Graduated Blowups

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In amateur photography, a lot of fun can be had in simply blowing up photos in  graduating sizes. It can be an educational process, as well. Sometimes when focus on a subject seems certain, one can learn from a blowup that he wasn’t quite as focused in for his shot as he thought. Blowups can teach one something, after all.

The first picture in this post of a Canada Goose was isolated from the original picture of two birds (BELOW) and blown up to feature him alone.

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And (BELOW) are two other blowups in graduated sizes also made from the original picture.

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In digital photography, one may easily recognize that focus must be absolute to ensure a focused blowup. As demonstrated in these particular blowups, although the first picture of the two birds together looks quite focused, there is considerable pixel loss in the graduating blowups, causing a loss of focus that at first seemed certain.

A correctly focused example follows (BELOW):

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The original photo was taken right through the railing of the bridge, while the camera was focused correctly on the geese. The railing faded out and the geese stayed in focus as the camera followed them. Therefore, the two graduated blowups are perfectly in focus on the geese, as well.

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Credit:
Photos and blowups from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg.

 

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Walking On Water

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Watching Canada Geese come and go on water is a photographic challenge because they do it more quickly than the other two birds pictured — Skimmer gull (ABOVE) and, especially, the White Egret (second picture BELOW).

The Skimmer sort of glides (skims) along as he scoops his beak down to snag a fish, then sprouts his wings to get up in the air with his prey. The fellow pictured here missed the fish he spotted and left to search elsewhere.

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The White Egret is a very patient fishing machine. He will stand in one spot for many minutes at a time before he hops up and floats to another location a short distance away. He’s an easy photo op once his habits are learned.

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Canada Geese do everything seemingly frantically as they approach, or leave the water, so their quick movements are hard to follow with amateur photography equipment.

These photos were all taken at the Maumee River near the bridge in Napoleon, Ohio.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Blue Herons and White Egrets Fish Their Fill

If you’ve never watched a Great Blue Heron, or a White Egret, fish, you’ve missed some wonderful entertainment.

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Both these hardy fishing birds have substantially long beaks which they use amazingly easily to snatch swimming fish (Close-up ABOVE).

The snaps (BELOW) show that the heron occasionally will swim around branches, rocks, or other river obstacles, to hunt for his fish.

(BELOW): Once disturbed, off the big bird goes to another favorite fishing spot!

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The snaps (BELOW) of a White Egret were taken from the other side of the width of the Maumee River, north of the bridge at Napoleon, Ohio.

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(BELOW): An Egret generally changes his fishing venue more often than a heron, even if not provoked. He will fly-hop along the shoreline to find suitable fishing locations.

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Credit:
All Photos in “My Special Photos” are out-of-camera and completely un-retouched from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

 

 

 

Birds In the Air

The Great Blue Heron (BELOW) is a shadow in the sky above the bridge in Napoleon, Ohio. Notice how his long, long neck is pulled into an “S” as he flies high. The heron’s equally long legs and stick feet fly straight out behind him as he glides along.

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(BELOW): When he lifts off, the Great Blue Heron displays beautiful, incredibly huge wings of purple-blue edging and relatively small, fan-like tail feathers.

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(BELOW): Pigeons that live under the bridge give their own impression of shades against the sky. They regularly give a fly-by show around and under the bridge as a troupe.

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(BELOW): The Great Egret shares fishing space with the Great Blue Heron. They rarely argue on territorial water rights.

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(BELOW): Notice the Great Blue Heron’s head is straight up, and that’s because he/she just watched the Great Egret fly over his/her head and land in front of him/her.

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Turkey Vultures, or “buzzards”, as the ones (BELOW) are easily recognized on the ground for their red, bare-skinned heads. But in high flight, they display silver-gray outer flight feathers and black feathers in front, while their white, short beaks are more visible than their red heads. Highly predatory, Turkey Vultures flap and soar in circles above prospective ground prey.

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(BELOW): Geese fly above the Maumee River at Napoleon, Ohio.

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Flower Keepers

Every Spring, Summer, and Fall, flowers are placed in huge concrete containers at each end of both sides of the Napoleon bridge and in the designated circle in the “Veterans Park at the Bridge” located just off the Southwest side of the bridge.

Here are a few beautiful looks:

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+++++Credit:
Photos from the personal and copyrighted collection of Barbara Anne Helberg

 

All Alone

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This stubby little fellow seems to be seeking companionship. He usually travels in a flock!

I didn’t know exactly what type of bird he is and couldn’t find him in my bird book until a friend suggested he was an American Coot. And that he is! American Coots are more of a Southern bunch, so seeing this single fellow standing alone near the bridge in the Maumee River at Napoleon, Ohio, was quite the rarity.

Though stubby, this specimen can dive under water as far as 10 to 25 feet to find food, mostly seeds, roots, and leaves, as well as small fish.

Geese Gathering

Last evening, my geese gaggle decided to invade the low-lying yards along the Maumee River’s shoreline just SouthWest of the bridge. They climbed up the rocky embankment, using their wings as balancing tools, then gathered in the delicacies offered within the groomed and grassy, golden yards.

Getting ready for the embankment climb

Getting ready for the embankment climb

King of the yard!

King of the yard!

Just an embankment between him and Kingship!

Just an embankment between him and Kingship!

Then there was this fellow (series of seven pictures above) who kept approaching the embankment but was unable to find his climbing courage. Finally, cleverly, he found a much less steep slope to negotiate.

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All in all, a good time was had by all!