The Time of the Young Birds

This time of year, if there is no wind or rain I can enjoy and hour or so just sitting in the conservatory looking at the garden. It is the time of the young birds, the Blackbirds, Starlings, Sparrow and Dunnocks. They often collect in the garden in the hope of being fed by their parents or anyone that may feed them, they don’t care.

You can see the young Blackbird just sitting there no idea what is going on around them, or rushing out from behind a plant pot as a parent passes by with a worm, shouting I am here feed me. Or trying to get another young Blackbird to feed them, sometimes even an adult Sparrow. Watching an adult in the bird bath then deciding to have a go themselves, but not sure what to do once they are in the water. Sometimes you get a young Blackbird from an earlier brood that try’s to get fed as well and gets chased off, only so it can come back and try again.

Young Starlings arriving in numbers, with or without Adults, then just stand around picking things up then dropping them again, including food. You can imagine them thinking ok its in my beak what do I do with this now. Sitting on the hedge trying to pull petals off. Suddenly disappearing on mass as an adult flys by.

The young Sparrows and Dunnocks relentlessly chasing the adults around, sometimes getting chased off as they have got the wrong adult. Sometimes joining the young Starling groups being just as hopeless. Flying off into the hedge almost too late as a cat arrives.

Playing with old images.

Over the last 14 months, I have not added many new images to my collection, so I have been revisiting some from years past. I have been looking mainly at landscape rather than wildlife. A landscape does not run away!

This started from spending time revisiting and improving Photoshop skills and knowledge using YouTube and other sources, often revisiting some instructors I have been following for years. I have also spent a good amount of time improving my Final Cut Pro skills but have, as of now I have few past videos to develop.

The following images have been edited in Photoshop using Tony Kuyper’s Luminosity Masks, f64 Zone System, Selective Colour adjustment layer, and other Photoshop techniques.

If you want to see the YouTube subscriptions I use, then search for PiXimperfect, Photoshop Training Channel (PTC), photoshop CAFÉ, f64 Academy, Max Kloskowski, The Joy of Editing with Dave Kelly. These are the main places I visit regularly for reviewing and learning Photoshop and Lightroom skills used with my wildlife and landscape.

Three recent samples below (yes a wildlife image slipped in)

Update Finally

Although I have not added anything to this blog for some time, I have been busy working away at home, especially now during lockdown.

I have been tidying up my work area, getting rid of lots of “well it may come in useful later” items. Funnily I found loads of stuff I had forgotten I had got so it would never have come in useful later. Although I thought I had a system for storing and backing up files it had got a little messy. So, getting that back in order also took time. Especially when it came to adding keywords to my images and removing incorrect ones like a mouse as a keyword for a Robin.

As a break between these tasks I have spent a lot of time on tutorials covering a range of topics, programming with Python, Photography, Photoshop (technical and creative), Video editing with Final Cut Pro, Video Recording and creating titles etc. using Apple Motion.

There have also been some updates to software I needed to get my head around for example TTG’s Backlight 3 came out that I use on my website to show albums of my images.

As a result of this, I have re-jigged my website, the main page is now my personal images. wildlife etc. I also noted as I created some new videos that my YouTube channel had over 20 videos but I had done nothing to customize the channel so it could stand on its own, this is now also in progress.

So now all that is awaiting is content. Old images I can work on but new content will have to wait till we are further out of lockdown.

Please checkout my website and youtube channel.There are links there to my flickr and facebook social media.

Maisie, a mouse and the hedgehog feeder

At least we know a Hedgehog will use it, although this time Maisie had been in first and had some of the meat (bowl behind bricks). She is more interested in collecting friends and letting them run lose in the house.

We keep telling her they don’t want to be her friend, but as fast has we put them back outside she brings them back in. In this case she was back out again in 15 min so we are hoping she dropped it before the cat flap.

 

Mouse with a Death Wish

This Mouse was brought in by Maisie, then left to roam around downstairs, probably overnight. I noticed it in the morning when it came out to rummage around the carpet for food. It was not bothered about me, if I moved it ran under the settee then was out again within a minute or two. Finally after ignoring the traps and wandering around the carpet for 20 minutes or so it finally got caught. But when taken outside it proceeded to run around with the ground birds gathering food. It did this on and off for the next couple of hours.

Videos edited using Luma Fusion on the iPad

 

YouTube

I have started adding the few videos I make to a YouTube Channel.

These can be seen here

Mostly they will be of wildlife captured and edited using different hardware and software. Not sure yet which software i will finally settle on but its looking like Lightworks for the ease of trimming.

The hardware – Canon 5D Camera Mk II or Mk IV, Go-Pro Hero 4, iPhone 8 with DJI Mobile Stabilizer and a HD Camera Trap.

The Software – Lightworks 14.5, Premier Pro CS6, Photoshop CC 2018 and Premiere Elements 2018.