Julie Deer  

Major Mitchell Feast by Julie Deer

October 2020 - Major Mitchell Feast

October 2020 - Julie Deer


About the Image(s)

Although these birds look cute, they make an horrendous squawking noise instead of a nice bird call. They are pretty and can raise those feathers on the top of their head to form a coloured crest when threatened. They mate for life and usually move around in flocks. We came across this pair feeding on the side of the road in the Australian Outback. They were happy to stay as long as we stayed in the car.

17 comments posted

Henry Roberts   Henry Roberts
Julie, you really captured these birds including some catch lights in the eyes. The birds are sharp and the background is indistinct. You really did a wonderful job on this Julie!   Posted: 10/06/2020 12:32:52
Julie Deer   Julie Deer
Thanks Henry!   Posted: 10/15/2020 22:12:21

Anne Nettles   Anne Nettles
I love the subject! When I was in Australia I saw many Cockatoos in the fields and yes, they were noisey! I really think capturing the birds in their natural habitat while feeding makes this image more interesting than if they had just been standing there. The exposure and detail is very nice. Love the tones and I find it complimentary that the background color has a similar to the birds color but just darker. The larger aperture and blurred background creates a nice separation between foreground and background. For me, I think I prefer the original format rather than the cropped version. I would flip the image horizontal so the bird on right is not gazing off the page. Very nice!
  Posted: 10/06/2020 16:27:18
Julie Deer   Julie Deer
Hi Anne, thanks for your suggestion of the flip. It has opened up a few ideas for me to play with.   Posted: 10/15/2020 22:19:12

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
(Group 52)
Hi Julie. I'm visiting from group 52. Quite pretty birds and they are in perfect focus. I tried Anne's idea of flipping the horizontal not thinking it would work, but it does. The eye of the bird is not more clearly shown looking back toward the center. If this were mine, not being a purist, I'd blur the background even more and maybe take to some cloning to remove the fence line, or what appears to be a fence line. Nice image.

What they are eating appears to be a fruit of some sort but the two on the ground look like eggs. I'm curious if you know what it wa that they were eating.   Posted: 10/08/2020 18:07:05
Julie Deer   Julie Deer
Hi Mike, thanks for commenting on my image! The food they are eating are paddy melons. The melons are poisonous to humans and some animals, but these birds seemed to be enjoying them. When they flew away, they took their melons with them.

  Posted: 10/15/2020 22:22:37

Lisa Auerbach   Lisa Auerbach
(Group 52)
Hello, it is Lisa visiting from Group 52.
It looks like these cockatoos are eating pomegranates, which add to the nature story. The colors are harmonious, and you have caught their eyes well. As far a post processing I would like to see the background a bit darker so the birds pop more. You can achieve this with simple layer adjustments. I used a levels adjustment to bring the background down and another to brighten the birds and the foreground. If for a nature entry darkening the background would also help diminish the middle vegetation which is equal in height to the cockatoos. If this is only for you, I would suggest using the spot healing brush to remove that vegetation.

  Posted: 10/09/2020 18:13:39
Julie Deer   Julie Deer
Hi Lisa, thanks for commenting on my image! I will play around with your suggestions. They are eating Paddy Melons, not pomegranates.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucumis_myriocarpus   Posted: 10/15/2020 22:24:45

Alison McMahan   Alison McMahan
Wow, Julie, you did a great job with post here. Perfect crop, good job of straightening the horizon line!
I agree that a little layer work to make the colors pop is worth trying.
I am not as distracted by the vegetation in the middle as others are, but it wouldn't hurt to blur them or remove them as suits you.
What a great catch, from a car window, no less!   Posted: 10/12/2020 06:10:06
Julie Deer   Julie Deer
Thanks for your comments Alison! I will have a play using the helpful suggestions that have been given.   Posted: 10/15/2020 22:31:28

Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
(Groups 35 & 52)
Hi Julie...I am another visitor from Group 52. It is fun to see these Cockatoos in a natural setting, as iI have only seen them in captivity in the past. I find the color tone of the image pleasing, and I appreciate that the eyes of both birds are sharp. My first reaction on viewing this was that I wished the bird on the right was looking into the frame rather than out of it. If flipping it helps that I would definitely do it. I like the space on the left and right in the original image although cropping from the bottom seems to me like a good idea. Also, I think that if this is not intended for a nature competition I would suggest removing the vegitation protruding upward between the two birds.   Posted: 10/12/2020 08:17:20
Julie Deer   Julie Deer
Hi Sharon and thanks for your comments! This was the first time we had seen these birds in the wild too. Unfortunately, I just missed the one on the left with his crest up. The crest is made up of white, yellow and dark pink stripes and is very pretty.   Posted: 10/15/2020 22:32:07

Catherine Honigsberg   Catherine Honigsberg
I love this capture of birds enjoying their day and not just a portrait. Such a feast of colors!   Posted: 10/12/2020 10:15:57
Julie Deer   Julie Deer
Hi Catherine, We loved watching these birds as they enjoyed their food. Don't know that I would be able to stand on one leg while I ate!   Posted: 10/15/2020 22:33:27

Andrew Hersom   Andrew Hersom
This is nicely taken and shows the birds in their environment well. If it isn't being entered in a Nature comp I would be tempted, as the others have suggested, to clone out some of the vegetation.   Posted: 10/15/2020 07:08:35
Julie Deer   Julie Deer
Hi Andrew, Thanks for your comments!   Posted: 10/15/2020 22:33:55

Julie Deer   Julie Deer
I have had a play with your suggestions in mind and came up with this open image. Thank you so much for making me think outside the square!   Posted: 10/16/2020 21:16:09
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