Depth Persnicketiness

What is it with birds? In general they have a gift for putting a tangle of branches between themselves and any aspiring photographer.

2-photo collage of nesting anhinga pair


Sometimes I could wish that the world were as two-dimensional as my photographs. It would make it easier to eliminate intrusive foreground elements, no?

Cattle egret in breeding colours

Cattle egret

Cattle egret in breeding colours, obscured by branchesThis all-too-common frustration makes it all the better when patience is rewarded, at least in part. When that whole depth thing adds to the fun, rather than detracting from it.

Cattle egret posing with branch

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9 Responses to Depth Persnicketiness

  1. Pingback: Ashiatsu? – Traditional Iconoclast

  2. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – it comes naturally. Putting something between you and a predator (if you are a bird) keeps you safer. As a bird photographer, did you ever think of yourself as being a threat to the birds?

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – Yeah, I understand why they do it, but I also just want my photos the way I want them. 🙂

  3. Dorothy says:

    The joys of painting are that you just leave out what you don’t want. You have so many beautiful photos maybe it’s time for an additional hobby?

  4. Jim Robertson says:

    Always amazing that we don’t really see the branches/twigs with the naked eye, but the camera sure does. Some day we’ll have a branch filter to remove them from the photos. In the meantime keep shooting and you’ll find, in amongst the “also rans”, beautiful breeding colour and plumage cattle egrets that stand out like the last picture.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim – I’m slowly learning to see the mess, at least sometimes, but it’s a long haul. You’re right: It’s amazing what the brain filters out.

  5. I agree! I guess branches are more natural than photos. I like yours because both the birds and the twigs look natural.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Judith – Good point. And thanks. 🙂 The longer I spend at this the better I understand some of the more-experienced photographers I run into at good locations. I’m snapping away, thrilled to be that close to the birds; they’re looking around slowly and being highly selective. They know which locations and angles give them a chance at an un-intruded shot.

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