I was walking around in the neighborhood when I came across this bird feeder in someone’s garden. A cloud of small birds surrounded it with two or three of them at any time taking turns to come and feed. Unfortunately it was some distance away and I didn’t have a long enough lens with me. I took some pictures anyway just to see what I’d get.

I liked this one the most, but because of the bird’s motion and my unsteady hands it’s rather soft and blurry. To make matters worse I had to crop fairly drastically to get it to fill the frame. So it didn’t have a lot going for it. Still I found the bird’s motion to be appealing and decided to do some more extreme post-processing than is usual for me. First I removed a second bird in the left part of the frame. It was badly blurred and quite distracting. Then to emphasize the motion I applied a zoom blur filter from Analog Effects 2. Finally I converted to black and white since the rather muted colors didn’t seem to add much.

I remember once reading something along the lines of: in a landscape either get the horizon straight or tilt it enough to show that you meant it to be tilted. I applied similar thinking to this picture. If it was going to be soft and blurry then I might as well exaggerate that. People might even think that it was deliberate. I actually quite like the result.

Taken with a Sony Nex 5N and Nikkor 85mm f2.

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