Monday, November 10, 2014

What you saw you shall keep

I wish it was that simple when it comes to photography, especially bird photography, to keep the photos of the birds Cynthia and I just saw and had taken pictures of. Of course, in reality, that is rarely the case. Even if we had all the settings correct, the odds of getting that perfect image are still in the hands of fate. But then we consider ourselves only so-so bird photographers and definitely not in the league of those who do these things for a living. Still, in one of the workshops my wife and I attended way back in 2006 held by Bob Steele, one of the best bird photographers in the United States, what he said stuck to our minds. His advice was to "spray and pray" - meaning to shoot as many pictures as you can of that particular bird and pray that at least one of your photos would be acceptable enough. Very practical advice, if I may say so. Despite doing this practice of "spraying and praying" there were still times when Cynthia and I could not keep some of the photos we had just taken. It was either too dark, there were so much foliage covering the bird, it was a bit blurred and a thousand other reasons. Another thing is that I am not that good at "photoshopping" (Cynthia leaves this aspect of photography to me). I could make minor adjustments to the photo and even clone out a distracting branch here and there but to be able to alter an image is totally beyond my abilities.

By and large though, our photographic adventures had been fruitful. We had gotten some pretty decent pictures of birds, sometimes even during adverse conditions. One such occasion was on our recent trip to Antipolo. In open situations, the lighting was a bit harsh, and in other circumstances, it was too dark under the shade of tall trees. In spite of these, we were able to keep most of what we saw. Here are some of them:

Pied Triller

Collared Kingfisher
Golden-bellied Gerygone
Grey Wagtail
Long-tailed Shrike

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