Orchid Orbitals

On a recent visit to Washington, DC, my family and I stopped in at the United States Botanic Garden. It’s a remarkable place, with plenty of great photo opportunities. But what happens when you get back home and find that some of your shots are not terribly exciting, like this one?

Orchid_OriginalI don’t necessarily think it’s a bad shot; it’s just not very inspiring. But it does look like a good starting point for a little Photoshop distortion filter magic. Here are two examples using the same distortion techniques, just a different crop of the original:

Orchid1

Orchid2You can see some of the elements of the original in both, but it always amazes me how differently these images come out. Which do you like better?

Our Backyard Aviary

24 Species in 24 Hours

My family and I had quite an afternoon of birdwatching yesterday. We spotted 22 different species, and never even left our backyard.

We saw at least three different Baltimore Orioles,

Oriole2

two different Rose-breasted Grosbeaks,

Grosbeak2

and at least one of each of the following:

  • Orchard Oriole
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Black-capped Chickadee
  • White-crowned Sparrow
  • Brown Thrasher
  • House Finch
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Northern Flicker
  • Turkey Vulture
  • American Goldfinch
  • American Robin
  • Red-winged Blackbird
  • Common Grackle
  • Common Starling
  • Blue Jay
  • Mourning Dove
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Gray Catbird
  • American Crow

As if those weren’t enough, we added two more to the list this morning:

  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Tree Swallow

All in all, not a bad day!