Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth

Winging It


The other day during the early evening, we were out on the back deck enjoying the view and watching what I’m calling “Bird Theater”.  There are so many varieties of birds around here, it’s really unbelievable and a very pleasant surprise.

I’m not practiced in the art of action photos or wildlife photos for that matter, and I was trying to capture pretty bluebirds that would land on branches just off the deck.  It wasn’t really working out though, mainly because I have a slow zoom lens in addition to me not being very experienced.    Of course this made me realize now how badly I need a 2.8 zoom lens; but that is a want that will have to be fulfilled at a much later date.

In the meantime, I tried working with a few of the images to recover detail but it just wasn’t happening.  Then I thought…hmmm…maybe I’ll try to make it more like a painting or an artful image, so this is what I came up with.




Author: lauramacky

Journey of a Body on this Earth

103 thoughts on “Winging It

  1. Interesting effects and it does look like a painting. Very beautiful!

  2. beautiful-well done and what a wonderful place to sit and enjoy the beauty of the feathered world.

  3. Very reminiscent of an oriental silk painting 🙂 Lovely!

  4. Gorgeous Laura, I think it does look like a painting, and when I first saw it that is what I thought it was.

  5. Beautifully composed with impeccable timing, Laura

  6. Nicely done. It is a lesson that we should not throw things away too fast!

  7. Very nice work, Laura. The effect makes the bluebird look soft and lovely.

  8. I think it is beautiful and looks like a painting!

  9. Now see what happens when you use your imagination? Just awesome! Love this, Laura.

    FYI… I have two 2.8 lenses, and in need of a 75-200mm. I will wait. I will save. I will do what I must in order to purchase this second lens. The two that I do have, my macro and my 15-55mm, I LOVE LOVE LOVE. So my advice, don’t let anyone sway you any other way, and no matter how long it takes, go for it. I photograph cats (FAST) and closeup of Nature, and birds, and that extra fastness of a lens is worth to save for. I was shooting a tiny bud with a tiny tiny fly on it, and I really concentrated on getting the fly. To my amazement, the fly came out without blurring. I was shocked.

    So we can look towards to our new lens together, and pat each other on the back when we get impatient. I LOVE your work, Laura, and I think you deserve a 2.8 lens. So now put that thought out “there” and really feel in your heart you have it. In other words, be content with the knowing you will have your lens. It really works. Besides I am enjoying what I do have right now so much, I don’t want anything else. Good luck!!! Love, Amy

    • Aw thank you Amy!!! I’m thinking positively. My first dream and prayer has come true with our move. All things come to those who are patient. I never thought I’d be so into photography honestly. I’m on my second camera and I am SO glad I got it! It’s infinitely better than my first one.

      • Laura, I never thought I would be like I am now either. It just happened. I’m on my second camera as well….my first just died. How can a camera die? Mine did. LOL I was so sad about it and when I got my second camera, I didn’t even use it for the longest time. Then I said come on, get a grip! And all of a sudden, I developed photo fever. LOL So glad you are thinking postively. I’ll think that way right with you. I’m the Queen of Positivity! Hehehehehe When you LOVE what you do, success just seems to follow. You watch and see. You are going to soar higher then you ever dreamed of. Me too!!! Love, Amy

  10. This is really beautiful!!! I just love your photos!!! 🙂

  11. That’s stunning.. I can’t seem to get birds.. They move before I can get the shot..

  12. beautiful shot! the motion is captured so flawlessly. the artistic treatment reminds me of a chinese water color painting.

  13. really beautiful Laura, Its like what you see in an old english country Manor, your post processing is a work of art


    • Thank you Mike….i really enjoy post processing…it’s kind of like doodling sometimes when I’m working on an image I would’ve otherwise deleted. Thank you for your comment.

  14. Oh wow! I very much like this one! I tried my hand a bird photography as well this weekend. You can see it on my blog, but I think I like yours better.

  15. Yes I love this Laura! It reminds me of a beautiful old fashioned card…the ones my Nan used to collect.

    We have so many birds where we are too and I love sitting and watching them. I often wish I could (and do try to) photograph them, with un-sharp results. 1/4000 s is so not great on a sunny day…lol
    I’ll wait for the day that I can… it’s on my list too and in the mean time, keep trying, but mostly watching and enjoying.

    Sounds like you are really enjoying your new place and it does sound beautiful.

  16. That’s an awesome photo, awesome treatment, Laura.

    If I may be so bold to suggest; think like a bird, anticipation is everything, They tend to do repetitive actions, although it takes a while to see those patterns.

    I might have shot one or two bird photos w/o an f2.8, so I know any Canon L series f4. tele-lens works pretty well. I also know of a guy that routinely shoots birds in flight with a Nikon 300 zoom or a 400 prime. Those f2.8 lenses are pretty front heavy, at least to my way of thinking. I bought one but could not even begin to love it. I think sensor sensitivity is of equal importance.

    Of course, if you simply need an f2.8, well – then you do.

    Where do I deposit my 2 cents? 🙂

    • Thank you for your insight, Robert. I will definitely be giving it a go more often now that the weather is beautiful and I can sit outside and enjoy all the wildlife. My camera is good, a Nikon D7100 so I should be able to get bird shots. It was getting very dark though and I can only do so much with the lens I have and if I pump up the ISO too much it gets noisy. But I’ll get out there in better light and once I put a bird feeder out there, watch out! 🙂 Thank you again for your comment.

      • I guess I figure some noise is less critical if you get what you are after. Some well known photographer said
        (paraphrasing heavily and I don’t remember who, now) that a great photo is not ruined by noise and a bad photo is not saved by a lack of. I come from the film generation so always dealt with grain anyway. I often shoot up to 800 on my SL1 and up to 12,800 on my 6D in the deep, dark woods. For sure, the 7100 is a great camera. A feeder is an excellent way to get them flying in or sitting in the trees nearby. I bet you will be publishing some great bird photos. 🙂

  17. And the result is beautiful! You are good at manipulating photos. More!

  18. Here is a (Texan Author, recently deceased) whom you would enjoy:

    He wrote an entire book about birds, but if you love nature, “Goodbye to a River” is the one you must , simply must, read.
    Sorry for being presumptuous, cannot help it.

    Your posts just bring that out in me

  19. Lovely. Really does look like an old-school illustration…

  20. It came out beautiful! I love the overall feel of it. 🙂

  21. That is an awesome effect! Really feels like spring!

  22. Egads! 59 of your followers have beaten me to comment! I don’t know how you manage to keep up with them, but I’ll leave one more, if I may. This is, if you’ll permit me a small smile,, another fine feather in your cap. I really like the painterly effect you have achieved by (and I’m guessing now) reducing the saturation, adding a canvas palette, tasteful vignetting, and a delicate border, producing a final image that feels like a canvas worth at least a few thou at Antiques Road Show. Keep doing what you’re doing and bring us more, please!

    • Thank you so much!! I LOVE Antiques Roadshow. I can dream that some blogger two generations younger than me will find this post and log into a future online antiques roadshow and it will be worth millions! 😀 Now to log off my computer and enjoy our deck!

  23. Really nice Laura, good choice.. Very pretty.

  24. Looks like an illustration. Nice shot! Every morning I fill a hanging feeder in my orchid tree just outside my kitchen window. It’s gotten so that my wife and I have started naming the birds that show up. Have a good one.

  25. This is marvellous. I have been trying to shoot sparrows, and it is difficult.. All the more I appreciate this shot

  26. I though painting before I read your text about the shot – something soft like a design from an English china tea pot. We all have to make due with the limits of our equipment – and you did a fine job of it with this. Are there really that many more (different) birds where you moved to or are your neighbors just good at putting out feeders to attract more species?

  27. Beautiful image, I like the artistic/painterly look!

  28. Lovely. I too thought it was a painting ..

  29. Works well……and birds are really difficult…..they are generally small and they rarely keep still. Like you, because I don’t really have the lens, I don’t often bother…..but I do have a few in the pipeline to post 😊

  30. What a lovely photo and experiment… I sat last night playing with a few photos to make them look like pencil drawings and intend to post them soon… marvelous what we can do with the software available to us…

  31. Wonderful, Laura. It looks like an old painting

  32. 82 comments?! I’m so impressed! I love the way you processed this image. Oftentimes a so-so image can be “saved” with textures or black and white or sepia treatment. Geez, now I wanna go play with some of my old bird shots. Anyway, I really like it!

  33. Beautiful picture. Bird shots are really hard for me to pull off. Great work!

  34. As a saved image it looks good. I am not a wildlife shooter, unless it is bugs, and it really annoys me when I look at some shots and they are just bleh. 2.8 zoom would be nice but hefty on the cash side.

  35. you could make this into a card!! very beautiful.

  36. It’s gorgeous Laura!

  37. I think it looks amazing!! And its inspiring! Gives me something to think about 🙂

  38. Reminds me of a 19th century Japanese water color.

  39. Beautifully done. When I first saw it I thought it was a painting 🙂 Terrific effects. I think that can be an art form in itself!

  40. Wow!! Now save there!!

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