Saturday, February 24, 2007

Roseate Spoonbill

Last night I came across a photo of a roseate spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja) that I took while visiting Busch Gardens, Florida a few years ago. I noticed that the photo of the mature bird was decent, but I didn't like the netting, quite visible in the background. I decided to make a photo object of the bird by removing all the background.

Once the background was removed, I pasted the bird and tree branch on a photo of sky and clouds. The second photo shows the result. I certainly liked it a lot more than the original image.

I wondered if it would look better with the clouds to the left, rather than the right of the new image, so I cut the bird from the image, flipped the sky photo, then pasted the bird again. The third photo shows the result and I think I liked it better this way.

Because the bird lives in warmer climates, I pasted it on a photo of a palm tree with clear sky. The fourth photo is the result.

Finally, I reduced the size of the bird and pasted on a different photo of palm tress blowing in the wind. In this image the spoonbill has much less impact, and is no longer dominant in the scene.

You may be wondering why I would go through all the trouble to create several images of the same bird photo, and it is a good question.

First, I don't usually like to photograph birds or animals in zoos, and for years refused to do it. In the original photo, I thought that the net was too predominant in the photo.

Second, I am practicing photo manipulation because I offer Creative Impressions as a photo service, and need examples to put on my web site. This morning's series will be added to my web site as examples of creative images.

Third, since I teach my students to create images like this during technology classes, I can use these as examples. Students are bombarded by hundreds of images every day and by having them view and create their own images they will become more visually literate.

Fourth, it is fun for me. : ) And, now that I have the bird as a photo object, I can paste it to any photo.

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