Seeing Double and Triple

Seeing Double and Triple

When I first started taking photos, I took snapshots. I would see something interesting and take two, maybe even three photos of the subject. After I got home and downloaded the images (I don't care how big the viewfinder or display monitor is on your camera, if you are old, you just can't see the details of the photo you just shot) I would find I missed some action or part of the photo wasn't in focus. Remember how I used to cut off their feet? I learned to take a lot more photos. 

Now I think I may take too many. I come home with 400 photos of the same bird, and in a lot of them, the bird hasn't moved much. You almost have to take than many with wildlife, because you never know when they will do something spectacular (like that Reddish Egret that jumped straight up) or even ruffle their feathers, and you don't want to miss the action. But, still.... 

So, out of say... 400 photos I might have a few fantastic OMG photos, a lot of excellent ones, and even 10 more that are very good. But I can't show you 10 photos of the same bird doing the same thing. I pick ones to tell a story about the bird, or the location or technique. I post some on Instagram, but they don't want to see 10 in a row of the same bird doing slightly different things either. 

And what to do with all the rest? I keep them after culling the out of focus and hopeless. I have 2012 and 2013 backed up on one external hard drive, and 2014 has another.  I need to find some Cloud storage as a second backup so if you have some good suggestions, let me hear about them. 

But, I like to share my images. One thing I did with some "extra" photos involved my Mad Photoshop Skillz and plug-ins. This blog post is pure photomanipulation and some would call it more "art" than photographs. These are fun to do, I am combining the birds and the post-processing that I love to do. Not trying to fool anyone, I just like creating new images with my work. Each one tells a story.

Heh.  I am showing you multiple views of the same subject in one image. It is not PhotoCubism; we will have to come up with a more apt name.

One Roseate Spoonbill showing you all his best sides

One Roseate Spoonbill showing you all his best sides

This is one pretty Roseate Spoonbill we saw at Surfside back in the Summer. He stood just off the road in a marshy area and didn't get spooked by the camera clicking. Bill was shooting out of the driver's side window, I was kneeling in the passenger seat and trying to get shots in the space between his lens and the outside mirror. 

And I ended up with 60 photos, and a lot of them were quite good. 

The above image is a four separate photos I put together and then did some heavy post-processing. Spoonbills do hang around in groups, and you could possibly find four this close together. But two would be facing the other way and the other would have his head in the water. One might be looking at you and it would be out of focus in the final shot.

Long-billed Curlew shows you his wings...

Long-billed Curlew shows you his wings...

This is from a sequence I shot of a Long-billed Curlew raising his wings. That day I took 185 shots of this cool bird. Some he is facing away or has closed eyes, but many of them are rather nice. 

Photoshop layers were used to make this ... um... panorama. All of the photos were taken fairly close together and I am just showing you four at a time.

Killdeer takes a drink...

Killdeer takes a drink...

Killdeers are just the cutest birds. The trick is to get the light right so that famous red eye shines. But, in my experience, they basically stand around looking sweet or run away really fast. They are plovers, and eat tiny bugs and insects. I was thrilled to get one with his mouth open, taking a drink and finally posing nicely. So, I put all the shots together for you.

Young Snowy Egret doing his exercises

Young Snowy Egret doing his exercises

I must have thousands of photos of Snowy Egrets. This one did some egret yoga at the Texas City Dike. And I removed a bunch of Laughing Gulls and made this composite. It has also been post-processed with my usual tools. 

Young Reddish Egret gets airborne...3 photo composite

Young Reddish Egret gets airborne...3 photo composite

We found a really young Reddish Egret near the Quintana Jetty. He was perched on some old piers, broken relics from Ike's destruction. He tolerated our attention for a while and then hopped over to the next piling. And then the next. 

And the next. 

Finally, he flew over behind some fishermen. And he stole some discarded fish heads.  

And one last photo because it is Halloween. This has been post-processed with a couple of plug-ins; pretty spooky to see those eyes peering out of the darkness.

Texas City kitteh trying to hide from me 

Texas City kitteh trying to hide from me 

This guy was hiding in the brush, under some boulders. I almost didn't see him at all!

Do you think photos should be shown Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC)? Or do you like the artistic license? Did you really think there were all those birds in a row? Let me know in the comments below.

Related adventures in Mad Photoshop Skillz:  Orangeness ; Time Travel ; Not a Bird in Sight

Too Sunny for Birds

Too Sunny for Birds

Fish Hawks

Fish Hawks