Digital Art

Fun with Filters and Razorbills

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I’m still processing images from my trip to Maine.  This was one of my favorites from my expedition to Machias Seal Island.  It shows a pair of Razorbills in the middle of a courtship nuzzle.  They were so sweet as they did little beak-to-beak nuzzles, and then one (who I’m assuming was the male) seemed to raise his wings in a victory pose.  Maybe that’s the birdie way of saying, “I’m cute!  She thinks I’m cute!” I love this image for the bird behavior, but also for the crisp lines of the birds’ beaks and feathers.  It’s the kind of image that yields fun results with the Fractalius filter.  That filter is one of the main reasons that I have a Windows virtual machine on my Mac – it’s so much fun to play with! I loved how the filter brought out the lines on the birds’ beaks.  But I wasn’t happy with it yet.  I continued playing, experimenting with effects from Nik Color Efex and blending modes in Photoshop.  I was just clicking on random effects to see what they did.  I’d never played with the Film Efex filters much, because they tend to add noise and grain.  But […]

Beyond the Backyard

Atlantic Puffins on Machias Seal Island

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Atlantic Puffin Head Shot

During my recent trip to Maine I had the great privilege to visit a breeding colony of Atlantic Puffins on Machias Seal Island. Puffins are pelagic birds, meaning that they live their lives out on the open ocean. They only come to land to breed and raise their young. Can you image living your entire life at sea? They swim and fly all day, catch fish to eat, and sleep bobbing on the waves. Atlantic Puffins are commonly known as the “clowns of the sea”, due to their brightly colored bills in their breeding plumage. Atlantic Puffins are the only puffins that can be found in the Atlantic Ocean. (Their cousins the Tufted Puffin and the Horned Puffin live on the Pacific Ocean.) Atlantic Puffins are fairly common birds in the northern frigid oceans, but they are most commonly seen in places like Iceland and Scotland. In the United States, there are only a few islands where the birds come to breed. Machias Seal Island is one such place, and it is the only island (to my knowledge) that lets birders land on the island to observe the birds from blinds. For photographers and non-photographers alike, this was an incredible […]