Posts Tagged photos

Masked

No, I don’t mean layer masks in Photoshop, I mean on the Cedar Waxwing’s face.  I’ve seen pictures of these birds before but until this day did not think I would ever see one live let alone enjoying oranges.  The waxwing part of their name comes from the bright red wax-like droplets on the tips of their wing feathers.  They look ready for a masquerade party with that black mask across their eyes.

(I hope that Mother’s Day has been a pleasant one for everyone; DH doing all of the cooking has been wonderful.  I know that there are many of us who no longer have our mothers or that special mother figure and that makes the day bittersweet and my heart goes out to those moms who have lost the ones that called or would’ve called them mom.  I miss my mom but I give thanks that I am called mom and nana.  I am thrilled that Facetime and Skype were invented so that while I’m not there with my progeny who live about 7 hours away, I can still see and speak to them.) 

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Seymour

Seymour is a Great Horned Owl and the biggest owl I have ever seen.  She has been a resident at the sanctuary since 2004 as she had fallen from her nest and broke her wing making her unable to fly; she is used to educate people about owls.  Seymour’s feet are quite feathery unlike the other owls I’ve shown but she still has those vicious looking raptor claws.  The wind was starting to pick up while I was photographing Seymour causing her feathers to get ruffled you could say but there was always this one feather that stuck straight up while he others fell back into place;  you can see it in the photos.

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Athena and Monty

Athena is a beautiful American Barn Owl and a bit of a Grande Dame at the sanctuary.  She has been with them for a long time and is about to be retired soon to a life of leisure – not having to be on display.  Capturing her image took some maneuvering and patience.  She was high up in a pine tree (wonder how they put her up there) and beside having to wait for a good pose, there were other people there taking her photo as well as tree limbs blocking her face as the wind blew.

That’s not to say that an image with the subject being  partially obstructed isn’t a good image.  Those shots have their merits too as they can tell you more about where and what was going on when the shot was taken.  I just wanted to capture all of her clearly because she was so striking on her perch.

While Athena was high in the tree, her European cousin was on the glove of a handler.  Monty here is a European Barn Owl and while they look very much alike (heart shaped face and those dark eyes) Monty and his kind are bigger which is something to say considering owls, no matter how feathery they look, really weigh very little.  Owl facts: The reason they can fly so quietly is because the edges of their feathers aren’t smooth but are somewhat comb edged which breaks up the air rushing over their wings making them much more stealthy.  Barn owls are also the most widely distributed species of owl in the world and they don’t hoot, they shriek.

Another interesting fact is that while we humans have seven vertebrae in our necks, an owl has fourteen which is how they can bob their heads around and do that head turning thing they do so well.  Also, both owls and hawks eat their prey whole but hawks can eat every bit of their prey while owls cannot digest fur or bone hence those owl pellets they spit up.  Interesting…

 

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Purple Fuzz

‘Scuse me while I kiss the sky…

(Anyone know what kind of flower this is by the way?)

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Color and Monochrome – Why they both work

Yesterday I featured this tulip in black and white and today I will compare it to it’s original color version.  In my opinion, both images stand well on their own “stems” (pun very much intended) for similar and different reasons.  With a color image the eye immediately takes notice of the colors – the white, yellow, pink and then green.  From there you begin to take in the entire image; the shape of the tulips petals, how they are arranges and the patterns in the petals.  I’ve found that while my eyes do notice the colors and the striations on the petals, I am drawn right to the center of the tulip by the leading color lines of the petals.  But what about the monochrome version?

In black and white, the eye is still drawn to the shape of the tulip and it’s petals and they do lead your eye right to the center of it but there are differences.  Obviously there is lack of color to attract you but that is replaced by the shadows and the contrasts; the darks and lights in the image.  What stands out more in this image than the color are the details of the tulip.  In monochrome the the variegation and the middle line in each petal revealed better.  Also the textures of the stigma, pistil, anthers etc. really stand out in monochrome as compared to color.  The texture of the anthers (those black stick like parts) really pop in black and white.  Viewing them close up in this version they remind me of used coffee grounds.

As stated early in this post, they are both good images for similar and different reasons.  Can you think of any other ways that they are the same or different?  Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

 

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Orange and Yellow – Orange and White

 

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Nana strikes again!

The six of us (me, son, daughter in law, grandson #1, granddaughter and grandson #2) went to Denny’s for breakfast because someone was seriously craving some sausage, eggs and pancakes.  That person shall remain nameless but I bet you can guess who 😉  We hunkered into the big semi-circle booth and placed our orders.  That day I taught grandson #1 the joy (and yumminess) of putting an over easy egg on top of some hash browns and digging in to get a bite of both – he is now converted!

But as the little one lay there quietly sleeping I was seized by the urge to photograph his sweet innocence in some mischievous ways.  One day when he is older and sees these he will laugh…or not.

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