Photographing birds is addictive. That's the only way to explain the urge to keep taking photos of the same kinds of birds in the same places, day after day. I mean, after all, how many photos of a bird on a branch does someone need? I've asked myself that many times, and I've come up with excuse after excuse....it's relaxing, the bird may be in a different pose or different light, and I can use those photos in different situations. The bird may move a certain way, and I'll get a shot I haven't gotten before. As I look back on these photos, I see so many that are so similar, then I turn around again and ask myself what was I thinking? I'm telling you, it's an addiction!
Since I obviously can't seem to stop this habit of sitting outside and photographing our fine feathered friends, I've started asking myself, what ELSE can I do with these simple photos? I've come up with a few ideas, and I thought my fellow bird photography addicts might find these useful.
#1 - Put Your Bird With Flowers
Flowers and birds go well together. Because I have so many photos at different angles on bare branches, it's usually pretty easy to find one which can be composited into a vase with flowers, or onto a branch with flowers which I photographed previously. I also will place a flying bird in with some flowers...it adds interest and color.
#2 - Put The Bird With An Object
Put the bird with an unexpected object, or in a still life scene. Once again, due to the variety of angles and poses, it's often easy to find a bird photo I've taken which will fit with an object.
#3 - Put Your Bird In A Window
If you have photos of house windows, barn windows, store windows, etc., the window sill or window opening is great place to put your bird!
#4 - Put Your Bird In A Nest
I collect fallen bird nests I find, and I photograph them on a plain background so I can easily integrate them in with a new background or interesting texture. I also have purchased bird nests at the craft stores - some of them look very realistic!
#5 - Put Your Bird On A Stump...
Put the bird on a stump, rock, or other natural element. I often will photograph plain stumps, large rocks, leaves, pine cones, etc, and later work a bird into the art with those elements. It gives them a natural place to perch, yet something different than the standard location where I usually photograph them.
#6 - Put Multiple Images Of The Same Bird Together
Put multiple images of the same bird into one image. I often get multiple images at a time of one bird, especially if that bird is active. It's usually easy to put multiple images into one when the shots are made at the same time, in the same lighting. And as long as the bird doesn't have some super obvious identifying feature, no one will know the birds in your art are all the same bird!
#7 - Dress Up Your Bird!
And finally, if you really want to get wild with your creation, dress up your bird! Give the bird a hat or some human clothes to wear. This creates a more whimsical, fun work of art which will make people smile. :)
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Recommended Tutorials on You Tube
I have found a number of great video tutorials over the years on working with masking, layers and working with textures in photography. These are some of the ones I've watched which I recommend:
• Blend Modes & Masking in Paint Shop Pro
• Photoshop Tutorial: Layers and Layer Masks for Beginners
• Layer Masking in Photoshop With Textures
• A Breakdown of Blending Modes | Photoshop Tutorial by Aaron Nace
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