Showing posts with label Cardinals. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cardinals. Show all posts

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Review of Designing Collages and Composites in Photography

Putting photographs into collages is a fun way to display a grouping of photos.  In the grouping above I show a simple collage with a group of my bird photos.

Create a Simple Collage in Lightroom

The above collage is one that I created in Adobe Lightroom.  To make this collage I moved several of my bird photos to the Print option at the top left of the Lightroom screen and then followed the directions to add the framing and sizing.  You also have options to change the color on the frames and the background and to add some text.

Here is another collage that I made in the same way.


I belong to a Facebook group called "Create 52" where each week we have a theme to create a photograph and post it on the page.  One of our recent themes was called Collages/Composites.  I posted one of the collages that I made on Lightroom.  I then decided to try to stretch my knowledge and try some of the composites.  Many of the other members were posting some very interesting composites.  Composites are a very creative way of using your photographs.  For my first try I went to Photoshop and opened the collage of the Cardinals and then opened a texture that I had of snow.  I combined the two into one photograph and then changed the opacity to get the desired effect.  Here is the resulting photo.

More Advanced Composites

After seeing some of the other posts in our "Create 52" group, I decided to try some composites using multiple photographs.  I had been on a field trip with a group I help mentor in photography and we went to a local college and several students displayed their musical instruments for us to photograph.  I took several of the photographs and combined them into one design and then used a photo of some sheets of music for a texture.  Here are two of my designs.  Remember, I'm just learning but I think you can get the idea.

Creating your own Collages and Composites

If you are interested in trying one of these procedures there are a lot of tutorials that will help you online.  If you have Photoshop just search for tutorials for creating composites in Photoshop.  If you use other editing software just search online and I'm sure you will also find tutorials for them.  Many of the tutorials are on YouTube and are free.  You can watch them and pause whenever you need to review a step.  I have learned a lot on YouTube.

Zazzle Design from my Collage

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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Preparing for Winter's Backyard Birds

Backyard Bird World

It's time to review how to prepare your backyard for those charming birds that will spend the Winter months with us. It's not a difficult job, but it's a fun time to share the chores with children. Once the preparation is complete, you and the kids will enjoy a chance to see many different types of birds, even in the snow.

A Simple Preparation Process

Preparation for the Winter birds in your backyard involves a few easy chores.
  • Clean out birdbaths
  • Empty and clean all of your bird feeders
  • Repair or replace any damaged bird feeders
  • Fill feeders with a winter mix of seeds
Before you put away your outdoor hose, it's a good time to clean out your bird baths. Use a scrub brush on any concrete or porous surface baths in order to get any debris left. Then fill the bird bath with fresh water. And that chore is done.

Next tackle your bird feeders ( Make sure to empty any old feed and seed hulls. Clean them by either washing in mild soapy water, rinsing well, or wipe clean with a damp cloth.  This is the perfect time to check for any damage. Cracks in a bird feeder will only get worse with freezing temperatures. Repair the ones you can, but replace those you can't.

The last step is the most fun. Fill your bird feeders with good appropriate seed mixes. There are many options available on the market. Some are designed for all seasons, some are designed just for the winter months. So choose which is best for the birds that enjoy your backyard.

A Word About Birdhouses in Winter

Personally, I refrain from even touching my bird houses once they securely in place. Many of my backyard birds return to the same nest in the same house year after year. They handle repairing the nest as needed. I don't want to add my human scent to their protected baby-rearing home.

Choose a New Bird Feeder

www.Backyard Bird World
If I don't need to replace a bird feeder, then I choose a new one just to offer more feeding stations for my backyard birds. My favorite is a window feeder. I have several already, but adding another one just makes viewing the Winter birds easier.

Window feeders are mounted to the outside of your window with suction cups. Most are very easy to remove for cleaning and refilling. Once it's filled with food, the birds have no problem finding it.

So take a little time to prepare your backyard ( for the birds that will share Winter with you. The chores are not difficult and it's a great time to show children the value of backyard birds. Make it an annual family event.

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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Review of Tips on Photographing Backyard Birds

American Goldfinch
My husband and I both enjoy watching the birds in our backyard.  Our kitchen table sits in front of our sliding patio doors and gives us a great view of everything in our backyard.  I also enjoy photographing the birds and in this article I will give you some tips for photographing birds in your backyard.

Attracting Birds to Your Backyard

In order to photograph birds in  your backyard you first want to attract the birds to the area where you want to photograph.  Last week Review This contributor Susan wrote a great article on attracting birds to your backyard in her article Backyard Garden Birds: Springtime Review .  In order to attract birds you need to have things birds will enjoy like feeding stations, birdbaths and perches.

When you are wanting to photograph birds, you need to go a step further and analyze where you have placed the places where birds will land.  For example, you will want to look at what is behind the bird feeder that might also get into your photo.  Do you have an unattractive trash can or some other distracting article in the background that you will want to make sure is not in your photograph?  In my case I had my finch birdfeeder on a shepherds hook that I thought looked great, but when I looked through the viewfinder on my camera I realized the top of the hook went just over our back fence.  What I captured when I zoomed in on a bird perched on top of the hook was an ugly pipe sticking out of my neighbors roof.  With a little rearranging I was able to move the feeder a little closer in and now I have just the white fence as the background.

Fuscia Basket
I have found that adding some colorful floral baskets around the area where the birds perch also makes for some attractive photos.  I have a fuscia plant hanging near my hummingbird feeder and it helps to attract the hummingbirds. Hummingbirds are just starting to come to our area, so I'm anxiously awaiting to find a hummingbird on one of this beautiful flowers. 

Getting Ready to Photograph

In order to get good bird photographs on a regular basis you need to

  •  Be Prepared
  • Be Patient 
 We have a table near our sliding camera and I make sure I always have my camera sitting there and ready to shoot.  One of the best times to photograph birds is in the early morning hours.  They are most active the first few hours after sunrise, so in the evening I set up my tripod in front of our sliding doors so that I am ready to shoot in the morning.  You can photograph birds with a hand held camera, but if you want to capture those birds in flight or get a great closeup a tripod and a remote shutter release are very helpful.  I had both on when I captured the photo below.
To capture birds in flight, set you camera on a tripod and focus the camera just off the feeder.  This way you will be able to photograph the birds as the fly to the feeder or when they are leaving the feeder. Now comes the second part, you sit quietly and wait for the birds to fly into your focus area.  I often click the shutter several times before I get a bird all the way in the photo.

Look  for Interesting Habits

I have found the bright yellow Finch that come to our feeders to be especially interesting.  Sometimes we have as many as eight on our feeder with several more perched on a nearby hanger or on the fence waiting their turn.  I like the birds in this photo, note how the one on the feeder seems to be warning the approaching bird to stay away.
Backyard Goldfinch

Best Time of Year to Photograph Birds

Although you can photograph birds all year long, I find the springtime and winter to be two of the times when I am able to capture my best bird photos. 

  •  In the spring the bright yellow finches are in abundance in our area and are very enjoyable to watch and photograph. 
  •  A bit later in the spring and summer the hummingbirds will start to flock to the area.  They always make for some great photos
  • In the winter, my favorite birds to photograph are the Cardinals.  I love the way their colors stand out on a drab winters day and when it snows they puff up and look so majestic.

Pair of Cardinals at Icy BirdFeeder Card
Pair of Cardinals at Icy BirdFeeder Card by mbgphoto
Create unique personalized photo note cards from

I enjoyed making cards out of my bird photo's.  The one above is of a male and a female Cardinal sitting on an icy birdfeeder.  The card below depicts the American Goldfinch photos.
American Goldfinch Card
American Goldfinch Card by mbgphoto
View Goldfinch Cards online at zazzle

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”

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