Pictures by Walter

A View With Every Picture


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Image Manipulation!

Image manipulation causes quite a “stushie”, “stooshie” as we say in Scotland. (Stushie/stooshie = tizzy, fuss, much ado about…).  Images on FB have been labelled (incorrectly) as being “photoshopped” as if that was a heinous offence.  Adobe Photoshop is the undisputed champion for image manipulation, in fact skilled users can create a photographic image with a photograph being taken.  Without doubt Photoshop is powerful, complex and the bees knees for image manipulation.  I do have Photoshop CC s part of the Adobe package, but I do not use it.  Why you ask? (Okay so you may not ask 🙂 ).  I use Adobe Lightroom with Google Nik collection add-in. Lightroom is the digital equivalent of the old chemical “Dark Room”.  I shoot in RAW format ,despite the fact that the modern DSLR creates a very acceptable JPG image, and use Lightroom to adjust the RAW (digtal negative) to produce the finished JPG export via Tif (used for printing).  I have installed the excellent Nik software plug-in into Lighroom so I am able to do the extra tweaks to the image to bring out the details, colours and contrast from the original image.  The original image of “Bath Time for Junior”, taken with a Nikon D5300 fitted with a Sigma 150-500 (1:5-6.3) zoom lens and taken through the double glazed window in my living-room.  ISO: 640, f/6.3, 1/200 sec at 500 mm.  Camera was set up for RAW and for neutral image colour.  Image below is a straight non processed of the RAW file from Lightroom.
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I started in Development mode in Lightroom I selected: enable profile correction; remove chromatic aberration; constrain crop.  In basic mode (development) I reduced highlights to -74. At this stage I opted to edit in Colour Effex 4 (Nik plug in).  I used three presets and tweaked as required, Extract detail ( minimum), Pro Contrast (Dynamic Contrast – corrects colour cast and contrast), finally Darken lighten centre.  This resulted in the finished image below:

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No cloning, no removing or adding details simple tweaks to bring out what was in the original image.  Yes I do image manipulation, no I do not photoshop I have no need to  – I use Lightroom.


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Bath Time for Junior

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) can be entertaining, noisy and at time a pest. I am either blessed or cursed as they visit my feeding stations regularly – especially at this particular time of year.  It is the time of the fledglings – and this year’s crop are as noisy as last year’s and the year before.  Great entertainment watching the parent scarper about fetching food and the fledgling being insistent that it is fed.  However it is also the time of parting as it is the time when the fledgling is abandoned to its’ fate.  One second it is being fed, the next – it is no longer.  Time for it to feed itself and become a feisty bird.  Sadly this year I have not had the usual colourful garden birds however, the Starlings have made up for them.  Yesterday I captured on camera a fledgling experiencing a bath in my water feature.  Sometime working on a computer near the window has its’ compensations.

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At the Feeder 11th May 2016

I go away for a night and two days and come home to find I have a dead PC  or rather a system op corruption.  Thankfully I have all my data and installation discs backed up and kept safe.  Mind you it has taken since Sunday 8th to Wednesday 11th to get the system back up to speed.  Thankfully the system was the one in my living-room and I could always get distracted by watching the birds that visit my simple garden.  Truth be told I think that may be the reason why it took so long to get the system back up.  I sat watching a small Coal Tit (Parus ater) as it made a meal of a sunflower seed.  Later in the afternoon I watched to Starling (Sturnus vulgaris) as they had an after meal bathe.

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At the Feeder.. 29-4-2016

“Chez Walter” feeding station is now attracting the smaller garden birds along with Magpie (Pica pica),   Starling (Sturnus vulgaris), Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus).  The ravages of winter have been repaired, though some work remains.  Broken feeders replaced, water features repaired and new gnomes adopted.  The larger birds soon came back as did the Starlings. However the smaller garden/woodland birds had not been seen since September last year.  Today 29th April “Chez Walter” had 7 specie of birds to the feeders.  First (as usual|) was the;

20160418-_DSC8517-EditWoodpigeon (Columba palumbus) in the rain

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Two special birds returned: one small garden bird the smallest Tit in UK :

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One of my firm favourites the Coal Tit (Parus ater).  The little bird flits in and out very quickly, pausing for s second or two to check out the area for danger.  Makes a quick flt to the feeder – usually for the Sunflower Seeds, gets one and flits out again.  Rarely does it pause to eat the seed in my smallish trees – it heads fro higher and safer spots.  A welcome return wsa also extended to a larger woodland bird the Collared Dove (Streptopelia decaocto). 20160429-_MG_8030-Edit

Whilst the little Coal Tit is mostly Grey and black with white patches, the Collared Dove is almost all grey with a pinkish-buff Collar-band round the neck.  Perhaps a bit bland for most tastes however in sunshine the birds feathers take on a lustre and the ruby eyes  light up and sparkle.

 

 


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Birds of a Feather….

I make no bones about it I can sit for hours watching common garden birds at a feeder.  I have been known to sit and just watch the Blue Tits, Great Tits and Chaffinch flying into and out of the various feeders without taking a picture.  Mind you that  could not be said at a recent visit to Bellymack Hill Farm – AKA – Red Kite Feeding Station on Sunday 10th April.  I took over 570 images that day.  I was using a Nikon D7100 and a Sigma 150-500 Zoom:

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Think I’ll have to go again as I’m still not that happy getting birds in flight that and the fact that the flying display by these birds is mesmerising to say the least.  20160410-_DSC4523However I do have a pc set up near my living room window  and keep a camera near to had to capture the garden birds that visit my feeders or in the case of the Starlings – raid my ground feeders of meal worms.  Today I managed to get a shot of a starling showing the hidden colours of the bird.  Some people that the starling is a dull black. I did an extra processing step to bring out the details a bit better, picture on left was teh normal edit the picture on right the enhanced edit:

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