Lens-Artists #96: Cropping the Shot

This week, Patti has asked us “show how cropping helped to improve an image and create a desired effect.”

I enjoy wildlife photography and even though I usually use a zoom lens the animal or bird I am photographing is often too far away to get a good close up. I crop many of my wildlife photos in order to make the animal the focal point of the image.

Here is the before image of a Ruby Throated Hummingbird at a feeder. The hummingbird is the focal point of the shot but he is too far away to see his face clearly and there are too many distractions around him.

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Original Ruby Throated Hummingbird

After cropping the photo, I was able to get the desired effect of a closeup of the bird without all of a extra space around him.

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Cropped Ruby Throated Hummingbird Male

All this spring I’ve been watching a  pair of Painted Buntings who come by my feeder almost daily. This week was the first time I was able to get some photos of the female. In the original image she’s too far away and I didn’t like having the bird bath in the shot.

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Original Female Painted Bunting

After the crop, the female Bunting is the star of the show.

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Cropped Female Painted Bunting

The before picture of a Blanket Flower in my garden is ok, but the bricks and mulch take away from the vibrant colors of the flower.

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Original Blanket Flower

When I cropped the photo into a square, the colorful flower takes center stage.

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Cropped Blanked flower

Many thanks to Patti for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Cropping the Shot

 

Throwback Thursday #16 – January 16, 2012

We’re not traveling as much in our fifth wheel anymore so I thought it would be fun to relive some of our most memorable days from previous RV trips. This January I am highlighting our January, 2012 snowbird trip to Florida.

Part 3 of our January, 2012 RV trip around Florida

On this day eight years ago, January 16, 2012, we were camped in Everglades National Park in Flamingo, Florida. This was the southern most location of our 2012 snowbird journey.

One of our favorite drives in Florida is Highway 41, a National Scenic Byway which goes  from east and west through the Everglades. We stopped at the Oasis Visitor Center in the Big Cypress National Preserve for a look at the alligators before continuing on to the Flamingo Campground in Everglades National Park.

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We stopped at the Oasis visitor center on Highway 41 to check out the alligators

Our first time camping was three years earlier (more about that stay at Throwback Thursday #13 – December 5, 2009). The big difference between our 2009 visit and this visit was they had added electricity to some of the sites. There were only a few electric sites and they were available on a first come basis so we made sure to get there early enough to score the last one! Woo hoo!

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Hawk hanging around the campground in Flamingo

The sunrise was spectacular over Florida Bay.

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Sunrise in Flamingo, Everglades National Park, Florida

The birding was also spectacular.

Flamingo is remote, natural, and wild. My kind of place.

 

Lens-Artists #69: Seeing Double

This week, Tina has challenged us to focus on things that come in twos.

I enjoy taking animal and bird photographs. As I searched through my archives I came up with a few of my favorite animal and bird pairs.

Animal pairs are fun to capture. These two Irish sheep looked right at me as if posing for this photo.

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Pair of Irish Sheep

A pair of Scottish Highland Cows, Hamish and Heather, came to the fence to beg for some free food.

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Pair of Highland Cows in Scotland

These next photos are some of my favorite pairs of birds.  The photo at the top of the page is a pair of Bald Eagles we saw from a wildlife and glacier cruise in Valdez, Alaska.

Pair of Whooping Cranes
Pair of Whooping Cranes on Texas Gulf Coast
Pair of Ospreys on the nature trail
Pair of Ospreys on the nature trail, Gulf Islands National Seashore at Ft. Pickens, Florida
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Pair of great egrets at St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery

Many thanks to Tina for this weeks Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Seeing Double

 

Throwback Thursday #2 – August 8, 2006

We’re not traveling as much in our fifth wheel anymore so I thought it would be fun to relive some of our most memorable days from previous RV trips.

Flashback to our first RV trip in the summer of 2006. On this day 13 years ago, August 8, 2006, the Wandering Dawgs were enjoying the wonders of Yellowstone National Park, America’s first national park.

That day we watched Old Faithful erupt and drove the Lower Loop Road where we saw Bison herds (American Buffalo), waterfalls, and spectacular scenery. It was one of our most memorable days from all of our RV travels.

Old Faithful
Old Faithful (Wyoming)
Bison in Yellowstone National Park
Bison in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)
Lower Yellowstone Falls in Yellowstone National Park
Lower Yellowstone Falls in Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming)
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Waterfall along Yellowstone Lower Loop Road
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View on Lower Loop Road, Yellowstone National Park
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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Bison at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
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Wandering Dawgs at Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park in 2006

We spent about a week camping outside of Yellowstone National Park and spent most of those days exploring the park.

 

McQueen’s – Tybee Island Trail

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy nonprofit organization has created a nationwide network of trails from former rail lines. The McQueen’s – Tybee Island Trail near Savannah, Georgia is one of the those trails. The gravel trail is a popular place for walking, biking and jogging.

The trail suffered extensive damage in 2016 when Hurricane Matthew came through the area in October. Less that a year later, Hurricane Irma caused more damage. The work to repair the damage is still not complete and parts of trail are closed.

As of now, the only access to the trail is a parking area at the trailhead near the entrance to Fort Pulaski National Monument.  Starting at the trailhead, we walked until we came to a damaged bridge that still can be crossed safely. In all we went about about a mile and a half round trip.

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The bridge to Fort Pulaski National Monument as seen from McQueens – Tybee Island Rails To Trails, Savannah, GA
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McQueens – Tybee Island Rails To Trails, Savannah, GA
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McQueens – Tybee Island Rails To Trails, Savannah, GA
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McQueens – Tybee Island Rails To Trails, Savannah, GA
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This bridge was damaged during one of the storms that went through the area
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A great place to sit and enjoy the view
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Driftwood in the salt marsh beside the trail

We spied some wildlife along the trail.

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This little diamond back terrapin was crossing the trail in front of us
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Great blue heron in the salt marsh beside the trail

It was a gorgeous March day to get out and explore close to home.