One Robin, Times Four!

Four birds for the price of one! I count: one robin in the tree, one robin in the tree shadow, one robin reflected on the lily pond, one robin's shadow reflected on the lily pond. :-)

Such a beautiful, sun-filled morning! I stopped several places, very quickly, on my drive to work. When I was at the Arboretum on Friday morning, several workers had been removing the bamboo that used to separate the lily pond from the main courtyard. On Monday morning, it was all gone. The result is that the lily pond and courtyard now seem to have become merged into one larger, more open area.

Now, I have to tell you that I have mixed feelings about this. The wall of bamboo helped separate the lily pond off and give it a more private feel. However, now that the bamboo is gone, the area feels very open and the light is much brighter and more direct. While I am enjoying that on an April morning, on a July afternoon, it may seem . . . not so great, actually.

A note on color and technique. This photo, like some of my others posted here, was taken in my camera's "vivid" mode. "Auto" is the setting I use most frequently. But I find that sometimes the shots taken on auto are a bit less colorful than the scene my eye actually took in. That's where vivid mode helps. It super-saturates the colors and turns them into real eye candy.

The unretouched result can be rather other-worldly and even outlandish, however, so I usually back off the color saturation quite a bit in iPhoto before posting the pictures. If there is a particular composition I like while in the field, I often take it in several modes: auto, vivid, mono, and sometimes posterized. Then I review the results upon downloading and adjust accordingly.

Anyway, the end result of an adjusted-down vivid approach is a certain sweetness in the color that more resembles what my eye saw in real life than what the auto mode rendered for me in a photo. In this shot, I thought it helped draw attention to the red of the robin and make the bird more visible. (In conditions of low light, I've noted that vivid mode also helps make more visible to the eye the light that was actually present on scene.)

I have also noticed another interesting natural aspect of color: the color of the sky (and of everything else) almost always looks more saturated when reflected on water. I think this is one of the reasons why I am so attracted to reflection shots. The world reflected back to me on the water surface is even prettier and more colorful than the one that I live in, if that's even possible . . .

The song for the day has to be about a robin, so here is the original version of Rockin' Robin, performed by Bobby Day.

P.S. Here's a link to another robin reflection shot which was taken at the same location last April.

P.P.S. Just for fun, compare this photo to a slightly snowier version of the same scene, taken last March.

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