Sunday, January 04, 2009 11:20 AM
I'm not one for New Years resolutions, but one of the things I am going to make a concerted effort to improve is my photography. I enjoy it, and lord knows we certainly have plenty of great photo opportunities. For Christmas, my adorable husband loaded me up with wonderful equipment, lenses and a fancy new flash. Now, all I have to do is learn how to use it all. Yikes. There are hundreds of photography applications online designed for all kinds of adjustments and enhancements for digital photography. For now, I am concentrating my efforts on making the best use of my equipment and taking the best photos possible so that the computerized alterations are minimized. I've got books and DVD tutorials to pour over, but the best way to learn is through trial and error and experimentation. Yesterday, I focused my efforts on a few of the beautiful birds that grace our yard every day. Because our house is flanked on either side by two uncleared jungle lots, we have a lot of wildlife coming to call. These photos are cropped but otherwise completely unretouched. I don't think National Geographic will be calling me anytime soon, but I was pretty pleased.
Golden Fronted Woodpecker (adult male)
Tropical Mockingbird (adult male)
Hooded Oriole (adult male)
Hooded Oriole (juvenile)
One of my other favorite Christmas presents was an excellent birding book "A Guide to the Birds of Mexico and Northern Central America" by Steve N.G. Howell and Sophie Webb. The plates are very clear and well illustrated and the book is very thorough. At 800 pages, you won't be tucking it into you back pocket for use in the field, but for anyone who is interested in photographing birds and properly identifying them later on, I can't think of a better resource. I am still on the look-out for a good book with photographs, rather than illustrations, just to be able to double check my identifications. Any suggestions? I can't wait to put all this to good use for our trip through Guatemala in April!