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Posts Tagged ‘toronto’

Staghorn Sumac Blur

A trip down to Humber Bay on Lake Ontario in Toronto today was beginning to look promising until the clouds began rolling in and the wind picked up, not too mention the waterfowl were few and far between. Rather than pack up and head for home I realized this was blur-time. I spent several hours creating impressionistic blurs of many leafless trees, clouds, dogwoods and reed grass. Creating blurs is too much fun and before you know it the day is done. Here is a small sample of today’s blurs – more to follow.

Cloud Blur

Dogwood and Reed Grass Blur

Tree Blur – tweaked with Topaz Adjust 4

Humber Bay Landscape Blur

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I am by no means a computer genius and my photoshop skills are a little limited also. I tend to learn the techniques needed to achieve the results I am seeking. One such technique I have never mastered is masking to remove complicated objects or to change backgrounds for creative reasons. Recently Topaz Labs introduced Remask 3 which really simplifies the masking process. To find out more about this useful plugin click here. I have posted a couple of before and after examples of how this plugin was used to improve the photos.

In the Mallard drake images below I have always loved the pose of this duck as it came in for a landing on the frozen water of Lake Ontario in Toronto, but the white band of snow on the ice is very distracting and has always annoyed me. After masking the Mallard I was able to easily clean-up the distraction.

Before Remask 3

After Remask 3

The Brown Pelican (Atlantic Phase) below was photographed several years ago in Cuba on the island of Cayo Largo in the Caribbean Sea. I have always enjoyed this Pelican’s humorous pose, but the out-of-focus boat in the background simply ruins this image. After applying a mask using Remask 3 I was very pleased at how the software handled the fine feather details at the back of the pelican’s head. With the mask on a separate layer I was now able to remove the boat simply and efficiently.

Before Remask 3

After Remask 3

(I also rotated the image slightly and moved the bird to the right a little for compositional reasons)

 

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This afternoon I spent a few hours down at Humber Bay Park on Lake Ontario in Toronto. I enjoy this location for Mallard Ducks and other ducks species that tend to spend the winter here. The Mallards were particularly fun to watch today as they bathed, preened and chatted away the afternoon in a sheltered section of the park, away from the wind. Here are a few of the images captured during today’s outing.

Mallard hen preening

Mallard drake bathing

Mallard drake wing-flap

Mallard drake standing on ice in shallow water

Mallard hen preening

Mallard drake

 

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Today I made a brief, but productive visit to Humber Bay Park in Toronto along the Lake Ontario shoreline to shoot some additional waterfowl images. As usual there were plenty of Mallards to be found along with a few other species. It was a sunny, but bitterly cold day due to windy conditions. The Mallards didn’t seem to mind though and proceeded to put on quite a performance – from sliding in on the ice to splashing down in the water. Hope you like the photos.

 

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One of my favorite subjects to photograph during the winter months is the Mallard duck. Although they are very common along the Lake Ontario shoreline they are perfect for practicing duck photography skills. Often I will go to Humber Bay Park in Toronto with a pail of duck food and spend the day shooting these beautiful ducks. After the ducks have finished “tipping-up” for the food that floated to the bottom, they will start bathing and flapping their wings, providing opportunities for behaviour type shots. In addition, I love to capture the Mallards on the ice that forms along the shore. Here is a collection of some of my favorite Mallard images from Humber Bay Park.

 

Hope you like the images.

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