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.
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)
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.
This was made from a video I shot recently using my iPhone and a spotting scope. The video was made with the free version of Lightworks. I used the free version to compare it with others I have used. The trimming of clips etc is very easy, but using text and effects has taken a bit of getting used to. As to whether I will continue to use this, well the jury is still out
Monday at RSPB Leighton Moss I thought I would try digiscoping again. The main issue was the vibration even though everything was mounted firmly with a hide clamp. An issue that is all to common with wildlife photography was the Otters arrived performed and went 15min before i got to the hide.
I placed the wildlife camera in the same place to see if I could capture more video of the Stoat. After three days all I had was the Pheasants, then on the last day 5 2min videos of the Badger. Mind you I had also sprinkled a few Peanuts.
Very impressed with the speed of the focussing and the image quality even at high ISO. I used it at Chester zoo the other day on Shutter priority with auto ISO. I wanted to try it out and I am very impressed. Next testing is Manual and auto ISO. But the speed of focussing even with my 100-400mm lens was what really impressed.