A Bunch of Blackbirds–“Creative” vs. “Standard” Edits
Here is another photo that I took during the Great Backyard Bird Count, featuring one group of many bunches of red-winged blackbirds that I saw during my count. For some reason, there are only males in the photo; I saw very few females during my count. (If you’re not familiar with this species, the given name only applies to the males. The females look more like large house sparrows; they are brown instead of black and have no red on their wings.) I don’t know if it’s their habit to stay lower in the reeds, if they roost somewhere apart from the males, or if there really are fewer of them. Even when I got too close, it was only males who would take off for safer ground. The few females I saw didn’t seem so eager to leave their spots.
I thought I’d include both the “standard edit” version and one with a little more of a creative interpretation. Do you have a preference?
For me, I think it greatly depends on the purpose of the photo. If the context is intended to demonstrate only the behavior and the habitat of the red-winged blackbird, the standard edit no doubt tells the story more clearly. But compositionally, from an artistic perspective, the sky lacks much interest since there are no clouds. I applied a slight texture to the entire image and gave the sky a bit of a glowing look. I also mounted it on a (virtual) backdrop to give it more of a scrapbook feel. I think I prefer the softer look of the sky in the creative edit, but I think it might also distract from the rather elegant dance of the birds themselves—instead of enhancing it as I had intended.
As usual, photos edited in both Lightroom and Photoshop Elements.