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Challenge: End-of-May Update

5/23/2024


Migration has come and gone; although the fact that it ever really got here is up to debate. This post is about the photography challenge, though; not my old, sour grapes.


As it has been a minute since my last photo challenge update, I will backtrack to March. March's photo was well received. Off the top of my head, there was not really any feedback on it. That I was a guest judge automatically halved feedback. The biggest thing is that a lot of people knew it was my photo before I even claimed it. Apparently, I have a "style". It is one of those things I have not actively considered and most definitely have not worked toward. I would not know where to begin. Regardless, my photos within the group are recognizable. For recap, here is the photo. The challenge was a creamy, smooth background.


April.... The challenge was "bird behavior". I needed to capture something that epitomized a bird being a bird. This is wide open to interpretation and could include things like: preening, feeding, displaying, flying (although not all birds fly it is one of the first things people associate them with), or even something like copulation. I headed out a number of times in March and April looking for something that looked... birdy? I also had a number of images from India to consider. My plan was to not use one of those. I did not want to be the "hey, I went to India" guy. I also failed to take anything before the end of April that I felt good about submitting. I had options, but I was considering holding them until later in the year. There are a few challenges that I am concerned about getting good shots for. The photos I was considering could help fill some of those gaps. Maybe I am being paranoid. Anyway, I fell back on a shot of a displaying Indian Peafowl.

I think this easily qualifies as behavior. I am not a huge fan of the photo. It was late in the day, and lighting was poor. The bird was also distant. I think the photo suffers a bit for those things. I am still not sure the color balance is even correct on this photo. For the end of year review, I plan to replace it. Feedback was generally positive. Based on the feedback, the photo should be cropped a bit tighter. I have room for that. Also, the photo looks overly sharpened along the bottom edge of the feathers. I could fix this a selective mask, but I plan to leave it as-is. I will adjust the crop and re-post the correction in the group. Not that I do not appreciate the feedback, but I do not plan to put a lot of effort into a photo I will replace. So, something like this.

I am not sure what to replace it with, but I think something like this Worm-eating Warbler is a much higher-quality shot, and it meets criteria.


This brings us to May. There is a week left, and we are heading into the weekend. Weather looks a bit iffy. May's challenge is a singing bird. There could not be a better time for this challenge than May. There should have been tons of migrants and local breeders to pursue. Well, there were not a lot of migrants. This means falling back on local breeders. The challenge here is how to: 1. Not fall into the trap I did last month with worrying about future challenges 2. Worry about future challenges. There are things like habitat/birdscape shots to plan. There is the eye-level challenge, a flight challenge, and then a perched challenge. This is, of course, excluding the difficult challenges like flock and framed. I have shots for a number of these, but they could be used for singing. So... who knows? I have not decided on a shot yet. So, I cannot really share one. Here are a few possibilities.


We will have to see what I come up with. This is my last weekend to shoot something for May. Let's hope I come up with something I am excited about.


If you found your way here and are reading this. Thank you. I appreciate you spending your time to read my posts.


Thanks for reading,

Mike




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ThinkLikeAPoet
a day ago

Beautiful shots! What a nice looking bird. The pond is a great spot to get in close to him. I didn't realize he was stressed but we did notice his annoyance with the gnats. I wonder where he will go next and can only hope he gets back on track and is healthy.

Anne Nelson

Suka
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