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Red-winged Blackbird flock

Red-winged blackbirds perch in the bare branches of early spring near Beaverhill Lake in Alberta

Black­bird flock in bare trees

I recent­ly received a request from a woman to use this pho­to­graph in a blog post she’s writ­ing, which gave me the great excuse to re-vis­it this image and to share it here (it hasn’t made it into the new web­site yet, but watch for it in the Birds sec­tion of my cat­a­logue, hope­ful­ly in the next few months).

I took this pho­to near the Beaver­hill Bird Obser­va­to­ry near Tofield, AB in the spring of 2007. At the time, I was exper­i­ment­ing with defo­cus­ing images, or por­tions there­of, for cre­ative effect. In this case, the orig­i­nal image was most­ly sharp, and I “paint­ed in” the blurred effect in post-pro­cess­ing. I was inspired to try this tech­nique by anoth­er pho­tog­ra­ph­er who would cre­ate the same effect in the dark­room by spilling chem­i­cals over the dry­ing print and using a brush or sponge to blur the image.

It’s always fun to try new tech­niques, and although I haven’t tak­en many defo­cused pho­tographs late­ly, you can view a selec­tion of these images in my “Bore­al Impres­sions” port­fo­lio. I’d also rec­om­mend hav­ing a look at William Neill’s “Impres­sions of Light” port­fo­lio for more great blur­ry images that were an inspi­ra­tion to me (although he achieves the effect most­ly through long shut­ter speeds and cam­era move­ment, rather than man­u­al­ly defo­cus­ing the lens).

A folio print of this image is for sale for whatever price you think is fair. Enter amount: $

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