"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Monday, 6 February 2012

A Few "Rubbishographs" of Garden Birds

I spent an hour yesterday morning trying, rather unsuccessfully, to take some photos of birds in the garden. The light was poor and high ISO meant grainy images, the birds were really too far away for a 70-330mm telephoto lens and none of the pictures were very sharp. Matters could have been even worse as I managed to trip over the tripod at one stage only just saving the camera and lens from "death on a concrete floor" at the last minute!!

Apart from cropping on some of the bird and moth and insect photos, I don't really bother editing my images and I fear the mysteries of "Photoshop" will remain mysteries but last night I did have a slight play around with the Olympus software that came with the camera that I use for the cropping.

Here's a totally unedited photo of a coal tit

The same photo cropped

The same photo with the brightness and contrast adjusted - well its still a poor picture but I think the editing has slightly improved it.

The following photos have all been cropped and had the brightness and contrast adjusted - they are still not very sharp but look slightly better than the original unedited photos.

Blue Tit

Robin hiding amongst the shrubs - I must have another go at taming a robin - its remarkably easy, with lots of patience, to get them feeding from the hand if you tempt them with mealworms which they find totally irresistible.

Another of the coal tit

Feral pigeons followed by a wood pigeon that spent hours guzzling seed on the bird table

I know I've made this comment before but there is no doubt that collared dove visits to the garden have dropped considerably athe same time as feral and wood pigeon presence has increased dramatically over the last few years. I do wonder if there is a connection.


Anonymous said...

Don`t knock your photos, Caroline. They`re 100% better than some i`ve seen.

Lucky that the camera didn`t hit the floor. That would`ve crtainly hurt.

The Woodpigeons that feed in my garden always bully the Collared & Stock Doves off the seed.

Ragged Robin said...

Thanks Dean - your comment has cheered me up! Sadly, the family think a lot of my photos are not very good and when I visit some blogs I am left speechless at how good the photos are!

When the tripod went I couldn't believe how fast I moved! Think I would have made a good goalkeeper!

Yes, the wood pigeons do chase other birds off but the ferals are the worst! Its a shame the stock doves didn't visit yesterday but I'll try and get a photo if they return. After reading your blog I must look for signs of a brood patch!

Rohrerbot said...

I love the shots. I have the same issue with the pics. The cropping sometimes works and other times it's the contrast....but the grainy drives me nuts! So it's the ISO I need to mess with....I'll have to try it because I get frustrated after the outing to discover that the shot was good but the grainy effect was still there. Thanks for sharing and you really have beautiful birds around your birdfeeder.

Ragged Robin said...

Many Thanks Chris.

I am not sure what camera you have but my Olympus hates low light but then I have the problem that any ISO over 800 is really grainy (as in Blackcap pics).

I also don't have image stabilisation which creates problems with hand held shots with the telephoto zoom!

Its fun to practise and experiment with the camera though and nice to have a record of birds you see even if the pics aren't brilliant :D