New animal portraits
Let’s face it; the Marabou isn’t exactly a beautiful bird. One follower on FlickR commented that this bird had a face that only his mother could love. Well, but on the other hand, the bird has got some inner values that qualify him for some compelling storytelling. But why don’t these stories ever seem to have a happy end? See for yourself.
Prepare for a cuteness attack of the first order. There really is such a thing as childlike characteristics. They enchant adults like you and me. Always. Resistance is futile.
The Black Hornbill
As its name suggests, the black hornbill isn’t very colorful. However, it sports quite an enormous beak which give it its name. I don’t really know, but I suspect male hornbills can impress the female ones with this thing.
Lions are one of my favorite species to photograph. Their elegance and grace are unrivaled, as is the intensity of their stare. I found one in a nearby zoo which apparently is very happy to model for me. I took a few cool portraits of this fellow last year.
This European bison was quite sleepy, but I still tried to capture the impressive massiveness of this animal. What do you think – did I succeed?
Andean Bear Cub
I remember vividly how this adventurous little bear cub effortlessly climbed high up to the top of these fake zoo trees. Unfortunately, it apparently hadn’t given a thought on how to get down safely again. So it stayed up there for about 10 minutes, turning here and there, attempting to get down again, until it finally made it. By then I had taken a couple of interesting silhouette shots, one of which I got around to process recently. Here it is.
This image has been sitting in my library since 2015, but due to the original background not having enough separation from the cat, I haven’t been able to process this one properly – until now. Last month, I discovered a tool in Photoshop, the background eraser. With a combination of this new tool and the old techniques I have used all these years, I could finally make it happen.
This is an important thing to know about how I create these on black animal portraits. It isn’t only one tool, and it isn’t just one step. Creating these black backgrounds believably is a multistep process, and each step involves a different tool, often only available in various pieces of software. And what’s even more important, there isn’t just one standard procedure which I follow every time. Each image requires a different toolset and different techniques – and I have to find out how it is done from scratch every time. Often enough, I fail. But not this time.
I love these birds, well, at least as a model for my photographs. They can look funny and serious, cold and warmhearted, dangerous and peaceful. Photographing them is always interesting. You never know what you are going to get.
There’s more, right here on www.chm-photography.com
If you liked what you saw here, you might want to check out some my other animal portraits, right here in the Portfolio section of this website. Enjoy!