Purity


     This may be an understatement but I am not a purist. Not in photography, not in birding and not in language. Probably not in several other things as well but these three pertain to what's on this website. I'll discuss all three on this page, mostly photography, but let's start with language. I remember when I was in school, about 50 years ago, they taught me all kinds of stuff that seemed pretty useless at the time. Now I see the value to much of the information but I think maybe the packaging was a little tight. Somebody once said "if you got something to say boy, spit it out." Right on!
    I realize you have a subject, the thing your talking about, and verbs to keep the subject moving and all these little adjects and aidverbs to dress it up, but what does it matter how you put them together? Think about who, or is it whom, you are speaking to then say it so they can understand. For instance if I say superb, you, having gone through the third grade, know that is several degrees better than good. But if I say more better good, even a kindergartner (had to look up the spelling on that one) knows what I mean. Besides that if you try to work by the book, someone changes the pages. Take the comma. My teacher spent hours helping us to understand how to use the comma. Nowdays it seems to me everyone just kinda throws one in every now and then and, what the heck, that works for me.

Mt Baker from Pt Wilson

This panorama of Mt. Baker behind Whidbey Island was taken from Point Wilson in Jefferson Co., Washington. It is actually eight different pictures merged together in Photoshop. I like it. Because of the telescopic lens there is much more detail in the mountains than if I had used a wide angle lens and taken one picture. Either way the perspective is less than true from the purist point of view..

Mountains
Mt Baker from Marrowstone Island

Mt Baker from Marrowstone Island


     This is the same range of mountains as the picture above. The perspective is from a point about 5 miles further left and the lens is close to neutral. However this is only about 25% of the full frame. If I hadn't cropped and enlarged it, it would be a truer rendition of what I saw than it is here or above. But the mountains, and in this picture the pilings, that my eyes were focused on wouldn't have the emphasis they did to me in real time.
    If I had used a telephoto lens and produced a single picture, uncropped, it would be compressed as is the one above but to a lesser degree. It may well be that that would have been a truer picture of my focus. And that is my point. Whether you use different lenses, or if you crop, enlarge or otherwise edit later, the object is to produce an artists conception. Just because a camera is used it doesn't have to be suitable for courtroom evidence.
Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk


     This is a Red-tailed Hawk. It is probably an intermediate morph, although dark morph is possible, of the western population. Do you find that information important? Quite a few birders do. And I think that is great. If that is a persons interest it is a good one. If this were of the Harlan's subspecies, with which it shares some markings, it would be less plentiful and therefore more desirable to see. I share that feeling but only to the extent that seeing and photographing the Harlan's in real time would give me a variation I haven't seen before nor likely to see many times.
    When I first saw this bird it was sitting on a power pole and looked really dark. Then it flew around in a circle, giving me great views of the white and various shades of color on his underside, and landed back on the pole.
    I'm pretty sure it knows what it is regardless of what someone calls it, and now so do I. It's a beautiful variation of an always impressive hawk we humans call the Red-tailed.
Rough-legged hawk

Rough-legged hawk


     This Rough-legged Hawk has just taken off from a power pole. This photo presents a couple of problems. First of all the missing wing tip; does it add or detract from the photo or perhaps have no impact? Some photographers purposely crop so as to have this effect, feeling it enhances the size and/or movement of the subject. Others consider the picture incomplete and wouldn't use it. And there are those that feel whichever the case, use it or not, the picture shouldn't be cropped or otherwise altered in any way, that to do so is like telling a lie.
    That brings up the second problem, the wire. Does it hurt the image and if it is felt that it does, should it be removed via photo editing software? Again, there is a range of opinion with some being very adamant one way or the other.
    In this case I have cropped the picture but the wing tip was missing in the full view. I have not removed the wire and feel in this case it may even add to the photo. I like this photo as I have it here and think it portrays this bird in a true and powerful way.
Cranberry Lake

Cranberry Lake


     This photograph hasn't had any major alteration. As with all digital pictures, it has been sharpened and had the contrast and some color and tone adjustment with photo editing software. This is what I saw and wanted to capture. Even a purist should be happy with this one. I don't get many this way.
    I did have one comment that the picture seemed too dark. This is the way I remember it. It was early in the morning and the shadows were long. Interestingly, out of the 4 or 5 frames I took, this is the darkest. The camera evidently felt it needed to be lighter also. But even before digital editing the exposure was controlled to suit the photographer so this is still 'kosher' in that respect.
A barn by a river

A Barn


     I really like old barns. There are not too many left. Newer barns are made of tin or concrete and what character they have is too commercial as is the activity within. But old barns like this one are left over from when people kept their own livestock and grew much that they needed for feeding the animals if not themselves. A time past.
    That time is what I want this picture to reflect. The pickup truck that was visible behind the bushes in the original picture would have kept this from happening. Now the purist thinks the pickup should have somehow been moved rather than altering the photo. His thought is that the photo should show exactly what the camera sees. I may have been able to get the pickup moved with a lot of bother to me and its owner. But why? Then I could have taken a picture that shows what you see here. Of course the real purist thinks you should wait until the pickup is moved in the normal course of events, by which time the barn may be gone, or leave it in the picture. As I said before I am not a purist.
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