Saturday, July 13, 2013

Personal Photo Challenge~Birds

I changed my mind. A woman's prerogative, right?

This photo was the reason I wasn't going to participate. The only birds I've seen around lately are crows. Still I was willing to give it a try, especially when I read that I could show the birds interacting. Crows interact a lot. 

Then they got very angry with me and bombed my house, which was a nasty kind of interaction. I kid you not. John had to go out there in the rain and wash the house down. I shudder to think what would have happened to me if I had been out there with them. As it was, the photo was taken through the window and came out terribly. I'm blaming the crows. They are highly agitated, up-tight birds who never stay still.

PicMonkey provided the color focus (highlighting the interaction) and the raindrop texture. I provided the terrible photography.

~ ~ ~

Wait a minute! I have had some relatively decent bird photos on the blog. Let's see, there was the *eagle* I found perched in the treetop. PicMonkey's weave in textures helped him a bit.

Then there was the *chickadee,* my personal favorite. I used the auto adjust at PicMonkey. The bokeh was my own.

Finally, I had a little *cowbird...*

The Orton Effect at PicMonkey really made his colors pop. 

So the moral of this story is that cheating playing can improve a photo. If you don't believe this, just click on the name of each bird to see the before.

Thanks, Donna. My thinking has been stretched again. I've learned that I can use my car as a blind for taking photos of birds, that I can lure them in with food, and that I should focus on their beady little eyes.

See what others are sharing here at Donna's Personal Photo Challenge.

Love Vee


  1. LOL, I really wondered if you could stand sitting out for this challenge! So I had a great chuckle this morning when I saw your linkup! The photo and the story of the crows are too funny. And you went the extra mile to do special effects! I think the interacting crows were plotting their bombardment - ha! I really like the embellishments on the other photos too. The colorization from the Orton effect on the cowbird is wonderful! That sweet little chickadee photo is darling. And our grand national symbol, the eagle, is always a thrill to see.

    Thank you, Vee, for changing your mind to join in, and I'm glad that you got your mind stretched once again! That is music to my ears.

  2. I think picmonkey has done a great job of livening up your photos. They all look great.

  3. Trial and error...the best teacher in bird photography! I've had my share of bad shots, too. I've never used Picmonkey...looks like I should check it out. Thanks for including it in your post.

  4. It's hard to find the good side of a crow. They pretty much look the same no matter which way you get them. Like grackles, they aren't very attractive and they kind of creep me out. They certainly are enemies of other birds, and I hate hearing them around here in the treetops sometimes. Hunting! Well, I like the chickadee the best. I seldom have the patience to wait for a great shot.

  5. I think capturing a decent bird photo is VERY challenging.
    You have worked wonders with PicMonkey. That cowbird transformation is amazing.

  6. Great post and links for this challenge! I must try picmonkey. I love the abstract feel to the crow shot...really, it is great, very interesting. Enjoy your day!

  7. I have a crow story, too. They really are noisy birds. They used to hang out in hoards at our house until I saved one who had it's wing stuck in our chain link fence. After that they disappeared from my house for over a year...I kid you not. They'd go make noise at other houses in the neighborhood. Now some of the "new crows" don't know my house is off limits and are starting to show up again. I like to think they were rewarding me for my act of crow kindness...
    Love your fixed up photos. I really like the chickadee shot!

  8. Good laugh to start the morning...packing is getting old!

  9. Vee, I laughed at your crow story. Lots of them here too. We have a "Disabled" crow. He is 4 or 5 years old now. Always is with his two parents- he is physically disabled (can't fly well, hops everywhere) and I believe he has mental challenges as well! Just doesn't act "normal".. Very interesting to watch and his "caw" is even weird... We know right where he is at all times as he has a very distinctive call...
    Love your other photos and how you were able to improve them with Picmonkey... Glad you decided to join in the fun...

  10. It really is fun to take a less than perfect photo and see what you can do with it in Picmonkey. We have a lot of crows and ravens here in Florida...not my favorite! But an eagle is a rare sighting! Love the sweet little chickadee peeking at you! What fabulous photos! You've made my day! Hugs!

  11. Very nice photos! PicMonkey is a great tool. My daughter keeps bugging me to change to PhotoShop (that's what she uses) but it's just too complicated (I think).

    1. I use both, but find PicMonkey very user friendly.

  12. We had so many crows in the early spring, it was deafening to go outside! I wonder where they go...they're not here anymore.

    Your photos are beautiful! I could stand to learn a bit about editing. This is a wonderful shot of the eagle.

    Have a great weekend, Vee!


  13. You did a fine job, Vee!

    I cannot stand crows unless they're stuffed and sitting on my mantel for Halloween, har har.

    I chase them out of my yard often enough they finally gave up and left. Seriously there I was a few times a day, broom in hand screaming like a banshee. My neighbors must think I am nuts. Well, they know then 'cuz I AM.

    That eagle pic is absolutely amazing.....and chicadees are so cute they make my heart crunch a little, so so cute. I don't get those. I should read up on them, know nuttin' about 'em!

    Have a great weekend!

  14. I like the crow photo and and what you did with it in PicMonkey. I use that too sometimes to enhance my photos, especially birds. There are lots of crows in my yard too.
    I do like the cowbird too!

  15. Love them all. The eagle amazing. I personally ADORE crows. They're brilliant.

    Chickadee is heartwarming.

    Love, love,


  16. That eagle is magnificent and even the old cowbird looks beautiful. Great photos. I'm glad you participated. I just didn't have the time or energy. We have a lot of crows around us and they are so annoying with their constant cawing and chattering. Are you getting any sunshine there today? It's gorgeous here. Enjoy!!

  17. This post is delightful. Gotta watch out for those bomber crows!!
    The little chickadee is posing just for you, so sweet.

  18. Hi Vee
    I'm glad you found some birds to share and crows can be of interest. I like watching the grackles chase them out of an area, the whole while nipping them in the behind!
    Your shots turned out just fine, and playing with PicMonkey textures is fun.

  19. Hi Vee - thanks for the link to this challenge. I entered it for the first time - and as I live on an Island I'm especially looking forward to August's challenge of water! I'm surrounded :)

    We have tons of crows here too - they're very noisy in the morning :( but certainly clever individuals! I'm not surprised they attacked you - did you know that a group of crows is called a "Murder"? :)

    I'll have to check picmonkey out.

    Happy Saturday!

  20. Hi Vee,

    I LOVE what you achieved with Pikmonkey and your bird photos!! I've only seen cowbirds at a distance, so I didn't realize how colorful they really are! I adore the little finch; that one is definitely my favorite. Of all the birds that come to our feeders, they are the least aggressive -- such dear little things.

    Thanks for sharing your techniques with us. If I ever get a good opportunity to take more bird pics, I'll have to try these out. :)

    Hugs To You,

    Denise at Forest Manor

  21. Mentally picturing God looking at the tweaked photo...
    Well, He coulda made the cowbird all colorful like that if he had wanted too, but save that extra effort for Vee to take care of.

  22. The crows look like they are having quite the conversation. Thanks for all the bird pics and a link back to your previous bird posts. This has been fun. Sorry about what the crows did to your house. ~ Abby

  23. I love the crows - I don't think it is bad photography at all. They indeed are a bit jumpy and I almost jump for joy when I get a good shot. Love all the other photos too - you did good.

  24. I see you have had a lot of fun playing with your birds! I must go over and see what all can be done at PicMonkey. I have good intentions...but never seem to get there!

    You captured the crows quite nicely! We had our roof cleaned this spring...which took away all trace of the visiting crows. They've been very busy over here ever since...and the roof has been painted by the crows once again.

  25. Hi Vee!

    What a fun post - and a good learning post! I'm looking forward to checking out PicMonkey! I loved the Eagle - so beautiful, and the Chickdee was precious!


  26. Thanks for making me smile. Great pics! Blessings

  27. Vee, I can remember crows converging on my childhood home. They are quite noisy. I love the chickadee pic, especially.

  28. My favorite is that of the chickadee too. They are such cheerful little birds! Yours looks particularly friendly, as if he were posing for you!

    Good for you, joining in Donna's photo challenge. I considered trying it this month, but was intimidated about "bird" photography. Unlike your chickadee, my birds rarely pose. I tried to take a photo of a hummingbird at one of our feeders yesterday, but I wasn't close enough to get a clear shot. Need to learn to use the longer lens...

  29. Vee
    You've made me laugh again!
    I can just see you sitting in your car, with your camera, throwing popcorn out the window calling 'here birdie, birdie'.
    Anyway, you got your pictures and they turned out well. Picmonkey is a wonder and so much fun!

  30. Pretty bird photos! Isn't PicMonkey a fun tool? I also like to play around with Photoscape.

  31. I Vee, your photos of birds are wonderful. I enjoy PicMonkey too. My mosaics today were made with PicMonkey.

    Sorry I have been MIA. There's lots going on here, including a possible move. Funny how those things can make everything come to complete halt.

    I'll write about it soon enough. Have a beautiful day.


  32. you came up with some great photos for the challenge

  33. Love these...if PicMonkey ever goes down, it'll take me with it. Love it!!

  34. You did a good job of cheating Vee.


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