Lately, all my photographs are either birds, squirrels, or a great deal of snow. Well, it’s winter and it’s February in New England. Even were it not for the lockdowns, this time of year in this part of the world is limited by the cold and the weather.
Grackles are rather magical looking anyway. Put them in sunshine and they glow in rainbow colors. Well, at least the males glow. The girls are a solid brown, a sensible color for a working avian mom. Also, given their amazing colors, no version of monochrome seemed to make much sense so I decided to see if I could make the magic more magical.
I used a graphical remix on this one to make the bird look more like a drawing. Not bad.
I used a “dark graphical” formula for this one, maybe to emphasize those yellow eyes and the slightly menacing look which is natural to all Common Grackles.
This version is called “Wonderland” and it’s from the “Fantasy” collection of Topaz filters.
Overall, if I were to take a vote on these? I like the original. The dark graphical is interesting and has merit, but the other two variations don’t add anything. They aren’t bad, but they aren’t an improvement, so why bother?
I don’t do a lot of complicated processing unless the pictures have issues like blurriness that can’t be resolved by sharpening or denoising but I like the image enough to play with it. Sometimes, an image just looks like it needs to be an “illustration.” I’ve done that with some flowers, especially when I have a lot of pictures that are essentially the same. The processing lets me do something different with the “same old” image.
The process of changing a photo to monochrome is based on the nature of the image. Sepia or black & white works exceptionally well for images where I want more texture and less attention to color. Also, sometimes color distracts you from the nature of an image. For such images, monochrome works best.
However, the Grackle isn’t that kind of image. Without color, it’s just a dark bird with light eyes, so the color stays. And anyway, all my snow pictures look like black & white because that’s what our world looks like this time of year. Until spring comes, we are black, white, and gray except for the brightness of the birds.