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lonestranger

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Everything posted by lonestranger

  1. I think this is something that should be emphasized throughout the website, maybe even pinned somewhere. *hint hint @Aveschapines, @Charlie Spencer...tries not to be obvious...fails* While codes are helpful to those that know them, and know all the exceptions associated with them, codes are totally useless and often confusing if you don't know EVERYTHING there is to know about them. Strictly speaking for myself of course. 😉
  2. Since the intention is to get feedback from people that see the species frequently, and since it is not foreign to North America, I see no reason to move it.
  3. As someone recently pointed out, common names can vary depending on location. Different languages make it difficult to use common names, thus the need for scientific names when dealing with international ID's.
  4. I can't speak about the spotting scope but I'll share my thoughts on hauling a big camera and tripod around, which is pretty much the same thing. First of all, tripods can be a pain in the butt, but I think they're worth it. Obviously there's the added weight and bulkiness to contend with so I don't use mine when I am just out walking around, I use mine when I plan on spending most of my time in one general area that's not too far from the house or car. When I do move around I leave the camera on the extended tripod with the lens oriented so that it points downward when I close the legs and balance the rig on my shoulder. I don't travel far with the tripod on my shoulder and I ALWAYS make sure the camera is secured and locked in place EACH and EVERY time. When I want to walk away from the camera for more than a few seconds I spread the legs wide open so the camera is only a few feet off the ground to maximize stability. When the tripod is set up properly I am confident to leave it while I do other things, but I try to prepare for the "what if a dog's leash wraps around the legs" kind of situations, probably because that happened to me once, and once was enough to teach me my lesson. To me, having a tripod to hold my camera while I do other things is one of the advantages of having a tripod, it frees up my hands to do other things, like balancing my other camera on top for stability when using the super zoom. Like most aspects of birding, there's a trade off to be considered, is the added weight worth the added range? Being a huge fan of long lenses and getting as close a view as possible, the added weight is worth it to me.
  5. I use Lightroom for most of my processing, cropping, exposure, etc. I also use Pixelmator for some of my editing. I have also recently started exploring my Mac's Photo program since the latest system update left one of my other programs, Picasa, inoperable.
  6. I am far from an expert but I am glad to share what I can. When I process a photo I start by cropping to get the composition I want which usually involves zooming in until the bird fills a majority of the frame without hitting the point of pixelation. I try different crop sizes and decide on one that suits the setting, posture, and activity of the bird for artistic purposes, when desired. Once the image has been cropped I adjust my exposure and contrast, often starting out with the software's Auto setting and seeing if I like the simple one click adjustment for exposure and contrast. If I don't like the Auto adjustments I will undo them and make my own adjustments, starting with exposure and contrast and then working through my other adjustment options depending on the software I'm using at the time and how creative I want to get. There's some trial and error in finding the right settings, but the Auto adjustment usually gets it pretty close most of the time. I don't have a specific workflow or really know how to explain what I am doing except that I try to emphasize the bird in the photo in a pleasing composition. After cropping and tweaking the image, I export the image. This is where I set the image quality to 100% and resize the image if I want to upload it. I never resize to a larger size, I only reduce image size for uploading to websites like Whatbird that don't allow for high resolution images. I'm not sure that helps but that is the simplified version of my photo processing. Sorry for the delayed reply but I started this earlier and just got back to finish it now.
  7. Saw my first Red-winged Blackbirds this morning. MJ heard them a few day ago but this was the first sighting of the season for us.
  8. Cropping always helps with bird photography, in my opinion, unless the bird fills the frame appropriately for the desired results from the original photo. I crop all of my photos so the subject is large enough to show the details I want to share. I don't want a picture of a tree with a bird in it, I want a picture of a bird in a tree, if that makes sense. Now there's limit there, if you need to crop an image to the point that you are only left with a thumbnail sized image or the image gets distorted with noise/speckling, well you've cropped too much for the size/quality of your image. There's also the issue of Whatbird compressing uploaded images, an image that needs to be zoomed in to see good detail on your computer won't zoom in the same when uploaded to the website. If an image is cropped before being uploaded, there is less compression likely to happen and the need for zooming in is greatly reduced. If you crop and resize(two different things) your photos, you can reduce or eliminate the compression effect and maintain more of the original image quality.
  9. Good point @Charlie Spencer. If @Candydez12 hasn't already done so, she should set her camera to take the largest photos possible. Although it makes for large file sizes and fills the memory card quicker, larger photos have more pixels to work with and leave more pixels and detail after cropping.
  10. I think we should all start doing that, and for you dirty old men, I don't mean ogling the young ladies. After picking a winner, the photo provider should post their own caption, too.
  11. I just realized that I may have erred in saying the video was for Windows 10, it is for Windows but I don't use Windows and can't be sure the video is applicable for Windows 10. If the video seems outdated to your operating system, a google search of "How to crop a photo in Windows (insert your version # here)" should provide the right info for your operating system.
  12. I'm not sure how you're cropping your photos or what software you're using, @Candydez12, but this video shows you how to do it in Windows 10, which you may find helpful.
  13. Had I read this post first, I wouldn't have said the same thing in the previous post I read.
  14. I agree. I think @Candydez12 is looking for more from her camera than the camera can provide. While I don't want to sound discouraging, if the bird is just a speck in the viewfinder and barely visible, it's probably not worth taking the picture. While a quality camera used with the proper techniques might be able to catch detail that can be extracted from distance shots like this, it's not easily done even with the best of gear in the hands of the best photographers. It's one thing to take a photo of birds on the other side of the street, it's another thing to try and take a photo of birds at the far end of a football field. Binoculars might not capture the detail like a camera does, but they will probably provide better viewing and allow you to see more detail than the camera can capture at those longer distances.
  15. Good question @gstacks. If asked, I would refer to a Canada Goose with something like, That's a Canada Goose, except when there's more than one and then my brain would wrongly change my response to, Those are Canadian Geese. Don't ask me why I have no problem saying Canada Goose when there's only one but have such a hard time pluralizing Canada Geese. Canadian Geese just rolls off the tongue easier than Canada Geese for me.
  16. Cutting oranges in half and mounting them out in the open where they're visible to migrating Orioles passing through might help lure them to your yard. I suggest using halves instead of slices, halves won't dry out as quickly as the slices that dry out from both sides, and halves can be rehydrated with water or fresh orange juice. Suet cages can also be used to hold the orange halves and prevent them from being carried away by squirrels, which also like oranges. As for buying an oriole feeder for nectar, I would recommend one myself. Orioles will frequent hummingbird feeders but the perches are usually too small for them, which makes for some pretty entertaining attempts to get nectar but usually the feeder tips enough from the Orioles weight that the nectar starts to pour out of the feeding ports. Oriole feeders are designed for the heavier Orioles and have the bigger perches to accommodate their size. Hummingbirds will also take advantage of an Oriole nectar feeder so yeah, I'd recommend getting one.
  17. Don't ignore me when I'm talking to you!!!
  18. Perhaps because they don't know everything there is to know about birds like you do, but maybe they know enough to question things they're not 100% sure about, or maybe they just want verification of what they THINK they know. My question is, Why question anyone that doesn't speak with confidence when they ask for help?
  19. I think in this case, the main reason for not seeing the rump would simply be that the bird is facing the wrong direction.
  20. I believe @The Bird Nuts will be choosing a new bird sometime today.
  21. Thanks for the reminder @Bird Brain. I pick @Kerri's CPR post as the winner.
  22. You might try uploading your video to youtube and then share the link here. Your video should be viewable without any need for downloading it.
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