Mass Migration (Starlings), Hoohill

Please do hit "L" to view on black!

 

Not sure there's any way to view this large enough on Flickr - suffice to say there are *lots* of birds in the frame! It's probably my last posting from my Christmas Day "golden hour" session, which consisted of a mad ten minutes getting one shot of twenty different things.

 

These are some of the 100,000 starlings which roost under Blackpool's North Pier, returning en masse as the sun surges westward and away. So not really a mass migration, and apologies to any offended zoo- or ornithologists. My lawyers will cite poetic license.

 

This one is technically SOOC, shot in RAW with just the auto WB setting. I state that mostly because this shot made me realise what a nonsense this concept is nowadays. My in camera settings for this shot included +3 saturation and +1 contrast (I'm to guess by eye that the camera's "+1" is equal to about "+5" in PS, or "+10" in LR). Clearly this is processing - the fact it has been down inside the black box that is my camera, rather than the white box that is my laptop, is, to my mind, utterly irrelevant.

 

Yet an email I received today from my first university mentions an alumni photography competition which demands submitted images be SOOC. i.e. processed by the "picture style" command, rather than LR/PS. Surely this is madness? Do they really intend the rule to create a situation where people with expensive cameras can, without skill, process images - rather than letting everyone entering apply skillful processing. Am I alone here?

 

Rant over!

 

In closing, many thanks to everyone who was kind enough to view, favourite and/or share their thoughts regarding my last photo - Beyond (World Trade Center), NYC [Film Scan]. I am delighted that it made a brief appearance on Explore's Front Page, ten years after it was shot. Thank you everyone. Though I am struggling to catch up with everyone, I love putting people's kind comments in context by seeing their work and enjoy sharing my thoughts in return. Thanks for being patient while I catch up!

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Taken on December 25, 2010