Saturday, January 25, 2014

American Goldfinch: Winter Photo Group #3

I'm beginning to think I have an obsession with bird photography ;))) Actually, I have an obsession with photography in general.  Everyone who knows me knows that. The birds don't know it, but they've assisted me greatly with the urge to satisfy this obsession.

Yesterday morning I filled both bird feeders to the brim with seeds.  I then made coffee, grabbed my camera and positioned my car close to the feeders.  I intended to try a tip I read online- attempt to shoot bird photos from your automobile because they are accustomed to being around cars.  Hmmm, this may just work, I thought.

It was me, my cup of coffee and my camera.  On the driver side of the car, the window was down for a clearer view of the bird feeders within ten feet of me.  The early morning temperature was about 30 degrees and there were reports of snow fall in nearby towns.  I thought to myself how crazy this is...but, oh how I enjoy it so!  

I wonder if the birds heard the sounds of the feeders being filled, because within minutes they gathered around them.  I'm not talking about a few little birds- no, I'm talking dozens of birds!  They flocked from the trees to the feeders to the ground, interrupted occasionally by the repeated clicking sounds of my shutter release or my movement inside the car.  They perched in nearby trees only momentarily, waiting until they felt secure enough to return.  I continued to photograph them, even while they were trying to hide in the trees, which would have been impossible anyway. 

It is difficult to focus the camera on objects in the trees-  the camera becomes "confused" with the presence of multiple leaves and branches.  I took several photos anyway, just for practice. 

It was also difficult to capture images without the presence of a window or porch rails in the background.  I scanned the yard and tried to find another angle to park but that wasn't possible. Additionally, the tan, yellow and gold plumage of  the goldfinches melted into the pale yellow paint on our front porch and the hues of gold and green from the wooden porch rails.  Many of the digital images were filled with too much gold.  I hoped that I would get a few good photos out of this group.

The images posted today have been heavily edited using black & white, sepia or holga. The subtle background allows images of the goldfinches to stand out. Editing these photos was time consuming, but I like the final outcome- the variation from traditional photos makes it more interesting ;)

I also have images of cardinals to edit and plan to post them at a later date.  Since goldfinches are presently so abundant in our area, they have stolen the show for now.

I huddled inside my car for about an hour, capturing several hundreds of images. Naturally I canned most of them and kept what I considered the best ones.  That's one of the greatest advantages of digital photography- no wasted film or pictures, meaning less money spent overall.  I love it!  More to come...

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