Aug 292013

mr & mrs quail 1780

Meet Mr. & Mrs. Quail. Every evening a covey of Quail run through our park.  It can only happen in the summer when the park is nearly deserted of residents.  I finally decided it was time to make an effort to sneak up  catch a couple with my camera.


Jun 282013


BIRD BATH 1736 (1)


These Cactus Wrens  think that this plant pot is a bird bath. Carl’s been watering the hyacinth in the early morning and evening and the birds come and wallow in the cool dirt. The top one must be letting his pals know that the pool is open!

Love that little baby in the bottom picture…

Mar 182011

ISO 80; f/8; 1/200; 100mm’ 4:55Pm MST (Canon SX10, no tripod)

I’m sure when this bird feeder was hung in Celia’s Rainbow Garden in Quartzsite, that neither of these two were the intended guests.  Surely, each is taking advantage of a bit of “fast food.”

This image was cropped and then processed in Topaz Adjust using the “Clarity” preset.

Note:  Paul Winer in the previous photo is Celia’s father.  Celia died in 1995 when she was only 8 1/2 years old from a viral infection that hit her heart.  This is her story as told by her mother:  The gardens is one of my favorite places for “photo walking.”

Jan 282011

ISO 80; f/5.7; 1/400; 100mm (Canon SX10)

I took this photo in the middle of the afternoon yesterday.  When I shot it, I was hoping for a silhouette, but in fact it was just a dull, overly pixelated image of the perfect Quail shot.   (Anyone following my 2010 blog knows that these Quails are always teasing me.)  So, with a little help from both Topaz and Aperture I was able to turn this into the shot I was aiming for in the first place.

Do I recall how I did it?  Let’s see…  In Topaz Simplify, I used Image CrispEdge, with the Brightness turned to -40.  This turned into the 2 color photo. When I brought it back to Aperture, I had to use the touch up paintbrush in two areas that persisted in being the “wrong” color.   I then turned the Blue Luminance all the way up and the Black Point up to 20, this darkened the sky and improved the silhouette.   I then ran it though Topaz DeNoise to smooth it out, however there was still some residual blotchiness in the sky.  I tried several things but Topaz Detail Edge Softener did the final trick. (Yes, this surprised me too!)

Here is the original as requested by Gisele!

Original before edits!

Sep 182010

Blue Birdhouse 681ISO 80; f/8; 1/200; 61.4mm; 7:28am (Canon SX10 on tripod, aperture priority / vivid mode)

B is for Blue Birdhouse and Blue Sky

It would have been nice to have a bird in the photo… but they are all hanging out at the bird feeder .

I’ve just decided to do the alphabet challenge privately…  that is I’m posting here on my blog but not at the site that is hosting the challenge. It’s the second week that I’m too late to submit my link. Anyway, the point is to “see” fresh subjects to photograph, which it seems to be doing.