Noise, one of the enemies of clarity in photos—and, a solution!

Once upon a time, in the days of film cameras, photographers struggled against “grainy” shots. “Noise” is the equivalent in the era of digital photography. If you blow up one of your photos you might be surprised to see irregular blotches throughout. Blurriness is a different problem. Blurriness is caused by camera jiggle or movement … More Noise, one of the enemies of clarity in photos—and, a solution!

Are We Part Of Nature?

Photos and meditation on our connections Are human beings a part of the natural world, separate from it living in our own human-made world, or somewhere in between? As a professor of anthropology (retired!) I have thought a lot about these questions. Consider this photographic example—a jet’s contrail passing (or so it seemed from my … More Are We Part Of Nature?

Wing Flapping Displays As Agonistic Behavior

I introduced this series of posts addressing “agonistic behavior” with the following definition, from the Wikipedia article on the subject: “The term has broader meaning than aggressive behaviour because it includes threats, displays, retreats, placation, and conciliation.” This post highlights wing flapping by ducks as an example of agonistic behavior that is clearly not fighting (but could … More Wing Flapping Displays As Agonistic Behavior

The Agoni(stic) And the Ecstacy (Or Not): Bird Vs. Mammal

Juncos are fairly tough birds. They hiss and click if you unwittingly get near their nests. So if they can challenge humans, ground squirrels may well appear to them to be relatively easy to chase off. That is the way it seemed a month ago when two juncos challenged a rock squirrel in our front … More The Agoni(stic) And the Ecstacy (Or Not): Bird Vs. Mammal

“Agonistic Behavior” Among Birds: More Than Just Fighting

A useful introduction to the term “agonistic behavior” is found here,” from Wikipedia—”Agonistic behaviour is any social behaviour related to fighting. The term has broader meaning than aggressive behaviour because it inecludes threats, displays, retreats, placation, and conciliation.” My camera and I see it all the time, from our bird bath to clashes in the (relative) wild. I have documented such … More “Agonistic Behavior” Among Birds: More Than Just Fighting

Motion Blur #2: Photographing American Avocets in Flight

I live hundreds of miles inland from the Pacific, but late in August, Flagstaff was visited by a flock of American Avocets. As you saw in my first Motion Blur post, the technique produces some cool effects. (By the way, like yesterday’s post, this shot was taken at the Old Walnut Canyon Road Ponds. I … More Motion Blur #2: Photographing American Avocets in Flight