Friday, March 24, 2017

Synchronicity! - 19 Mar 2017


A few weeks back Sabrewings Tour Guide and fellow bird photographer Brian Zwiebel posted a composite photo of an American Wigeon taking off from the water. At 10 fps, however, every photo showed the same wing spread, making it look like the duck never flapped its wings. I experienced the same thing just this morning!

While photographing a Northern Shoveler taking off from the ditch down here at Erie Marsh Preserve (Monroe Co.) I captured 11 frames consecutively at 10 fps (1/2000 sec at f/5.6, ISO 1600). The duck never flapped its wings, neither. I created this composite by stitching all 11 images together using Photoshop's Automerge tool (after content-aware removing the ducks from duplicated layers), then re-inserting the ducks using the opacity tool to line up their original positions. I then did some trimming of layer backgrounds from each duck and flattened the image. Since the background was so bleh, I kept it as a technical image.


Another pair of Northern Shovelers took off and I followed them in flight. Note the absolute synchronicity of their wing beats. The Chinese Olympic diving team would be impressed.


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