Thursday, February 16, 2012
Stop Avian Obesity?
Well, tonight I wrote a mid-term exam for a course I'm taking right now, and I did quite well! Last Thursday, I had a major assignment that had 56 questions over 16 pages, so I had no time to post over the last three weeks. A young university student asked me on Tuesday of the assignment due Thursday: "Did you start the assignment yet?"... Start it? I finished it last weekend. I can breath easy for a few weeks right now until the end of the course arrives, and I will be back into 'hiatus mode'.
Stop Avian Obesity?
A recent advertisement from a Detroit area pizza company featured a tag line: "Stop Avian Obesity!". There is a website http://stopavianobesity.com/ along with a youtube video below. The premise is that people throw pizza crust away because it's bland, and birds are now eating it. This pizza vendor offers flavored crust, diverting crust from landfills, saving birds from becoming overweight. I must warn you, it is silly, potentially offensive, well... just downright ridiculous. But I share it anyway because it is birdy:
If you go to the site, you can buy a t-shirt for 14.99. Also, they have an Indigo Bunting which they labeled as a "bluebird". I guess they didn't hire a ornithological consultant for this piece. I don't think one would have patronized this campaign. Will this add go viral? I think not.
I don't really use photoshop. Only on the rarest of occasions, have I "increased brightness in shadows" as you can see above in this in-flight photo of a Short eared Owl. Note the before and after results of this nice tool. My problem is that my computers are too slow and I don't really have time to do post-processing! Nor, am I very good at it. :^)
Brighten in Picasa:
I photographed this Mountain Bluebird near Shetland recently in very challenging lighting conditions. Its not a great photo, but considering it was (dim & cloudy) early morning, with some blowing snow and backlit, its not a bad photo. I had to increase exposure on my Canon 7D about 1-3 stops because the snowy background would have darkened the photo (to leave some detail in the snow) and underexposing the bird. Even with this in-camera adjustments, some brightening took place in Picasa. I've tried to keep the photo as 'honest' as I could but possibly some colour bleeding or distortion may have occured. BTW... This photo was from about 35m away, through a roadside wire-fence and taken handheld from inside my car. It is also heavily cropped!
On Jan 7th, 2010, I lifered my first Eastern Bluebird at Ojibway Park. The lighting conditions were horrendous, and the image below, while diagnostic is terrible. But, without increasing saturation and brightness, this bird would have looked like a European Starling (well, not considering the difference in silhouette ... but you know what I mean).
Good birding, its good to be back!