Monday, March 21, 2011

Birds on the wing

I fell in love with a couple of photos I saw over the weekend, one of which was a finalist at Pioneer Woman’s ‘Beauty’ assignment. It’s a chickadee with its wings fully spread in flight, with a slightly out-of-focus, almost Japanese type of look. And it’s beautifully processed in black & white.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I love it.

Whispers of Spring on Flickr

It is extremely difficult to photograph birds in flight, and some day I hope to capture something good enough to hang in my home. Because it was such a beautiful weekend, I decided that my goal was to ATTEMPT to get a photo of a bird in flight.


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And, for what it’s worth, this is my best effort. This was a very difficult assignment I set for myself, and other than visiting my brother in the hospital, cleaning out the birdbath, going to the dump and doing some laundry, this was my only goal for the weekend.


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Please don’t think I’m lazy. I work all week and there’s nothing I love more than relaxing on a beautiful spring weekend. And it’s finally spring here. I took many photos this weekend and am eager to share them with you.

But today, it’s just birds and wings.


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You see how difficult this is?


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Not one of my favorites, but I really liked the transparency of the wings.

These little birds move CRAZY fast.


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I do like this one, especially because the little nuthatch has a seed in its mouth.


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And I may like it better in black & white.

I know this is going to sound crazy, but I took nearly a thousand photos of birds, holding down the continuous shutter in an attempt to catch them in flight. I deleted around 700 of the photos because I don’t need 50 images of the same bird in different poses.


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I have so many things I need to accomplish this week, and it’s going to be super busy at work. I’m glad I had the weekend to kick back and sit under the dogwood tree for a spell with my camera.

So how was your weekend?

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

123 Signature

PS ~ I mentioned that I fell in love with a couple of photos over the weekend. Tomorrow, I'll share the second one and the lovely sentiment that goes along with it.

47 comments:

Tess Kincaid said...

Wow!!! Fabulous shots!!

Lisa RedWillow said...

I love thes shots. I join you in saying I too find it the hardest to get birds in fight.
Fantastic

Jan's camera said...

Nice job with the photos. I love looking at your bird photos. Yes, very difficult to get the wings at just the right moment. Have a good week.

texwisgirl said...

Ooh! I like that nuthatch also! And the link you provided of the "transparent wings" of chickadee is just fantastic!

eileeninmd said...

Great shots of your birds. Id o like the color version the best.

Fine Lines said...

WOW! I love that you captured the delicate spread of the feathers!

Beth said...

That chickadee photo is pretty darn amazing!

Country Gal said...

Yup they are tricky to capture in flight. I sometimes use the sport mode on my camera so the shutter speed is faster it is made for moving objects. Good shots though. Its finally spring, Have a great day !

ELK said...

wow ..these are a marvel ..


my weekend went fast ..except this morning on the front porch ... took very bad photos of the moon .. but i loved it!!!!

Anonymous said...

Love the pictures of the birds. Do feed hummingbirds during the summer? They are fun birds to watch.

Debbie from Illinois

spindrift,me said...

Boy do I understand the beauty of sitting still and taking a million photos (ok, a thousand) as a way to study how to capture something you love. Thanks so much for sharing that part of things. Your photos are beautiful, and your story is perfect! Have a tolerable week....I am sure your time being still will pay off!

Snappy Di said...

It is HARD. You almost have to start clicking before they move in order to catch them in flight.

DI

Char said...

yes, firing in burst and slowing up the shutter helps. beautiful - my favorite is the first one

tj said...

...Ooo yeah, I too love the Nuthatch in b/w, that's my fav' of all of 'em... :o)

...There's nothing wrong with taking it easy on the weekend after a long week at work. That's what weekends are for silly girl! ;o) I for one had the house to myself for awhile and I spent it painting our guest bedroom. And wait! It gets even more exciting - I cleaned the bathroom! Woo-hoo I say! lol... Yeah, I've been inhaling too much paint fumes I think...*sigh*giggle* ;o)

...Oh and other than that I've been kinda busy doing this: http://humbleorigins.blogspot.com/ It's not a blog but a little site for me to start selling my stuff, pimp my coleslaw slash save a barn dressing, lol...and share a few pics and host a Yard Sale of sorts. I know, pretty exciting stuff, no? ha,ha Not! lol... Oh well, check it out Country Girl and lemme kno' whatcha think, 'kay?

...Enjoy your evening and blessings too... :o)

Gone Country said...

Nice job on the birds in flight! It is very difficult to get them in flight.

There is nothing wrong with taking some time to relax. I did the same thing this afternoon and took over 100 photos of just birds. My husband thinks I'm crazy! But, I love it!

Birds are the perfect topic for this first day of Spring!

Michelle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle said...

I like your b/w nuthatch every bit as much as the one you linked to! Very nice efforts!

I stuck to photos of lambs (ovine and human) yesterday, but I was pretty happy with the results....

Caroline said...

WOW!! Kate, you captured magic!

Gale Wall said...

I loved that one too on the PW beauty assignment. I was out of town and couldn't participate. I did get a nice in flight photo last week.

http://digitalphotowalk.blogspot.com/2011/03/feathered-friends.html

I enjoy visiting your blog!

beth said...

i loved that photo, too....way to capture your birds in flight !
but i really loved the elderly woman.....that photo gave me goosebumps and made think of my grandma....

Hilary said...

They sure are difficult to capture in flight.. but you did a wonderful job with these.

Peppermint Ph.D. said...

The first shot is really neat...almost as if its wings (unfolded like an acordian) were frozen in action :) I also like the little one with the seed in its mouth...I just love to catch small animals doing the natural things they do that we are not noramlly privy to...
I once spent an entire afternoon trying to capture one of those large bumblebees in action...Yikes! At least birds don't sting :)

Cloudia said...

your nuthatch
and your MOON
thrill me-



Warm Aloha to you
from Honolulu!


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Suzanne said...

you did good Kate.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Beautiful images. What an amazing looking bird.

CJ xx

Nurse Nancy said...

Love the photos.....thanks for sharing.

TSannie said...

Beautious! Love the nuthatch.

The Japanese Redneck said...

I do good to take 20 pictures at a time.

Hope you had a good visit with your brother.

Louisiana Belle said...

Great pics, Kate. Capturing birds in flight is extremely difficult. Last summer I developed a passion for bird photography, so I know just how hard it is. Sometimes I think luck plays a part, but I also know that a tripod and a really good lens are key. Which is why I'm hoping for a 400mm lens for my 50th bday in May.

There is a contact of mine on Flickr (tinyfishy) that photographs birds from all over the world. His captures are so inspiring.

This weekend I saw two huge crows on my back fence and by the time I got my camera on the right settings, they flew off. I managed to get one in flight, but yuck! The photo was terrible. Oh, well. I guess the journey of getting that perfect bird photo is what keeps me interested. :)

Since you already know you will have a busy week, I hope it's not too stressful. :)

Kerri said...

Oh Kate - you have to know that these hold a special place in my heart! You did FANTASTIC with these!! I too have been trying to capture the birds in flight ....and it is VERY VERY Difficult!

I think these are stunning!

Meg @ Soup Is Not A Finger Food said...

Oh, these photos make me want to have a REAL camera! What a fun assignment. You are persistent!

We had a relaxing weekend - normally we'd be doing all kinds of chores, cleaning, yardwork, etc., but we're in a hold pattern because they haven't started the repairs on our family room yet. So, there's no point in cleaning because once they start sanding the drywall and the floors, they whole house will probably get dusty. And they're replacing the floors in the kitchen and the carpet in the back half of the house, so, no point in going to great efforts to keep it clean either. We just did some laundry and watched a lot of basketball - and enjoyed the beautiful weather.

Daryl said...

A bird on the wing is worth two on the blog ... true!

twbcountrygirl said...

Love the black and white nuthatch with the seed in it's mouth! Can't wait to see tomorrow's photos and hear the stories that go along with them.
the wanna be country girl - Caroline

grammyscraps said...

Ahhh, a woman after my own heart...I love doing bird photos and this, too, is one of my challenges...trying to get good "in flight" photos. I do fairly well with large birds but the song birds are a real challenge. Love what you were able to capture.

Dar said...

You managed beautifully what I have only once accomplished as I sat on my garden stool, in an attempt to catch the bluebird entering the nest box to feed his young. It took forever before finally, I got one clear picture.
Great job.
BlessYourHeart

sharon said...

great pictures. My youngest daughter loves taking pictures of birds. I'll try to find one she took of a bird in flight.
We steamed clean carpets upstairs in my daughter's room. now we have to get all of her stuff back in there before grandparents com. :)

Karen said...

Oh, how I have TRIED to get good bird shots. I do not have the patience, it's that simple.

I love the nuthatch, that's a great capture.. look at the graceful span and arch of that wing.

mrs mediocrity said...

I loved hat photo of the chickadee at Pioneer Woman's contest, too, it is so ethereal. You did a great job on these, I love the nuthatch. I am glad you had some time to relax this weekend!

Lili said...

My very favorite is that nuthatch with the seed. I just love the muted colors on that one too. It was so much fun to see them all and know that this was an assignment. Well done Kate! xo ~Lili

Mental P Mama said...

Love that nuthatch!

Mary said...

These are wonderful, Kate! I love the thought of you clicking away in the sunshine. :)

Did you get any snow on Monday? Not a stellar start to the season!
xoxo

BUSH BABE said...

Gorgeous - and I have to say that I LOVE that you got stuck into trying this out. I get all inspired by PW's photo assignments too. I enter, but never expect to get picked - I just like being in amongst all that creativity. Makes me lift my game a little...
:-)
BB
PS First shot (colour) and last shot (BW) equally fab.

Joanne said...

Those are great photos. I spent an entire afternoon sitting in one chair in my parents backyard a couple summers ago to get a picture of a hummingbird at its feeder and FINALLY (after what seemed like ages) captured it in flight. Those little birds are not only shy (hense why I made myself sit still in a chair and appear like garden art) but they are wicked fast. Great job on this! Your work is always so inspiring.

Bluebird49 said...

I'd never think you're lazy. I think you're doing great. I love, absolutely LOVE nuthatches. The one with the seed-(the black and white one) is my absolute favorite. Although I have no photography skills, I do know what I think of as "beauty."

I spent the weekend hearing about my 96-year-old mom falling and breaking her femur, rushing to meet her at ER, going to another hospital 2 hours away for her surgery and now back up at the nursing home (where they released her to at least several days too early) and now she has pneumonia. The days sort of run together , don't they? Such is life--I think you handle yours very well. I'm so glad you had time to take the pictures. No--I'm glad you MADE time.

Deb said...

great job....I have a facination with birds right now...me and my new camera...

dogear6 said...

I know what you mean about taking so many pictures and keeping so few. The hubby and I went to the botanical gardens on Sunday. I took 144 pictures - couldn't believe it - and few are keepers. The ones that are look great though.

Here's one of them -
http://livingtheseasons.wordpress.com/2011/03/20/weekly-photo-challenge-spring/

Kryssning Karibien said...

Very nice photos, i for one find these types of pics really intresting..