropped from the right side of the large photo with the Curved Bill Thrasher in the lower middle.


Sande LaFaut said...

Very nice! Not a wannabe, an 'is'! Most birds are small enough to be a real challenge so you done good! Are the curved thrashers common there?

Debra said...

You are just a natural, admit it!

Allison Ann Aller said...

How wonderful!
Keep those birds comin'....

Kay said...

See, you did need that camera, didn't you?

Glad to hear from you, Fran.

Mo said...

Great shots! I'm a wannabe bird photographer myself, and I wish I had a camera that would allow me better shots...that's my excuse, anyway. Yes. It the camera.

Anyway, I have something for you, if you'd like to drop by and 'pick it up'...