Photography & Photoshop

February Robin

This morning,  I looked out the back windows to see my yard filled with robins. They were the biggest, fattest flock of birds I have ever seen.   It was fun to watch them nibble and peck invisible delicacies out of the wet earth, their orange feathers glowing in the pink morning sun, sharp black eyes gleaming.

Naturally I grabbed my camera and tried to get some pictures.  I came away with a huge appreciation for wildlife photographers.  I neither have the equipment nor the patience.  I did manage to get a few shots through the window without scaring them off but nothing that came close to capturing the wonder and beauty of the moment.


But what I love about Photoshop is that I can make something nice out of a cruddy photo.   The picture directly above is the original picture.  I applied a Photoshop action by PhotographyBB to it which gave it a painterly effect that I like very much.

I may make them into note cards and give them as gifts to everyone I know.

26 thoughts on “February Robin

  1. You have actual ground? G.R.O.U.N.D.? As in, not obstructed by 15 feet of snow? We have lots of birds in Iowa, but they are all busily pecking at the snow. The birdseed from two days ago is under the latest half-foot. Poor birdies. (My favorites are the “snow birds”, i.e. juncos. You know, the ones Anne Murray sang about.)

    Thou art a lucky duck, AM!

  2. What a beautiful picture! You’re right, the painted effect works wonders on what otherwise would have been a nice (but maybe not spectacular) picture.

  3. Lovely picture, it answers something I’ve wondered for some time, more than once I have seen a mention about USA robins, and thought by the discription, they must be different from those in UK. Ours are small,
    solitary, and have brown backs and red breasts.

  4. I find that my unretouched photos also never capture the depth or color that I’m seeing with my naked eye, and I have to jazz them up to make them look like what I saw. Plus my camera makes everything teeny and far away, unless I max out the zoom, then it just makes it look as close as it looks WITHOUT the camera. Pfagh!

    The painterly effect is cool.

  5. I just love what you do with photos. I just downloaded photoshop and am trying to learn to use it. So far not doing very well. Any hints on where to start?

    * * *
    At first, PS is not very intuitive, but at some point it begins to make sense if you stick with it. I just get in there and poke around and experiment, that’s how I learn best, but there are also a lot of really good free tutorials on-line. When in doubt, Google. = )

  6. You totally should! You are very talented, do you have some of your cool photos displayed in your home? Or do you ever make an album? It would be lovely!

    * * *
    I have a four or five fotoflots displayed, which I think is the ultimate way to display the best of the best, would like to add more. I am ridiculously short on wall space in my house. Every wall has a door or window.

  7. you are sooooo smart..LOL…I looked out into my yard this morning too….and all I saw was a white sheet…of snow!!!! LOL…ahhhh but life is good!!! hugs to you from Ora in KY

  8. I wish you KNEW me, perhaps I could get a neat set of “note cards”. Ha Ha
    Nice thaw going on up here.

    * * *
    When I get these made, you will get my first set. You can use them to write me a note inviting me to your house so I won’t have to invite myself again.

  9. I like the first picture.

    Now shoo those Robins NORTH!!!
    It is time to see the first Robin of the season.

    Actually the orange winged blackbird would be nice. Once they appear there will be no more ice or snow storms that are of any size! It is true.

    We look for them before we look for the Robins in Illinois.

  10. This is so pretty. I’ve been wanting to work with Photoshop, but I always get confused about what version to buy. It seems like there are quite a few versions, and quite a price range. Do you have any suggestions for a beginner with a point and shoot digital camera (or do I need to wait until I get a DSLR?)

    * * *
    No, don’t wait. You can get plenty of good pictures with a point and shoot and with a little photo editing you can make some really cool pictures.

    Start with the hobbyist version, Photoshop Elements, whatever the latest version is (I think it is 8.0) if you have the money. If not, you could probably pick up an earlier version for quite a bit less on Ebay, or at Sams if you shop there — and still have as much photo editing horsepower that you need at this point. The professional version is called Photoshop CS4 and it is really pricey and at this point, I think it would be way more than you need and the learning curve is kind of steep.

    But in all honestly, you can do a lot with Picasa which is a free photo editing program by Google. Even though I have CS4, I still use Picasa a lot.

  11. They flew from my house up north to yours. . .seriously. . .about a week and a half ago, we had a MIGRATION of robins the likes of which I’ve never seen OR heard. We are surrounded by trees and they were literally DRIPPING with robins.

    And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that photo gone water color. LOVE it. With a lot of love.

  12. I was actually thinking that the top photo looked like a card. What a great picture, and a great idea to turn them into notecards!

    Lucky you with the robins. We got nothin’. Absolutely nothin’. And it may be a while until we see robins again.

  13. Hurrah for Photoshop! Sadly, our digital camera is being difficult, so all my photos are now taken on our mobile phones. Bad quality and almost impossible to photo edit to any satissfactory degree. Darn technology – how dependent I am on you!

    LOVELY photo, BTW. It will make a gorgeous card.

  14. Or you could make tons of cards and sell them on etsy…

    I love robins. Your painterly one came out very well. We are in the middle of reading the Secret Garden right now, so I have robins on the brain. I wish we had some here!

  15. I like the photo you took – with or without the painterly effect. It’s very nice and will make beautiful note cards.

  16. That is a lovely effect! I wish we had robins here, but we don’t. We barely have snow, but it’s still winter and kind of grey.

    Robins always make me feel so cheerful–especially nice fat ones. I’m sure worms don’t have the same response, but to me robins are the promise of what is to come. Which likely makes them a perfect subject for gift cards!

    Sheila from To Love, Honor and Vacuum

  17. I love, love, love your picture of the robin. I think they are one of my favorite birds, and sadly, I don’t see many of them here in Phoenix.

  18. Oh! I love the watercolor effect! I’m always in awe of someone who can take good pictures (or, take regular pictures and turn them into something beautiful). Nice job.

  19. See, half the trick is just knowing what to do with the photo and I LOVE the effect that you gave it! That particular texture would make fabulous note cards!

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