Swans Up Close and Personal

Tonight I returned to the photos that I took at Encanto Park a couple of weeks ago. I got quite a few of the swans and ducks that play around in the water throughout the park, and while they are pretty mundane shots (who doesn’t have photos of these ducks and swans??), they are giving me the opportunity to just play around with some of the features of Paintshop Pro that I haven’t used very much.

While I like to shoot bracketed images and process them as HDR’s, it’s not always possible to do that with moving targets, so I have to adjust my expectations when processing single-image photos, and try to tease out all the detail possible.  This shot of a swan was a bit of a challenge.  The white feathers under the almost-midday sun were almost blown out on the swan’s back, although the neck area retained a good bit of detail.  I like how the water droplets on the neck area show up as well:

I played around with dodging and burning on this one, as well as some of the Level functionality.  I lost count of the number of times I hit “undo”, but it was all about experimentation tonight.  I’d like for these photos to be more than just snapshots–we’ll see how well I succeed.

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Gulls over Ensenada

Finally got a few hours to spend processing  more of the photos that we took while we were on our cruise back in April.  On the third day of the cruise we were docked in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico.  In the late afternoon we went out on deck to watch the sunset, and we found that there was a very stiff breeze blowing, with sustained winds around 20-25 mph.  We noticed that the seagulls, which always accompanied the ship while in port, were flying into the wind as they came close to the ship, and for the most part they were simply hovering in the air with their wings widespread.

I had the telephoto lens on my camera, and managed to get some great shots of these beautiful birds in the late afternoon sun as they circled around us.

The full-size version of these photos can be seen on my Flickr site in the set titled Gulls in Flight. They were all shot as JPG files and processed in PaintShop Pro X3.

I haven’t been able to get out with the camera lately, and now it’s beginning to get really hot here in the Valley.  I have a four-day weekend coming up for the Fourth of July, so I’m hoping to spend some quality camera-time then.  I miss it!

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