This post is about my efforts to take photographs of birds.
To be a bird artist you need pictures of birds, ideally ones you have taken yourself. I have occasionally managed to take a half decent photo, but wanted to do better.
Slightly fuzzy blackbird
First of all let me say it is not a simple thing to do. The experts make it look so easy! My biggest problem is patience – it runs out very quickly when faced with a view from a hide with absolutely no birds in it.
I recently arrived at a hide to find no room to sit down with my camera. I could however see that there were birds a-plenty. Looking good so far – chaffinches, blue tits, great tits, marsh tits, nuthatch and a greater spotted woodpecker. I was already planning future paintings in my mind. Yes – you guessed it – by the time I found a place to sit and set up all the birds were gone!
What have I learnt so far apart from “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again”? Well first of all to just sit, relax, appreciate your surroundings and listen to the birdsong. Birds will not arrive to order, but that is the exciting thing – you never know what you will see. Now when I look at a photo of a bird I think about the effort the photographer went to. It does make you appreciate them more.
Slightly less fuzzy
I have not painted a blackbird yet, just a preliminary sketch to get ideas. They do seem more willing to pose for photos than most birds!
I’m still having internet problems! At least now its not a problem of no internet, just very, very slow internet. It is very frustrating and makes you realise how much you have come to depend on it.
I have been having a lovely time lately. Gardening work ceases for me at the end of December and doesn’t begin until March so I can concentrate more on my painting. Having more time means that more thought goes into a painting and in my case I try to give more attention to composition. This has always been difficult for me as I am too impatient when I have an idea of what I would like to paint. I know it is best to plan a painting carefully, but if I am enthused by an idea I usually plough straight in and worry about the setting later. This usually results in either too little space or too much to put in a realistic background.
Feeding the garden birds in winter is such a joy as you get wide a variety of birds on the feeders. I have been watching some coal tits and decided to paint them as they waited in the ornamental cherry tree which hangs over our garden from next door.
Coal Tits on a Cherry Tree
They are such lovely birds, as are the long-tailed tits which come in gangs about 4 o’clock in the afternoon almost smothering the fat ball holder
One bird I hadn’t seen this winter was the Greater Spotted Woodpecker, but at last today it was there on the peanuts. It is such a magnificent creature, although the other birds do not seem to appreciate it. They all keep well away when the woodpecker is around.
Greater Spotted Woodpecker
The warmer weather this year seems to have had an effect on the winter visitors. I have seen no bramblings or siskins on the feeders. Such a shame!