Nature Blogger Network

Nature Blog Network

Saturday, November 23, 2013

APRENDIENDO POR ACCIDENTE: LA LUZ QUE NO PODEMOS VER



Estaba trabajando un archivo para usar la técnica de capas de Photoshop y ver si podía llenar una imágen con burbujas. Esta técnica consiste en realizar mas de una imágen a diferentes planos focales (5 en este caso) en un mismo cuadro y luego, juntar todas en forma de capas en Photoshop para desarrollar una sola imagen con gran profundidad de campo, donde cada campo focal de las fotos tomadas sean parte integral de la foto final. Esta técnica se aplica para paisajes, la macrofotografía y las composiciones con múltiples imágenes. Los invito a probar esto, ya que nos obliga a pensar, con anterioridad, el producto final de un ensayo fotográfico (esto es lo que llamo pensar en digital). En mi caso, quería fotografiar la profundidad en el agua utilizando esta metodología de fotografía hiperfocal.

LA IDEA:
Esta surgió, como surgen muchas de nuestras fotos, se nos prende el bombillo al ver algo que nos llama la atención. En mi caso, me paré, puse la cámara sobre el trípode y disparé cinco imágenes a alta velocidad. Las imágenes no dicen mucho, pero a mi me maravilló, el movimiento de las burbujas y como se movían en arcos, su color blanco o plateado sobre un fondo verde oscuro casi negro y como se verían al montar las capas en Photoshop. Ahora, ¿porqué? al juntar las capas, las burbujas cambiaron de color...


LA EXPLICACIÓN

El área azul es donde caía el agua al estanque, la blancuzca donde las burbujas empezaban a surgir hacia la superficie, el ambar cuando las burbujas se alejaban de la turbulencia, rojo la zona, mas alejada del punto donde caía el agua, donde el fondo oscuro del estanque se hacía cada vez más evidente y las burbujas se disolvían para perderse en el agua.


LOS DETALLES

La refracción de la luz, a través de un prisma, se nos presenta en varios colores, de los cuales, algunos están en nuestro campo visual, mientras otros, con diferentes longitudes de onda, nos son imperceptibles.


Cuando la luz blanca pasa por un prisma, esta se descompone, lo hace en los colores que vemos en la imagen superior. Ahora, ¿como es que las burbujas de aire pasan de ser transparentes a tener colores?


Si se fijan en las diferentes partes de la foto final, donde por accidente, se sobrepusieron las burbujas de varias imágenes diferentes en formas de capas en Photoshop, el efecto prisma se hizo efectivo.


No se porque las burbujas, al juntarse, se refractan horizontalmente. Pero sin duda, la magia de sacar colores de la nada, fue una sorpresa muy agradable y verla pasar frente a tus ojos, cuando no te lo esperabas es maravilloso.


Ahora, que sabemos que sumando capas de burbujas de agua, cascadas, chorros de agua, olas, rápidos o chorros de agua, en cualquiera de sus expresiones, puede darnos este efecto en las partes de la imagen que están en movimiento. Imaginense, aplicar la técnica a producciones de trajes de baños, retratos, etc.


Al saber que podemos hacer esto con Photoshop, ahora podemos planificar nuestra fotografía en proyectos en que esta técnica pueda ser utlilizada.

EL TUTORIAL

Desde bridge se seleccional las imágenes que vamos a utilizar. Estas ya habian sido procesadas en Adobe Camera Raw. Todas las imáges fueron trabajadas con los mismos valores, cosa que es imprescindeble para cuando se trabaja con panorámicas o macro, donde unimos muchas imágenes en una.


Abrimos el menu de Herramientas/Tools y escogemos Photoshop y sombreando todas las fotos. 


Luego le damos a Load Files into Photoshop Layers / Cargar Archivos a Capas de Photoshop.


Luego le damos a Load Files into Photoshop Layers / Cargar Archivos a Capas de Photoshop.


Luego le damos a Blend Images / Mezclar imágenes


Cuando nos sale la ventana para escoger la próxima acción le damos a Stack Layers /Apilar Capas


Y esperamos a que se junten las imágenes, esto puede tomar varios minutos, dependiendo de la cantidad y el tamaño de las imágenes.


Poco a poco podemos ver el cambio, y para mi, que no me lo esperaba, fue una sorpresa muy agradable que me abrio la imaginación para querer experimentar con agua en movimiento en todas sus formas.


Espero que disfruten de esta técnica y planifiquen hacer tomas donde aplicarla a conciencia les traiga retos que les permita separar el tomar fotografías al hacer fotografía, creanme, hay una gran diferencia entre una cosa y otra, pero ninguna excluye a la otra.

Si hay alguien que nos pueda explicar el comportamiento de la luz en la imagen se lo agradecería de corazón.

Hasta la próxima entrega, que hagan buenos clicks

Leopoldo García Berrizbeitia
Fotonaturalista











Thursday, November 14, 2013

FIELD NOTES: WHY HUMMING BIRDS MOST FEED LATE IN THE TWILIGHT OF THE DAY



Most people familiar with hummingbirds know, that they are the smallest birds on earth and that their flight is unique in the avian world. One of the most amazing things about these birds is the fact, that by the time we say ONE, they have flapped their wings between 20 and 80 times, thus enabling them, to fly up to 45 feet in one second. However, this ability has a high energetic cost, that imposes a high energy intake on these little creatures. This forces hummingbirds to eat their own weight, every day, in order to survive.


Therefore, the last hours of the day are of vital importance to hummingbirds, as they need to gorge themselfs with food, at the end of the day, so they may survive the night without feeding.  The tropics have an even distribution of 12 hours of day light and 12 hours of darkness, so hummers most adopt complex physiological strategies to live trough the night. The loss of body heat is great for little animals with high metabolism, and to warm blooded hummingbirds, this is a huge problem, as they cannot replenish their caloric requirements at night, and ambient temperature can drop very fast.  In many of the habitats, where these little birds make their home, such as the high Andes, where mountains can reach an altitud of 18,000 feet, seasonal changes occur in a daily bases. High tropical mountains have a summer and a winter every day. Their temperature changes can go from high summer temperatures during the day,  to freezing nights in 12 hours. So, how do these little birds cope with these extreme conditions and survive the night hours? Well, by feeding really well at the end of the day, and making sure, they can reach a good food sourse, early in the morning. But this is not enough. Twelve hours without eating is a live or die problem. Hummingbirds have the hability to go into TORPOR or NOCTIVATION, a hibernation like state, where the birds lower their body temperature, heart beats, and breathing and get into a self induced hypothermia. This allows them to cut back their metabolism up to 95% and the requiered energy use up to 50%. Torpor differs from hibernation, because birds can do this at will. To come out of torpor, hummingbirds vibrate their wings and shiver to warm up to readiness. They can do this, up to two hours before day break. Some researchers feel that a circadian clock triggers the behavior and once the hummers come out of torpor, they can go into sleep for a few hours to get the rest they need. Apparently the torpor stages are not real sleep.





Knowing this, is a key element, for those of us who keep feeders for the hummers. Therefore, in areas, where hummers may finish the contents of feeders, by the end of the day, refilling the bottles at that time, with enough sugar water, enables the birds to have a late afternoon and early morning supply to feed on. Some may argue, that this is interfering with nature's ways, and they are right. Others, may support, that its better to supply a wide array of flowering plants, that may produce enough nectar up to the late afternoon hours as a solution, however, it still is human intervention. I have noted, that feeders have help to increase the numbers of hummers in all the areas of Topotepuy, the botanical garden that I work. Never the less, I cannot be sure, that this is due to a better breeding success due to food availability near their nesting areas and living territories, or, that more birds have learned to feed off the bottles, and they stay around throughout the day at the feeding stations. One thing is for sure, agresive interactions at the feeders increase as the light diminishes at dusk, this may be induced, by the feeding urgency, that these little birds have to fill up with enough caloric intake, that would allow them, to make it through the 12 hours of night time without ingesting any nectar or sugar water.


Threatening display between Copper Rumped
Hummingbirds. Note their body language.

Recording these events is important to study the bird's
behavior, and the use of our flashes and a high speed shutter
allows the photonaturalist to record postures that may be too fast to see with the naked eye.

Pointing your bill, blowing wind and confronting your adversary
stablishes who will remain at the feeder, this is the so called pecking order behavior where dominant birds are the first to eat.

The bird at the feeder maintains its position and turning sideways to feed
may tell its adversary, I am here to stay. This act of self confidence sends a clear mesage to the other hummer. Note how the opposer's bill and flapping wings are directed to the bird at the feeder. Using wing generated wind and sounds may be part of a humming bird's repertoir in agonistic behavior. 

It is a known fact that hummingbirds can go into TORPOR or NOCTIVATION at night. This is a lethargic state assumed by the birds at night, where they lower their metabolic rates up to 95% by slowing their heart, lung activity and lowering their body temperature to a pseudo hypothermia state where this activities are hardly percievable by the human eye. The literature cites, that hummers are not sleeping while noctivating, and they will actually go into sleep, once they get out of the lethargic stage by shivering and flapping their wings. Only then they may sleep for a few hours before dawn! Hummers most have a great memory to map in their territory which plants are in bloom, how rich in nectar are their flowers, and how many flower patches are near their resting sites, as this is a mater of life and death.


All the images in this articles were taken between 17:00 and 18:30 making imperative the use of flashes. The flash mode was set at multiple, the ISO at 800 and the focus of the camera was preset, to enable shooting in near darkness possible. The technique does guarantee 100% results, but as soon as a hummer gets into pre-focused framing, one triggers the camera and one out of 5 images can be right on the money.  The photos were taken in RAW, and then, processed in Adobe Camera Raw, which helped me correct the under exposed images, and make the best out of my files.


There are two species of hummingbirds visiting my feeder The Copper Rumped Hummingbird (Amazilia tobaci) and the Glittering Throated Emerald (Amazilia fimbriata). The Emeralds are the first to go during the late afternoon, however, the Copper Rumped hummers remain past dusk and their agressive displays increases into a free for all, and they they disapear until dawn. Learning the most about the animals you are about to photograph is important, but if we are to alter behaviours by making feeding stations, blinds or visiting vulnerable areas, it is imperative to learn to draw a line between our goals and the well being of your subjects.

Hope you enjoy the info and we will be seen you soon.

Best regards

Leopoldo "Leo" García Berrizbeitia
Photonaturalist.


BEST PLACE TO LEARN AND PHOTOGRAPH HUMMERS IN CARACAS



















Thursday, November 7, 2013

MARCAS ESTAN RELACIONANDOSE A DIGITAL CAMERA ADVENTURES / BRANDS RELATED TO DIGITAL CAMERA ADVENTURES


Hoy es un día muy bueno, estas son la marcas relacionadas con Digital Camera Adventures!

Its a great day today, these are the brands related to digital camera adventures!

Gracias a todos / Thank you all

Leo

DIGITAL CAMERA ADVENTURES LLEGA A LAS 90.000 PÁGINAS VISTAS / DIGITAL CAMERA ADVENTURES REACHES THE 90.000 PAGE VIEWS


¡SON 90.000!


Hoy tengo mucho que agradecer, han sido 4 años de trabajo donde el ensayo y el error fueron grandes maestros, los primeros 2 fueron duros, sin muchas retribuciones, poco a poco la audiencia de Digital Camera Adventures fue creciendo y ayer sobrepasó las 90.000 páginas vistas por una audiencia mundial. Fueron amigos como el explorador Charles Brewer Carias y el editor y amante de la naturaleza Alberto Blanco y el fotógrafo de sociales y compañero de viajes Omar Ponceleon quienes creyeron en el proyecto e hicieron su aporte con sus artículos e imágenes en Los Hijos de Las Estrellas, el Águila Arpía  y Como Fotografiar Bodas de Otras Religiones respectivamente. Estos artículos ya han sido leídos por miles de lectores en español y me queda el compromiso de traducirlos al inglés para cumplir con nuestra audiencia angloparlante. Luego, desde el Lejano Oriente, Kazuhiro Takahashi envió sus imágenes de Tokio y se convirtió en el primer colaborador internacional de DCA, su colaboración fue aleccionadora, ya que dentro de lo sencillo de una imagen, se escondía una emotividad y cultura muy diferente a la nuestra, pero lo más importante es que envió sus fotos y nos tomó unos cuantos días ponernos en tono para su interpretación ya que mientras yo me preparaba para un día de brega, Kazz se alistaba para dormir, era muy divertido decir buenos días mientras Kazz decía buenas noches… así pudimos lograr nuestros objetivos y demostrar que no somos tan diferentes unos de otros… GRACIAS / Domo Arigato KAZZ!

Los embajadores de buena voluntad de DCA son los colibríes, los lugares más vistos son Jardines Ecológicos Topotepuy, el Parque Nacional Canaima y el el Río Borburata en el Parque Nacional San Esteban de Puerto Cabello y sin duda, la gran reina es la Naturaleza, lo que nos une es la fotografía y un sin fin de CLICKS, en donde el lugar común para todos, es la pasión por la fotografía. 90.000 paginas vistas / page views son un honor que me hacen muchas personas que no conozco y otras que ya son ciber amistades. Quiero darle unas gracias muy especiales a mis mentores Topotepuyanos, sin su aliento, soporte y ayuda esto hubiera sido más difícil. A todos muchas gracias y que tengan un buen día. Para Diciembre la meta es las 100.000, pongan su granito de arena, compartan los artículos y denme ese tremendo regalo de navidad.

Saludos desde Caracas, Venezuela
Leopoldo “Leo” García Berrizbeitia
Fotonaturalista.

Today is a day of rejoices and gratitude, Digital Camera Adventures has reached 90.000 page views. It has been a long time, four years of trials and errors to get here. The first two, went bye with many disappointments, but I had to persevere. I wanted to make my contributions to nature, photography and travel, a goal that would bring people together. I’ve got bye with a little help from my friends J. Charles Brewer-Carias e Venezuelan explorer and mentor of many naturalist, Alberto Blanco a naturalist and editorial entrepreneur, and Omar Ponceleon a Wedding Photographer (naturalist convert) were my first contributors with their articles: The Children From The Stars, The Harpy Eagle and How to Photograph Weddings From Different Religions respectively. These articles need to be translated into English for my English speaking audience, which has been growing all these years. Then, out of the far east Kazuhiro Takahashi came along, and we breached the Pacific and the Caribbean, so an article about The Lights of The Night in Tokyo became a story. A lesson well learned, since, what could be a common night city landscape, became a cultural exchange where Kazz and I had to work together during a brief time. It started, before I went to work, and Kazuhiro was getting ready to sleep! So Kazz would say, good night Leo and I would reply, good morning Kazz! His love for specific colors, HDR, and Tokyo’s night lights, along with his incredible enthusiasm, were a great experience to share with you all, and all I can say is: DOMO ARIGATO TAKAHASHI SAN.

DCA’s goodwill ambassadors are, without a doubt, the hummingbirds. As How to Photograph Humming birds is the most popular article in the blog. These little jewels and wonders of nature have captured my life’s attention, and I will be placing more information about them in the blog and make newer editions of the most read articles of DCA. It is followed by THE CHILDREN OF THE STARS, the story of the origin of the Lost World, one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world, and then, TOPOTEPUY AN OASIS NEAR THE SKY, an article about a little botanical garden doing enormous things has captured the hearts of many people. Without mentors like the imaginators of Topotepuy, a lot of this would have never become a reality. Then, for those into wedding photography, Omar Ponceleon’s images and article on HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH WEDDINGS OF OTHER RELIGIONS has been a hit as well. The common place for this success has been people’s love for adventures, nature, and photography. 90.000 page views are a gift from all of those who share a passion, so lets keep together and work so 100.000 page views will become a Christmas present for all involved.

Best regards from Caracas, Venezuela

Leopoldo “Leo” García-Berrizbeitia
Photo-Naturalist