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Thread: Your Best/Favorite Image of 2015

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    Life Time Member Rachel Hollander's Avatar
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    Default Your Best/Favorite Image of 2015

    It's becoming a tradition that I start off these threads each year. It's time to reflect back on the past year and have some fun while doing so. Post your favorite image taken in 2015. No critiques allowed, just "great shot" and "WOW".

    Post as a reply to this thread, your ONE favorite image that YOU took this year. If there's a backstory then tell us about it and why it's your favorite.

    If you want to comment on an image and it is not the last post, just click "Reply with Quote" on the image you want to comment on.

    Happy Holidays and a Healthy New Year to All!

    The Moderators

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    Life Time Member Rachel Hollander's Avatar
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    I'll start us off. I took this image while on a Winter Yellowstone Workshop led by Dale Franz. It was unseasonably warm and the snowpack was very low the first week in February. One of my goals going into the trip was to capture some wildlife in fields of snow. Despite the low snowfall, the weather and this fox cooperated for just a few minutes and I was able to capture this image. I wanted the minimalist look to it without a lot of detail in the snow.

    Rachel

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    when I first opened this, I thought, "oh, it didn't come up," and then as I scrolled down, oh, my. I love the minimalist look of this. So many metaphors come to mind. thanks.

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    Very nice!! Evocative environmental shot a gorgeous creature!

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    Although not in flight, Ive always liked this shot, as it was my last shot before I drove out of the nature reserve, close to where I live. Capturing this bird against a foliage BG, always brings out the best in him, especially when the tail is blowing in the wind.

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    Life Time Member Rachel Hollander's Avatar
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    Hi Stu. I remember that image. Lovely!

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    Wonderful images Rachel and Stu.

    This Kingfisher shot is my fave as it took quite a bit of patience to capture. I moved into a new neighborhood three years ago that has a 35 acre lake. I finally found a perch that she habituated regularly enough to wait for a shot (in full camo of course - the neighbors think I am crazy ). After several tries she came to the perch and stayed for about 20 seconds. In this image she is making her rattling call and lifted her tail and perked up quite a bit for just a second or two.

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    Nice idea Rachel. All the shots so far are wonderful. Here's one of my favorites from this year:

    Coyote Hunts In Snow - Explored' by David Stephens, on Flickr

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    One of my faves. I spent a few weeks this year, photographing these small grebes. I worked out their daily routines, and discovered the best place to get closer Yes it was a great experience

    Little Grebe aka Dabchick

    Will

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    Great shots everyone! Fun to see how our favorites are not the "perfect" ones. This image of a dowitcher is my favorite for 2015.

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    Nice to see all these great images. This is my favorite image of the year because I had been experimenting with ways to light insect images using bounce flash with white card and this one is just about what I was trying for.

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    I had always wanted to shoot a heard of elephants near water with a wide angled lens, but the opportunities don't come so easy. Few guides are knowledgeable enough to position the vehicle precisely at a river crossing and wait for the herd to come to you. If you see a heard and race towards the elephants, the chance is they will move away or get agitated or even charge the vehicles. On this occasion, our guide at Mala Mala knew exactly where the herd would be crossing and positioned the vehicle precisely at the crossing. It really shows that with wildlife photography, it is much better let the wildlife comes to us than us come to them.

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    Thank you and Happy Holidays!

    Loi

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    Macaroni Redemption

    I was so blessed in 2015 that it is very difficult to pick a single image as a favorite but this one ranks right up there. To learn why, see the "How Often Do We Get a Second Chance? Redemption in the Snow" blog post here.

    This image was created on the 2015 Cheesemans’ South Georgia Expedition with the Induro GIT 304L tripod/Mongoose M3.6-mounted Canon EF 400mm f/4 DO IS II USM lens, the Canon Extender EF 2X III, and the amazing Canon EOS 7D Mark II. ISO 400. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/640 sec. at f/11 in Manual mode.

    Center AF point (Manual selection)/AI Servo/Rear Focus AF as originally framed was active at the moment of exposure. The active AF point was just below and behind the bird’s gape.
    Last edited by Arthur Morris; 12-22-2015 at 06:53 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Morris View Post
    Macaroni Redemption

    I was so blessed in 2015 that it is very difficult to pick a single image as a favorite but this one ranks right up there. To learn why, see the "How Often Do We Get a Second Chance? Redemption in the Snow" blog post here. ...

    .
    Great story (follow his link) and image Artie. That's actually quite a simple image, perfectly exposed with a high resolution camera and an exceptional lens. All that allows us to see the Macaroni in detail we can't see with our eyes alone. Even with a great spotting scope we can't appreciate this level of detail, having the time to study the miracle of the feather patterns, eye detail, etc. just keeps drawing me to bird photography.

    I'm glad to see that you seem to love your 7D MkII as much as I do mine. I see people dissing it all the time, but it's been nothing but a joy to me. With good technique, combined with Canon's best lenses, it's an amazing tool at an incredibly affordable price.
    Last edited by David Stephens; 12-22-2015 at 12:41 PM.

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    2015 was a very good year for me. Local rarities, unusual sightings, awesome behaviour stuff...but I keep coming back to this image of a humble and way abundant Eastern Gray Squirrel munching away on fruits during a snowfall in a local urban park. It shows you do not need to go far, or get "species of interest" to get something that just clicks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Stephens View Post
    Great story (follow his link) and image Artie. That's actually quite a simple image, perfectly exposed with a high resolution camera and an exceptional lens. All that allows us to see the Macaroni in detail we can't see with our eyes alone. Even with a great spotting scope we can't appreciate this level of detail, having the time to study the miracle of the feather patterns, eye detail, etc. just keeps drawing me to bird photography.

    I'm glad to see that you seem to love your 7D MkII as much as I do mine. I see people dissing it all the time, but it's been nothing but a joy to me. With good technique, combined with Canon's best lenses, it's an amazing tool at an incredibly affordable price.
    Quote Originally Posted by David Stephens View Post
    Great story (follow his link) and image Artie. That's actually quite a simple image, perfectly exposed with a high resolution camera and an exceptional lens. All that allows us to see the Macaroni in detail we can't see with our eyes alone. Even with a great spotting scope we can't appreciate this level of detail, having the time to study the miracle of the feather patterns, eye detail, etc. just keeps drawing me to bird photography.

    I'm glad to see that you seem to love your 7D MkII as much as I do mine. I see people dissing it all the time, but it's been nothing but a joy to me. With good technique, combined with Canon's best lenses, it's an amazing tool at an incredibly affordable price.
    Thanks. And yup, I love my 7D II especially when it is pretty bright out. A guy called me today and complained that he could not make sharp images with his. I told him to look in the mirror :)
    a
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Cadieux View Post
    2015 was a very good year for me. Local rarities, unusual sightings, awesome behaviour stuff...but I keep coming back to this image of a humble and way abundant Eastern Gray Squirrel munching away on fruits during a snowfall in a local urban park. It shows you do not need to go far, or get "species of interest" to get something that just clicks.
    Too friggin' cute! a
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Morris View Post
    A guy called me today and complained that he could not make sharp images with his. I told him to look in the mirror.
    There was actually a major focusing issue with many bodies when the 7D2 first came out. They have since fixed the problem (without making any admissions), but maybe this guy had one of those copies? I'm not saying this guy has one of those early bodies, but it is a possibility.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marina Scarr View Post
    There was actually a major focusing issue with many bodies when the 7D2 first came out. They have since fixed the problem (without making any admissions), but maybe this guy had one of those copies? I'm not saying this guy has one of those early bodies, but it is a possibility.
    Could be. I had one of the first and it was fine. Most times it is operator error. I have found that because of the pixel pitch that it is a bit harder to make sharp images with the 7D II and the 5DS R when using long glass than it is with previous camera bodies....

    Hope that you are doing well. a

    ps: he just bought his last week
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marina Scarr View Post
    There was actually a major focusing issue with many bodies when the 7D2 first came out. They have since fixed the problem (without making any admissions), but maybe this guy had one of those copies? I'm not saying this guy has one of those early bodies, but it is a possibility.
    Mine was in the first mass shipping. I have run into users in the field that have their settings all screwed up, either using too many AF points or not using high enough shutter speed. That seems very basic to us, but lots of users, based on my small in-field sample, don't know how to use the camera. (I find owners of Nikon 7100/7200s making the very same errors). Surely, there might have been some bad examples, but I think the reports are overblown. Anyway, that's ancient history since, "They have since fixed the problem."

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    A tough call Rachel, but as you know, I adore my Bears, so this had to go in I feel .

    An interesting few moments when this guy suddenly surfaced, probably the most dangerous species on the planet and one I have the most respect for. With zero time to think about composition, but enough time to dial in some settings, a but a bit of a frame filler even with the 70-200 and no problem pushing the ISO to 12,800 .

    Steve

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    Original format: Landscape, very slight crop from the top and on the sides

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    Great Blue Heron

    I love the way this image turned out. The light was magical which made post processing easy.

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    Default Great Egret Preening

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    Wonderful images all. This one was captured at Merritt Island NWR, in a particularly appealing pose. Except for a very slight crop and a bit of sharpening, this is SOTC. I noticed that it has very little evident grain, despite the ISO of 1600 on my original 7D. This is partly due to the predominant light colors.

    Canon 7D; ISO 1600; 500 f/4L IS + 1.4x TCII; f/11 @ 1/1000 sec.
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    Hard to pick a favorite, but I'll go with this one for being special. I'm pretty sure this was the initial test hop of the second sibling at a nest I was watching. One had made what I'm quite sure was his first hop 3 days before, and I'm pretty sure this is the second sibling, with his "older brother" watching with approval.

    Canon 7D2, 300mm f/2.8 IS + 1.4X III, ISO 800, f/6.3, 1/2500 sec. Handheld. Processed in LR and PS.

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    Hello Rachel!

    I remember your fox image, I liked it so much. I like it even more today

    Warmest regards,
    Gabriela Plesea

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    Great thread, thanks Rachel for starting it.
    Wonderful images being shared up to now.

    My image is not necessarily the most aesthetically moody/pleasing that I have taken this year, but it does represent the most amazing sighting I was fortunate to enjoy.
    I was present when a pack of highly endangered African Wild Dogs (Painted Dogs) brought their 17 puppies (all from one alpha female) out of the den for the first time. The pack regurgitated food for the young pups and allowed them to explore and play for about 45 minutes before herding them back into their den. This all happened less than 20 meters from our vehicle, and we were the only people there.


    I do have some images from this encounter that I deem better than this one, but I have scarcely processed 2% of images taken this year for want of time and motivation
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    Default Mother, Do You Think They'll Try To...?

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    Dear Friends,

    I trust you all had a wonderful Christmas, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year in 2016!

    I am having some trouble finding a favourite image for 2015, so here's one scene that moved me - I hope it had a similar effect on you.

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    WOW! Gabriella wins!! This is awesome and such a great title!

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    This is awesome, Stu! Superb capture of this stunning bird, beautifully exposed! So vivid I feel I can touch those tail feathers!

    Warmest regards,
    Gabriela Plesea

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    Steve, this Polar Bear image is crying for a big print. Wish I was there to experience this close encounter! Love the way the subject's face fills the frame, this is a very special capture - Congratulations!

    Warmest regards,
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    A very powerful image Gabriela and made even better with the choice of medium, although I just wonder how many would know the thinking behind the title?

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    Inspired from a couple of Pink Floyd lyrics, the title is open to interpretation:)

    If all fails, there's always Mr. Google...

    Thank you so much Steve, your comments are much appreciated, as always.

    Warmest regards,
    Gabriela Plesea

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    Morkel, I remember those sweet little pups! The chap in the middle is just adorable, love the slightly open muzzle and tiny teeth!!! Superb capture, I am delighted to see this again, great choice!

    And Morkel...safe trip, drive carefully, don't forget to tick that checklist: cameras, lenses, converters, tripods, Lexar cards, other cards, card readers, laptop, chargers, hard drives, bean bags, supports, batteries, binoculars, sun screen SPF 50 (especially for the kids), wine, good food, medicines, etc etc etc...
    Gabriela Plesea

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    Gabriella, Mork-man. You guys are rockin' it! a
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    Stopped by to look at all the great shots posted here. Lots of beautiful and memorable frames. Fantastic job everyone!

    Gabriella,
    Not sure how this image came to be, but if it is a natural image, and it is unaltered, then I "HIGHLY" suggest that you enter this into the BBC photographer of the year contest. This is beautiful and exactly what they are looking for!! If it isn't natural, or it is altered, then congrats on a beautiful creation!! Print it either way!
    Come join me for a Custom Raptor Workshop starting this November 2019- January 2020.
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    Thank you so much dear Arthur and David, such kind words from you both.

    David, I am listening I must admit I have never considered entering any contests before - will have another look at the processed image, as well as rules of the contest.

    I would like to thank you all for your critique, views and encouragement. And to wish you a very Happy New Year, lots of photographic opportunities, good health and success in everything you do!

    Warmest regards,
    Gabriela Plesea

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriela Plesea View Post
    Thank you so much dear Arthur and David, such kind words from you both.

    David, I am listening I must admit I have never considered entering any contests before - will have another look at the processed image, as well as rules of the contest.

    I would like to thank you all for your critique, views and encouragement. And to wish you a very Happy New Year, lots of photographic opportunities, good health and success in everything you do!

    Warmest regards,
    You are welcome and good plan. About 95+% of my favorite images can not be entered in many contests. I often have to redo and image in order to enter it... a
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
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  61. #38
    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    You read my mind, dear Arthur

    I do not use any plug-ins as such but even cloning a blade of grass is not permitted, I am told. Will do my homework properly. David got me excited and I love a good challenge. Something to look forward to, over the next few days
    Gabriela Plesea

  62. #39
    Lifetime Member Andre Pretorius's Avatar
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    Default The Huntress

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    Some Wonderful images here..

    This sums up my favourite place on Earth, my Holy Ground...the Kalahari..

    Early morning, south of Polentswa.....
    Regards

    Andre.

    www.gappimages.com

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  64. #40
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    On all levels you guys create some wonders that a guy like me can only dream of. (Gabriela I don't much like b/w but your image is so moveing). I hope it's ok for me to share while learning.

    Shaz and I were chasing the fallow rut here in England we threw all we had and were found wanting but we will come back until we get it sorted. We finally found a stand and turned up at dawn on the only day we had we were met with fog but a promise of light later. An acorn bouncing of the car ruined an unobtainable shot of a buck in no light at yards ,but folks who don't know always have hope So we left to meander and come back to the stand when just a little more light was there. Quietly we stepped forwards into the wood,he might be there with his ladies, head to toe camo every step had care a whisper from behind "Stu, on the oak" but I didn't see her until it was too late. We buried ourselves in some nettles not much ,but just maybe enough. Meanwhile I cursed myself for once again missing my wonderful chance and hoped for the deer.

    For the first time ever I was gifted that second chance,I couldn't get quite around all the nettles but this one is so special to me She is a beast for a spar(falconers term for female, male is musket) and I utterly suspect she has a favourite spot where we just happened to be waiting,so enough of the story My favourite for 2015 an incredible bird who came back to give the learner a chance :

    F70F9972 by Stuart Philpott, on Flickr

    To all that have tried to help me Steve Andreas Diane and so many more my personal thanks have the best new year hopefully beyond your dreams

    take care all

    Stu

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  66. #41
    Moderator, Digital Workflow Don Lacy's Avatar
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    Many excellent images posted so far. My main goal for 2015 was to improve my processing skill especially when it came to landscapes images so the image I chose is the first one where I felt it all came together.
    Don Lacy
    You don't take a photograph, you make it - Ansel Adams
    There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs - Ansel Adams
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    https://500px.com/lacy

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    BPN Member Sandy Witvoet's Avatar
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    Such a wonderful collection of images! Thank you all for the awesome "eye candy"!
    This is rather my favorite, as it was March 24 and after a long cold winter here in northern Michigan I finally headed out to one of the local river-fed lakes that was partially free of ice. Parked my "tail" under a shrub in a blob of mud and snow and waited....and waited... and waited. After a couple of hours, not even a Mallard came within range. Just as I was ready to pack it in, this lovely pair of Common Goldeneyes made their appearance and put on a nice show for me. "He" was obviously in love... "She", not so much.
    Canon 60D, 400 DO I, f5, ISO 400, SS 1/2000.
    Name:  Goldeneye3 1200.jpg
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    www.mibirdingnetwork.com .... A place for bird and nature lovers in the Great Lakes area.

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  70. #43
    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    Some really top class images here I have thoroughly enjoyed looking at them all.
    I think this is one of my favourites mainly because I don't recall having seen a similar puffin shot previously, I must admit I did enjoy the owls though.
    Camera Model Canon EOS-1D X
    Shooting Mode Manual Exposure
    Tv(Shutter Speed) 1/2500
    Av(Aperture Value) 7.1
    Metering Mode Evaluative Metering
    Exposure Compensation +1
    ISO Speed 2500
    Auto ISO Speed ON
    Lens EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM

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    Life Time Member Marina Scarr's Avatar
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    That is one heck of an image, Morkel, and I can only image how thrilling it must have been to witness these rare pups! TFS
    Marina Scarr
    Florida Master Naturalist
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    Life Time Member Marina Scarr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gabriela Plesea View Post
    Dear Friends,

    I trust you all had a wonderful Christmas, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year in 2016!

    I am having some trouble finding a favourite image for 2015, so here's one scene that moved me - I hope it had a similar effect on you.

    Nikon D4
    Nikon 500 F4
    ISO 1000
    F7.1
    1/640s

    Warmest regards,
    This is a BBC worthy image, Gabriela!!! TFS
    Marina Scarr
    Florida Master Naturalist
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  74. #46
    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marina Scarr View Post
    This is a BBC worthy image, Gabriela!!! TFS
    Thank you so much Marina, also thank you for your support with Story Sequences Forum - I cannot find words to tell you how I appreciate everything
    Gabriela Plesea

  75. #47
    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stuart Philpott View Post

    To all that have tried to help me Steve Andreas Diane and so many more my personal thanks have the best new year hopefully beyond your dreams

    take care all

    Stu
    Hi Stu, I know that I am breaking the guidelines here but I liked this one so much that I just had to work on it a bit, mostly to eliminate the YELLOW color cast on the subject, plus some my NIK CEP 25/25 recipe on the bird only. Perhaps someone will forgive me :) a
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 35 years of long lens experience. Please e-mail with gear questions.

    BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo Tours (IPTs): Fort DeSoto, SEPT 2018. Bosque, DEC 2018. San Diego, JAN 2019

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  76. #48
    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Perhaps someone will forgive me :) a
    LOL Artie, I think we ALL can forgive you and Stu will be over the moon I know with the RP.

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  78. #49
    BPN Member haseeb badar's Avatar
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    WOW ! Splendid images and Thank you Rachel for starting this thread .

    I love all my tiger images they are pretty hard to come by but the one i am posting here is my fav for 2015 because this sub adult happened to be the tiger who i got after nearly a year and secondly it was the image of the week at BPN ! ( my first time )

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haseeb badar View Post
    WOW ! Splendid images and Thank you Rachel for starting this thread .

    I love all my tiger images they are pretty hard to come by but the one i am posting here is my fav for 2015 because this sub adult happened to be the tiger who i got after nearly a year and secondly it was the image of the week at BPN ! ( my first time )
    Hey Haseeb, That is a stunner! Mazel tov. artie

    ps: that raised paw is amazing!
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 35 years of long lens experience. Please e-mail with gear questions.

    BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo Tours (IPTs): Fort DeSoto, SEPT 2018. Bosque, DEC 2018. San Diego, JAN 2019

    E-mail me at samandmayasgrandpa@att.net for BPN member IPT discount info.










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