Goose on the Loose!

Canada Geese en Masse 2a-small

The mass migration of Canada Geese is in full swing here, and some days it seems we’re under constant attack by massive numbers of small pooping fighter jets. There are geese, geese everywhere!

Canada Geese en Masse 1a-small

There are numerous small lakes in town, and they seem to be the geese’s favorite haunts when they come for their yearly winter visits. They start arriving around Labor Day, and their numbers ramp up until around Thanksgiving, reaching a plateau that lasts through Christmas time. Then their numbers slowly taper off until late spring, and only a handful of permanent inhabitants stay for summer. (Most of these are old birds or ones which have been injured and can no longer fly.)

Canada Geese en Masse 3a-small

I processed the photos initially in Photoshop Lightroom 4, my first attempts at editing with this (new for me) software. So far, I love it. There are things I can adjust in seconds in Lightroom that it would take me much longer to achieve in Photoshop Elements. I’m still learning it—I have a LONG way to go before I master it—but so far I’ve enjoyed just testing its general functionality. I still did final editing in Photoshop Elements, including adding blur and texture and a few other tweaks.

For the first photo, I treated it to give it a faded and stained look—like a neglected old photograph might look. The other two were more simple experiments to test out some of the adjustments that Lightroom would let me achieve, and playing with textures in Elements.

This is a video I made of the geese “in action.” It was my first project in Photoshop Premiere Elements (their video editor that came in a package with the newer version of Photoshop Elements I recently purchased). I found the software hard to learn without instructions–something that I haven’t found to be as much a problem with either Elements or Lightroom. And it crashed often, causing me to lose edits. I was not nearly as impressed with it as I was with the Elements or Lightroom. However, it does let me edit the AVCHD video that my Panasonic Lumix takes, which is a plus. (I had been experimenting with Windows Movie Maker which forced me to convert the video before editing.)

It’s a short, goofy video. Of course, the geese offer no real threat to us humans, but it can nonetheless feel a bit like you’re in an Alfred Hitchcock movie when you see them all take flight en masse. Imagine looking up and seeing thousands of loud, anxious geese flying above you, so thick in number that they blot out the sun. We live close enough to one of these lakes that we can hear them from our house all hours of the day and night. Even though we host them every winter, it’s always a bit unnerving when they first return in such large numbers every fall. It takes a little getting used to.

 

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