Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Animal #1 or #2


"Bird at Dusk"
West Odessa
Odessa, Texas

"Horse in the Afternoon"
West Odessa
Odessa, Texas

Which photo do you prefer?

I am not a good animal photographer -- not feathered kind, not four-legged kind, not bipedal kind. These two shots represent a pair of my better attempts. I'm posting them here to remind myself that we all -- artists, photographers, mandala-makers, musicians -- have our fortes. Our special contributions of showing our way of seeing the world best.

Not to say you shouldn't keep stretching and looking at things anew. I do keep trying.

I'm not entirely sure why my forte is not animals. It's not about patience because when it comes to shooting a blade of grass blowing in the wind, I can wait for just the right moment, poised and patient. It's not about love for animals because when I'm shooting grass on my back or knee-deep in mud, I am frequently moved to tears by the sound and rustling of creatures around me. It's not about opportunity, because out where I live I could ride my bike five minutes and see horses, goats, donkeys, birds, and lizards galore.

It's about getting nervous when I shoot animals. I see the perfect shot and invariably miss it. And you can't ask a horse to swish his tail for you in that way just once more.

16 comments:

nelda said...

Those are wonderful pictures, Debi! I prefer #1, I guess because of the simplicity of it. Another tough one!

Rima said...

I wouldn't presume to give you any tips, oh master photographer, but why not use the old trick of taking 100,000 pix and end up with one perfect one?

I love both, and they are both very good, in spite of your self-criticism. My vote is for the birds, hehe... but only becaue i am drawn to that "japonisant" style you do so very well... beautiful work as always

Hannah's Mom said...

#1, this is a hard one, I LOVE horses, but love the look of #1.

Fawzan Barrage said...

The Horse. Just to erk my wife! Hehe!

BTW, you asked about how I get the data for each shot. I just figured out that all Cameras collect that data and post it to file.

Go to a windows folder right click on the image and click on properties. Now click on the Summary and then click on advanced. Here you have all the data. Let me know if it works for you.

Andi said...

#1 all the way! It's just so beautiful and moody. I can almost hear the sound of the lone bird in the still night air.

Lisa Sarsfield said...

Oh not fair Debi!!! I love birds (as you know!) and horses...beautiful, magestic and strong so this is a tough one.
But first let me say that horses ARE hard to photograph! I spend an hour a week with about 15 of them and I can take 20+ photos to get one that dosn't make the horse look incredibly out of proportion. Hence side views of horses being more successful for me than the front view which tends to look a bit skew-wif!
Do you have a 'burst' function on your camera? I do and it's a great function! It will take 8-16 shots with the press of the button and allows you to capture even the slightest change of movement. That swish of the tail, the ruffling of mane, you can even move..only down fall is you can't use your flash and some of the other tuning functions.
Ok, well that was a wee wander off the topic! lol.
Don't tell my horse mad daughter but my vote is for the bird. I just love it, very clean and crisp that and I am emotionally attached to birds! lol
Would love to see some of your lizards! Waaay cool!

dianeclancy said...

Hi Lisa,

This one is hard .. but I like the mystery of #1.

~ Diane Clancy
www.dianeclancy.com/blog

Bev said...

Both are brill, as always. I like the way the little bird chimes perfecty with the little round bobbly plants. That horse is a special colour, a 'strawberry' bay or something, I seem to remember the correct terminology is, and he is almost the exact same colour as the bushes. Is this instinct, or has it all been thought out?

Actually, at first I thought that horse was covered in ice, as I have been looking at everything covered in ice here, but then I realised that it was his particular shade.

I like the little bird and his little bobble friends.

Bobbie said...

I love both, so what's new? But I have to vote for the bird because of the composition and the feeling of rest that comes at the end of the day. Now if it is a morning shot please don't tell.

Sue O'Kieffe said...

i like #1. i think (if i may say so) that a bit more contrast in #2 would make it more appealing. do you edit your photos at all? do you know how to use the curves function in photoshop?

i love animals, but don't like photographing them either.

~sue

Sweet Irene said...

I prefer "Bird at Dusk", but I understand the problem of taking good shots of animals. They just don't cooperate, do they? We hardly get our dog to sit pretty. The cats move just as they look perfect. I like the whole set up of the "Bird at Dusk". Perfecto.

Debi said...

Thank you everyone for your votes. They have been properly tallied and tossed in the hat (bowl).

Rima, LOL! Yes. I do that with animals too. And that's the thing, I guess, that makes me impatient. I'm use to a better ratio with grass and flowers, say 50,000:1.

Windy, wish I could have gotten a better picture of the horse. He deserved it.

Zan, I guess to spice things up on the homefront is as good a reason as any for a choice. I posted on your blog how thrilled I was by the information you gave me. It worked!

Welcome Andi. As you know, I went over to your blog and had a nice time laughing my fool head off.

Lisa, it only makes sense at this nest-crazy point that you would select the bird. ;) And you gave me some good pointers on animal shots. I don't have a burst function but I have some other settings that are in effect the same thing. I'll have to give it a go. Thanks!

Thank you Diane.

Bev, I like your description. "Little Bird and His Bobble Friends" would make a good title, wouldn't it?

Mom, you know me. Would that be a morning shot? No.

Sue, thank you for voting. Yes, I've just recently discovered curves and love it. Although I try to keep a light touch with "post production," even these days with digital cameras we all need a little home darkroom sometimes(aka Photoshop). I think I figured the horse shot was doomed and didn't even try.

Irene, you are so right. And unlike humans, we can't ask them "Wait. Just stay like that a minute longer." At least my cats don't listen when I ask that.

Well, except for one vote that was really just a political voice of decent, the Bird wins unanimously!

D.C. Confidential said...

Bird at dusk, definitely! I love the composition.

-K- said...

I can't get #1 out of my head since seeing it yesterday.

Very nicely framed with a very quiet, early morning mood to it.

Kris Cahill said...

Bird at Dusk for me please! Both are beautiful, but #1 has an ethereal dreamy quality I love.

Neda said...

Oops! I forgot to vote on this one! Number 1 is like an unk painting..(sorry, horsie--love you too...maybe next time I'll vote for you) :(