Monday, June 14, 2010

Free Class and Birds

I got an email from the very talented Jessica Sprague today offering a free class called "Computer Tricks for Cards". It starts later this month and is sure to be a good one. Jessica teaches Photoshop classes and I am guessing this is a combination of card making and digital manipulation. She not only invited me, but she gave me permission to share the link and access code with you. You can find out more here.

I was out on the screened porch yesterday afternoon when I saw a familiar silhouette in the far willow tree. I still had the long lens attached (I used it at the ballet performance the night before) so I was able to get a few shots before he flew away. It is not a great picture - it was shot through a screen from far away - but it is good enough to verify that it is my old friend the Cedar Waxwing. Years ago, one built a nest in the tulip tree right off the deck, but I didn't have a very good camera and didn't get much in the way of pix. I sure wish he would give away the location of his nest this year so I could try to get pictures with a really good camera. Here he is:

According to the bird book, the way to make a positive identification is through the black eye band and the yellow at the tip of his tail. I'm going to have to keep an eye out to see if I can get a better picture. He is a beauty for sure.

Speaking of birds, here is a doodle of a bird done in the style of Geninne at Geninne's Art Blog. If you are not familiar with her and you love birds and/or art, I suggest you check out her blog. You are sure to become a follower/subscriber.

Here is my humble attempt:

I fear his tail is too short and his belly too round, but I like him anyway.

I pulled out an old canvas on which I'd tried to paint a farm scene a long time ago. I was totally unsatisfied with it, so I am starting again. First I tried to gesso over it, but I ran out of gesso and the stuff at the bottom of the jar was lumpy. So after it dried I sanded it and painted over it with white acrylic paint. I don't think I am going to paint a farm scene, though. I think I will make a mixed media background with stamps, ephemera, and different colors and then maybe a barn in the background with a bird on it. What a surprise!! I am thinking about painting a bird.......

Here's a not so good pic of my little 7 year old bird at her dance performance. I'd forgotten how difficult it is to get a good shot of a moving target in poor lighting conditions from Row N at the Potter Center.

Thank you for your visit. I do appreciate the company. I'd appreciate if you would let me know if you have ideas or suggestions for my art or photography and I'd love to know if you follow the link to the free class and later when the class starts I'd love to share the experience with you.



  1. Oh that poor lighting gets me everytime with my "good" camera whereas my daughter and son get decent pics with their little ones. I don't get it. At least you got a fairly decent pic of her.

    Also of the bird. Sometimes shooting through the window or screen is all I can do as the birds will fly away if I open the door or rush around to that side of the house to catch them. A good blog to go to for birds is Red and the Peanut . I don't know how she gets such great shots.

    I just signed up for the free class. I don't know too much about using my PSE but I'll give it a shot. Thanks for the link.

    Will be watching for your new art piece and your bird drawing came out pretty nice. I wouldn't know it's tail was too short.

  2. Interesting you should recommend Red and the Peanut; I just found her yesterday and subscribed. Her bird pix are fantastic.

    She is a birder (I think that means she belongs to a group and they go out a lot), so probably has lots of experience of knowing where to go and learning lots of patience.

    We'll have to correspond about PSE when the class starts.


  3. HUm...Photos in dim light with moving subjects-- Remember that there are natural moments of stillness in any kind of performance.

    Adjust your ISO up and then go to shutter priority mode 1/60 should be the slowest. Take some shots and see what you get--digital is great that way.

    If you're at a dance performance shoot shots of groups that go before your child to get the settings right for when your child is on stage. You then have a better chance to get good shots of the people you really want. good luck!

  4. Your granddaughter is a cutie! Nice drawing of the bird. Looking forward to seeing you Saturday, girlfriend!

  5. Hi Vicki! I'm just popping in from the blog hop. :) Thanks for sharing the link to Jessica's free class.