Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Hummingbird Challenge

The hummingbirds have been really active the last few weeks. We have two feeders outside our kitchen window, and you don't have to wait long to see one stop in for drink. The challenging part (from a photo perspective) is twofold: [1] The feeders are right up against a stucco wall, so the background is ugly and [2] our dual-pane window is hazy, so it's impossible to get a nice clear shot through the glass. Here's the straight-out-of-the-camera shot:
Kind of a dull photo, and the stucco background really bothers me. So the first thing I did was soften/blur the background, increase the clarity and vibrance of the hummingbird, and a slight crop. There, that's better.
Once you have an image you're happy with, you can add textures, borders, etc. All of these photos were taken using a 55-250mm telephoto lens maxed at 250mm (effective focal length on my Canon Rebel is 400mm if I'm doing the math right... should really be using a tripod, but I didn't).
Same photo, texture added. Below are similar photos... all next to or on the feeder, with different textures added. Do you have a favorite?



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20 comments:

  1. The fourth and fifth ones are my favorites!
    They haven't returned here yet but I'm anxiously awaiting.

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  2. I've seen a few hummers but didn't put out feeders as I pull out tomorrow.

    I like the 3rd and last images.

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  3. Nicely done. It's fun playing with images and creating something special.

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  4. Great improvement on the background. I like your textured images. Hummers have not arrived here yet.

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  5. wow! those are really cool! i like!

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  6. What a wonderful transformation!

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  7. I go for number two. rest pics by the way.

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  8. Sorry where it says rest it have to be Nice

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  9. I like borders and textures etc. All the Pictures are great..my favorites are the last two!

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  10. My favorites are #3 and #6. I am still waiting for the Hummingbirds to return here, hopefully they will start arriving the end of April, first week of May.

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  11. Wonderful processing! I like four and five the best, very painterly!

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  12. I initially thought the first one was a painting when looking at it on my thumbnail on my blog...I can see why you went this direction with the image. These would make awesome greeting card images.

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  13. I love them all but think #4, #5 to be my favorite...I agree, nice greeting card, G.G. would have love these!!

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  14. The third one is my favorite, but the whole post processing is marvelous!

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  15. I think they are all fantastic -- fun to see you are enjoying the textures. :)

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  16. You answered the challenge quite well. I'm not sure I can pic a favorite!

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  17. Very nicely done...love those little hummers! Thank you for sharing on 'Weekly Top Shot...'

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  18. Wonderful series! Love your textured images!
    Thanks for sharing;o)

    ***
    Happy day****

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  19. Great series! The third image (with the soft background and white border) is my favorite with the one with the book pages as a background being a close second. They are all nice and I like that you shared your process with us! (I'm going to "Subscribe by email" so you have my email address... If you send me a message, I'll pull some information together for you about Point Reyes and locations to shoot. It's a really cool place to visit! Thanks for stopping by my iPhone blog.)

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