Yes. This is the Gallery of C.R.A.P. (Completely Ridiculous Awful Photography). This is a gallery of humiliating failures. I have great admiration for those folks who have the patience, tenacity, equipment, and skill to capture consistently great wildlife photographs–especially birds. Shooting birds with a camera is usually an incredibly frustrating activity for me. Birding = Fun. Bird photography = Fail. You don’t believe me? ahahha. Prepare yourself for the worst photography…EVER! But why keep you waiting? Here we go.
Let’s start with feeder birds. That should be easy, right? I went to The Wilderness Center near Wilmot, Ohio on March 2, 2011. See? It’s even recent. Am I just starting out? A newbie photographer? No. I have had my Panasonic Lumix FZ-10 since 2004. Yes, and I have been shooting failed photography ever since. There are big picture windows facing a pretty good feeder system. What could possibly go wrong?
If you look closely, you’ll see a deer has come to the feeder to make sure I don’t get bird photos. Did someone pay the deer? Sigh.
Although this is not a horrible photograph (it’s not great either), it is certainly not a bird. I am here at the bird feeders to try to photograph…ahem…birds. Yes. I am drumming my fingers. Not so much patience here.
I decided I wanted to try to get some good shots of American Tree Sparrow. It’s a small bird that only visits Ohio during the winter months. There were lots of them coming in to the feeders after the deer left–and the squirrels.
Uh-oh. This whole photo looks blue. And dark. And a little fuzzy. Not to mention the background detracts from the intended star, the American Tree Sparrow. Sigh. Cool filter fail. Slow shutter speed fail. No problem. I can fix that.
See. The photo is much brighter now–much better color. I am using spot metering to capture my specific targets–the birds. I don’t care as much about the background. Here, I was able to get the center of the photo just above the head so that the camera tried to focus on–the background. Fail. And even the background is a little fuzzy. My fingers might have been too heavy on the button. Who knows? I am even using a tripod. But the result is umm, not what I wanted.
This photo is at least sharper. But by either squinting at the larger photo or looking at the smaller version of the photo above, is the bird really the center of attention? It really mixes in well with the background. And wait–the feeder. Is someone holding their camera a little lopsided? Yes. Yes, he is holding the camera crooked. The feeder looks like it is leaning to the right. Besides, this still looks like a shot of the feeder with only a hint of the bird. Sigh.
This one turned out much better. The photo is still a little soft, but the subject is in good lighting and is far more prominent as the star of the photograph. I was even lucky enough to get a little light reflecting on its eye–something that makes a bird photo appear more “alive”. It adds interest.
But that’s the Tree Sparrow story. Here are some other failed shots from the day of feeder watching. Some of them you cannot even tell what I was shooting. Enjoy.
Well I have taken both better and worse photos. The one advantage of doing photography for me is I have some hope of identifying the bird at a later date clearly not your problem.
Your sense of humor makes the photos both interesting and fun.
Your failure at bird photograph is applaudable. Very daring to present the tree swallow. Your appeal makes me realize I’m not the birder I’m said to be. Ask anyone. The deer looks tasty. @BirdmanKI
Greg the one thing people don’t tell you about photography is that even professional photographers will take hundreds of pictures and hope to get a handfull of good shots. I make a point of snapping off probably 10 pictures of any bird I am photographing (thank God for digital cameras). Then use a program like Window’s Picture Gallery to crop the picture, straighten the picture, etcl.
Thank you so much for posting those pics…now I don’t feel so bad!
For me it’s not all about the image of the birds, but the chance to get out and enjoy nature.
The beauty of birdwatching is finding what makes you happy. The reasons people love birds is as varied as the people who take it up.
Yep. Your photography is terrible. However you ability to ID birds is exceptional.
I’m getting ready to go on a trip to Vegas… You have no books out? I’m looking at Amazon…
No. Sadly, I have not written any books. There’s a book that has my name in it a few times (The Big Year by Mark Obmascik). Check out http://birding.aba.org and click on Nevada to get the latest bird discussions and sightings. And you can check for nearby good birding hotspots at http://ebird.org/ebird/hotspots. Click on the pins to get a list of birds and directions.
Okay, but if it makes people laugh so hard they cry, because they know what this is like, is it really so bad, after all? I mean it brings a little light into this dark world. Albeit, fuzzy tungsten light. Sorry, couldn’t help it.