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Old Jun 11, 2009, 9:02 AM   #1
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Default Cardinals (and others)

With my favorite baseball team doing so poorly, I decided to consult some experts on the question. They agreed to listen carefully.



There was some skepticism, even distrust, at anything critical of the Cardinals



The solution? More energy food....like high-energy sunflower seeds



Must've worked....Cards finally broke their losing streak...plenty of reason to stand tall...and maybe even do a little happy dance




Paul
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 9:11 AM   #2
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Mostly familiar faces around my yard the last couple of weeks...so I decided to try for some different types of pics, mostly portraits





But I did get one flight shot I liked as this little Tufted Titmouse departed the feeder



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Old Jun 11, 2009, 9:58 AM   #3
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Great series Paul,

how close do you get to them ... personal fav's are 1 - 4 - 6

Ronny
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 10:03 AM   #4
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Fantastic photos. But I think the most amazing aspect of these is how you got them to pose for your captions?

I'd be happy to get the Cardinals in my area just to sit still for any pose.
Nice work!

Jim
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 10:30 AM   #5
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Great series Paul,

how close do you get to them ... personal fav's are 1 - 4 - 6

Ronny
Thanks, Ronny & Jim.

I was sitting in a lawn chair with no camo about 20-25 feet away. As long as I remain relatively still, they are generally not too skittish because they see me there so often. The woodpecker, in particular, will stay for ten minutes or more as long as there are plenty of sunflower seeds. I was shooting with the K20 and the Bigma. I had to use NR software on each of these because the day was mostly very cloudy and I had to shoot at high ISO to have a chance at flight shots. (still only got the two relatively decent ones)

Each is cropped to about a third of the original frame.

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Old Jun 11, 2009, 1:39 PM   #6
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Very nice Paul,
I think #1 is fantastic!
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 4:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Trojansoc View Post

I was sitting in a lawn chair with no camo about 20-25 feet away. As long as I remain relatively still, they are generally not too skittish because they see me there so often. The woodpecker, in particular, will stay for ten minutes or more as long as there are plenty of sunflower seeds. I was shooting with the K20 and the Bigma. I had to use NR software on each of these because the day was mostly very cloudy and I had to shoot at high ISO to have a chance at flight shots. (still only got the two relatively decent ones)

Each is cropped to about a third of the original frame.
Hi Paul,

A great series!!!

My only criticism would be the smoothing of the feather detail done by the NR software. I have used NN and NI in the past, but have found they smooth out feather detail too much, even at minimal settings. I've found better ways (to my eyes, at least) to clean up the noise with the K20 especially. With quite a bit of experimenting, I've found that a little background smoothing with PSP's Edge Preserving Smooth, selective low intensity incremental sharpening with Focus Magic and High Pass Sharpening, and incremental downsizing, gives me pretty clean to very clean images with optimum feather detail for printing or posting up to ISO 3200 with the K20.

I am, of course, talking from the perspective of

1. a guy who is primarily a bird shooter, and
2. a person who has a lot of time for PP (which I also like to do),

so YMMV is very operative here.

-- and the fact that I'm a White Sox/Cubs fan, nor the fact that my 2 most significant ex's were from St L did not play any part in this critique. . .

Scott
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 6:03 PM   #8
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Fantastic photos. But I think the most amazing aspect of these is how you got them to pose for your captions?

I'd be happy to get the Cardinals in my area just to sit still for any pose.
Nice work!

Jim
Paul

I am in agreement With Jim. They are fantastic photos.
And like Jim My Cardinals are Very Fast to Leave the minute they detect Me. So i can Never Get Close enough To get shots of them. Same goes for my Crazy Woodpecker that loves to Peck on the Coolant line from My Central Air System.

Phil
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 7:35 PM   #9
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Paul,

All very nice shots. Great series!

I agree with the others, I cannot get anywhere near my Cardinals when they are at the feeder. I think it is because I have Hawks that periodically swoop down on my feeder and take birds. The only thing that works for me is to set the camera on a tripod and use a remote from inside my house.

Lou
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Old Jun 11, 2009, 8:36 PM   #10
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More good news for the Cardinals....the baseball ones, that is. I don't think the feathered ones would be enamored with the news. I was attending a raptor demonstration this afternoon at the Little Rock Zoo, and met this four year old bald eagle. He was removed from a golf course as a young juvenile because he kept harassing the golfers and stealing their balls. He can't be released to the wild because of excess human imprinting. Instead, he is slated to make his living at St. Louis Cardinal baseball games. He's going to be trained to do a stadium flyover and hopes to make his debut as a representative of Anheuser-Busch and the Cardinals next spring.



Thanks for the comments on the Cardinals from the yard. Technically, all the Cardinals are Northern Cardinals, but maybe the reason mine are so familiar is that they've learned Southern hospitality, and it'd be just downright "tacky" to fly away when someone wants to take your picture.

Paul
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