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lonestranger

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Posts posted by lonestranger

  1. 4 hours ago, Spyonabird said:

    I may crop to get the final composition but I really try to get a good shot in the camera.

    That's the best way to get the best photos, get the capture the way you want it in the camera when you press the shutter button and post processing becomes so much easier. Getting a shot like @pictaker's towhee photo composed in the camera(DSLR) would require a substantially longer lens than I have access to, or a stuffed towhee. :classic_laugh:  I need to be within 5 feet of the bird to fill my frame with a bird that size. I think that the better the gear is and the better the photographer is, the more you can get away with cropping without it being detrimental to the finished product. Starting with a tack sharp photo in the camera gives you more flexibility when it comes time to crop. If the focus is off just a little though, cropping will only emphasize that fact the more you crop. Don't get me wrong, I agree that cropping is undesirable, but in practicality, it's an essential tool for me.

    • Like 1
  2. 4 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    I enabled the Thirds grid on my view finder but you know birds.  They rarely stay where the grid lines intersect!

    I shoot all of my bird photos with the bird centered in the middle of the frame. Centre point focus and spot metering is my default setting so that's where my subject needs to be, in the middle. If we knew before hand which way a bird was going to face, left or right, we could set the focus point on the camera accordingly for compositional reasons, we'd need to reset the focus point to the other side every time the bird turned it's head though. I think most bird photographers shoot centre point focus and rely on cropping to finalize or fine tune the rule of thirds or other compositional ideas. I know I can't adjust the camera's focus point back and forth fast enough every time a bird turns it's head/body so I shoot my birds in the centre and worry about all compositional factors in post processing. With birds in flight I usually expand my focal points from a single center point to the maximum focus points for tracking purposes but my composition work is all done on the computer. I'm happy to just get a bird in flight in the frame, I don't have time to think about composition, I'm too busy just trying to keep the bird in the frame. 

    • Like 4
  3. 1 hour ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    For example, how much cropping is too much or not enough?  I see @lonestranger's cropped photo above and wonder how the decision was reached to cut the bottom where it is instead of further down or up, or why the  bird's shoulder is chopped on the left, or why crop it at all.

    On the example I posted, my thought was simply to magnify the part of the photo that I found most interesting. There wasn't really much compositional or artistic thought involved, I just wanted the bits and pieces on the bird's bill to be easily noticed. Could I have gotten that effect with less of a crop? Maybe. Could I have cropped it a little bit more? Maybe. I just cropped until I thought the bill was magnified enough. Was it too much, not enough, should I have taken more from one side and less from another? Questions like that go through my mind all the time. When you find out how to answer those questions for yourself, maybe you could help answer them for me. :classic_laugh:

    2 hours ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    Other post-processing options befuddle me, again because I don't know how to define 'better' or 'finished'.  I get hung on the details and it turns into a chore.

    I can totally relate to that ^. I don't like post processing and have often considered going back to shooting in JPG mode just so I don't have decide what looks right as far as exposure, contrast and saturation goes. I've read lots and learned a fair bit about post processing, but I am far from good at it, which makes it less enjoyable and more like a chore, like you said. I'll still play around with my images and sometimes find something worth sharing, but when processing becomes work, I tend to leave them sitting in the unprocessed folders and no one but me ever looks at them. 

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 1
  4. I can't get the original photo to look remotely like your cropped photo. Everything gets far too distorted to see the bird(?) when I try to zoom in to the same proportions as your crop. I suspect your original(2nd) photo is being resized somewhere in the upload process and wonder if we're actually seeing the original photo in it's true original size. If you have a flickr account, perhaps you could upload your original photo there and maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to see the true original better when we zoom in. Sorry, but I can't even ID the bird as a bird when I zoom in on it in this photo.

  5. Is it possible this is actually a bird in the air and not in the water? I see what looks like a fanned out tail with a dark band at the bottom of bird, making me wonder if what appears to be the head of a grebe in water is possibly the curl of a bird's wing where both upper and lower parts of the wing are visible making it look like a grebe's head. Perhaps a bird of prey after something in the water? I'm probably way off but that's what my imagination sees when I zoom in on the bird. Keep in mind that my imagination has been known to work better than my eyes now and then. :classic_laugh:

    • Like 1
  6. I can't speak for the "amazing" photos but I usually have to crop most of my bird photos to some extent, especially to get that "close up" effect. The closer I am to the bird to start with means less cropping is required, which usually results in better photos. On some occasions the bird is close enough that cropping isn't required at all and those situations usually produce the best photos, but that's a small percentage of the time, a very small percentage. Obviously, the bigger the bird is the easier it is to fill the frame with the bird and the less I'll need to crop. Smaller birds are harder to fill the frame even when I'm close, so they'll get cropped more often and cropped more severely if I'm after that close up look. Here's an example of a close up photo before and after cropping. 

    Before

    HZw93Qll.jpg

     

    After

    33954418966_078ec8b816_c.jpgIMG_5424 by lonestranger102, on Flickr

    • Like 3
    • Thanks 1
  7. On 4/23/2019 at 2:10 PM, Charlie Spencer said:

    Maybe what I really need is a bridge with faster auto focus, and a manual focus that's easier to control.

    With new technology advancing in leaps and bounds, you just might find one like that in the near future. I'm not sure current technology has gotten there yet, though. I will say that the extra zoom on super zoom cameras can often zoom you past the obstacles between you and the bird. My Nikon P900 has an optic zoom of 2000mm and has often gotten me past obstacles that are between me and the bird. The obstacles are still there but it's much easier to find enough of the bird for auto focus to lock on the bird and not the branch in front of it when more of the bird fills the viewfinder. I'm not promoting any particular camera, but in my experience, more zoom helps get me past obstacles that my DSLR and 100-400 lens might not be able to get past with auto focus. Having said that, I'd still reach for my DSLR before my P900 if was photographing a bird. The manual focus ring on the lens and the ease of adjustments on the camera makes the bigger, heavier DSLR more enjoyable to shoot with, even if it is only 1/4 of the focal length of the P&S. 

    • Like 1
  8. 16 minutes ago, Greenier Pastures said:

    Thank you... its actually the link within the page that doesn't work. I was able to get that far, just not far enough to locate a rescue near me. Thank you though, I appreciate the help!

    Try this link and see if you can navigate the website to find what you're looking for. A list of wildlife rehabilitators by state is linked at the end of the second paragraph.

    https://www.discoverwildcare.org/wildlife-resources/wildlife-rescue-guide/

  9. 10 minutes ago, Greenier Pastures said:

    Thank you... the link at the top of the page didn't work, so I figured I would give a post a shot. We do have dried insects, for the chickens, so I will put that in there for him until we can figure out what to do with him. He's hopping around in the brooder now, hopefully that's a good sign.

    I copied and pasted the info from the above link for you. Good luck with the bird.

     

    What should I do if I find a baby bird? What if I find a bird that is injured?

    Cute, helpless-looking baby or injured birds tug at the heartstrings of every bird lover. We naturally want to jump in and help them, but well-meaning attempts to help sometimes end up hurting the bird. Here are some guidelines to keep that from happening.

    BABY BIRDS WITH FEATHERS

    • If you find a bird with feathers all over its body (even though it looks like a baby and/or is being fed by adult birds) it is almost certainly able to fly and has left the nest voluntarily. Babies who have recently left the nest may be less afraid of humans than adults, making it appear that they can’t fly when they can. The best thing to do is to leave the baby where it is; the parents will be back to attend to the baby when you leave. 

    • If the bird is in an unsafe area (on a busy road, for example), you can move it to a safe location as close as possible to the place you found the bird. It’s better to remove such dangers as your dog or children than to move the bird.

    • Give the baby and its parents plenty of space and privacy and the parents will almost certainly return to the baby, or the baby will leave on its own. Check back later to reassure yourself that all is well. 

    BABY BIRDS WITH NO FEATHERS, PIN FEATHERS, OR ONLY PARTIAL FEATHER COVERING

    • If the baby is showing skin without feather covering, it may have fallen from the nest or been removed by weather or a predator. Try to find the nest and put the baby back in it. If you can’t find the nest, you can use a small basket or plastic bowl (with holes punched in the bottom) to make a replacement nest; line it with soft grass and secure it in a safe location, such as a tree branch, as near as possible to where you found the baby. If the baby feels cold to the touch, warm it in your hands before placing it in the nest. Give the baby and parents privacy and check back later to see if the parents return to care for the baby. Do not worry about touching the baby bird; most birds have a very poor sense of smell and will not reject a baby if a human has touched it. Having said that, only handle the baby as much as absolutely necessary to replace it in the nest and let the parents take it from there.

    Never give the baby bird food or water. Giving the incorrect diet can do more harm than good.

    ABANDONED BABY BIRDS

    • If you are sure the baby has been abandoned and is unable to care for itself, contact your nearest wildlife rehabber. It is illegal in the United States and many other countries to keep wild native birds in captivity; that includes trying to rescue babies, unless you have a license to do so. Caring for a baby bird requires significant knowledge and skill, and almost all amateur attempts to do so, even though they are motivated by caring and concern, fail. Follow the instructions you are given until the bird can be taken to the rehabilitation facility.

    • Here is a link to a list of professional wild bird rehabilitators by state. If you are unable to contact a rehabilitator, contact a veterinarian for advice and a referral to a professional who can help you. 

    http://www.wildcarebayarea.org/site/DocServer/9-16-10_correction.html?docID=381

    INJURED BIRDS

    • If you find a bird that appears to be unable to fly but has no visible injuries, remove any dangers from the immediate area and leave the bird alone to be sure it’s really injured and not trying to distract you or another predator. Some birds use this strategy to protect their eggs and nests. In addition, birds may be stunned after hitting a window but recover after a short rest.

    • If the bird has obvious injuries, contact a professional rehabilitator for help. Follow their instructions until the bird can be taken to the professional facility.

    • Here is a link to a list of professional wild bird rehabilitators by state. If you are unable to contact a rehabilitator, contact a veterinarian for advice and a referral to a professional who can help you. 

    http://www.wildcarebayarea.org/site/DocServer/9-16-10_correction.html?docID=381

    • If you must move or transport the bird, be extremely careful; many birds have strong bills and sharp claws and can injure you, especially if they are scared. Never attempt to handle a raptor if you don’t have professional training and experience.

  10. Looking forward to reading your trip report about your birding, since technically it's not a birding trip report without a report about birding. :classic_wink: Good luck with your turtle ID. 

  11. 7 hours ago, Abe said:

    I have a question regarding bird calls, and if playback sounds attract the same species.

    I was in the Tonto National Forest, Beeline Highway 87 (NE of Phoenix, AZ) on Apr 9, 2019 (yesterday) and heard an unfamiliar bird singing by sycamore trees along a creek. I knew a Brown Crested Flycatcher had been sighted in the area the previous year, on that date, although none have been recorded in Arizona in April so far this year, per eBird.

    So I played the Brown Crested Flycatcher calls using Sibley Sounds to see if that was the sound. Amazingly, the bird in the below photo immediately flew from about 100 yards away and sat in the tree next to me, however I think this bird is an Ash Throated Flycatcher because the bill does not appear large enough for a Brown Crested.

    QUESTION:

    1) Please confirm if this is an Ash Throated Flycatcher

    2) Would an Ash Throated Flycatcher respond to Brown Crested Flycatcher calls? (they sound quite different).

     

     

     

    I won't speculate on your flycatcher ID, I have a hard enough time with local birds never mind different species from different ranges, but I will speculate on the playback of the Brown-Crested Flycatcher sounds. I speculate, and I am no authority on bird calls, but I speculate that ANY bird might respond to a playback recording if they feel the bird they think they are hearing appears as a threat to their nesting territory. If an ash-throated flycatcher heard a brown-crested flycatcher getting comfortable in it's territory, it might try to discourage the brown-crested flycatcher from nesting in the same area and come looking for the source of the intruding sounds. Again, I am only speculating but I could see birds responding to other bird calls for territorial reasons.

  12. 48 minutes ago, IvoryBillHope said:

    Yes, Costa Rica is on the North American continent.  However, what we call the “North America forum” generally goes off the ABA definition, basically the US and Canada.  I’m fine with Costa Rica going either place, honestly.  The topics would likely get pushed off the first page and forgotten quickly if they were in the “North America forum”. 

    Thanks for pointing out the continental, and ABA, differences that I never considered IvoryBillHope. Perhaps to avoid/lessen confusion in the future, the name of this forum could be changed to something like, Birds Outside North America's ABA Area, and the main ID forum changed to North American Birds Within the ABA Area. I'm not sure if there is enough of an issue for @Administrator to consider these changes though, especially when there's already so many other changes being asked for by the members.

    • Like 1
  13. 12 minutes ago, MattR said:

    Surely Costa Rica is in North America and all these threads about Costa Rican birds should be in the North American forum. Likewise Panama. 

    At the minute they are swamping out this forum and the genuine Rest of World topics are getting drowned out.

    Isn't Costa Rica in Central America? That would explain why people are asking for Costa Rica IDs here in the Outside North America forum.

  14. Just now, Charlie Spencer said:

    I still haven't mastered manually focusing it; I'm only successful about a third of the time.

    I wouldn't spend a lot of time trying to manually focus a point and shoot camera, I haven't been able to manually focus successfully on ANY of the point and shoot cameras I have/had. Not only is it incredibly slow, I've never been able to get it accurate enough to produce a decent image. Manual exposure is a lot more challenging with point and shoot cameras too, while it can be done on P&S cameras, the controls are much easy to access and adjust on DSLRs than a P&S. Just saying.

    • Like 2
  15. MJ's seven year old granddaughter gave this to MJ today for her birthday tomorrow. Talented young girl that knows how much MJ enjoys the birds, which put a big birthday smile on her face.

    P8WvVCDl.jpg

     

    • Like 6
  16. I just want to point out, as a former moderator on a different chat forum, the mods usually have very little control/input, if any, over the construction or function of the website. Aveschapines does a GREAT job of moderating. I am not sure if she has the IT skills to change the forum setup, I am not sure if she is allowed access to the programming itself to make any changes, and I am not sure if she has anymore influence with Admin than us members do in persuading changes.. I am quite sure though that the crashes, and any faults we find in the current layout of the forums, should not be be dumped on her shoulders. Moderating is a thankless job, and as frustrated as we may be with the current function and layout of the website, Aveschapines deserves our thanks for her efforts, not our criticism.

    • Like 5
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