Watch the birdie

Welcome to my very first blog. That wasn't as easy as I had expected to get started but hopefully I am here now.
What I want to do on the blog page is show you how the Kitchy & Co images come about.
From the initial idea and setting up of a shot through to the capturing and photo editing.
And of course introduce you to some of our Kitchy & Co stars.

Lets start with our latest image. Open Gardens.

Over the last few years I have concentrated on photographing mainly farm animals and dogs, that is where I am most comfortable. So when it was suggested that I should try photographing some wild birds but still with my Kitchy & Co humor it took a little time to come up with some new ideas.
The biggest challenge has been scale. They are just so very small.
Any props need to be considered carefully so as not to over power the scene, the main focus needs to be on the birds so what is in the rest of shot is very limited and it is very easy to over do it.
I have tried many different ideas for the backdrop before I built the stonewall and I even had some little daffodils to add a bit of colour, and the first sign I used was to big.

The second challenge is how do you get wild birds to be where you need them to be ?
Food and a regular feeding spot is the answer.

This wasn't going to happen over night so we have been feeding them regularly for a few months. There is a constant supply of seed and fat balls and then I put down mealworms 3-4 times a day which are their favorite.
This has resulted in very regular visits from a pair of Robins and a pair of Blackbirds, both of which are currently feeding their youngsters in the hedge not far away and it has been a pleasure watching them working in pairs to feed their young.
I have been amazed at how they fly in so easily to the little set/feeding area and will perch on anything that is there. Even when I change something they don't seem to notice.
Mr & Mrs Robin

Mrs Blackbird

Mrs Robin & Mr Blackbird
Through trial and error and over the course of 3-4 days eventually I settled on using a smaller sign. Now I just had to decide on which shot to use ? Robin or Blackbird - On or off the sign.



These are just a handful of images I have taken and choosing the right picture is all down to personal choice. I love the way the Robin is looking at the sign so that seemed like the natural choice.
This is now where I start with some photo editing.
All my photos are shot manually in RAW format as it allows me more control over editing.
I initially sort through them and pre edit anything I might consider using in Adobe Lightroom.
Once I have decided on which shot I want to use I then fully edit it in Adobe Photoshop using some built in options and some add on options which I have purchased from different sources.
The text on the sign is added in Photoshop as it is much clearer to read than if I was to write it on the sign by hand ( again trial and error over the years ) This way I can also change the text anytime I want.

At this point I then clean up the image (very little in this image ) the odd blemish in the stonewall, anything that is going to distract the view from the Robin or sign.
Then I use some tone enhancement to give it a warmer look and adjust the shadows and highlights to make it pop.

Time to tidy up the mess I have made before Mr Kitch comes home and think about building the next set.

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Comments

  1. All I can say to anyone reading this is - please keep coming back.
    Kitchy's photography is stunning.

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    1. Thank you for sending everyone over, it is lovely to get so many nice comments for my first post....and if I get stuck I will be ringing you for direction x

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  2. How clever you are! I"m able to use my iPhone and a half-way decent camera to take an average photo, but these are stunning! And I appreciated your explanations, although I won't even try to emulate you! Congratulations - I will return!

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    1. Thank you, totally self taught but it has been a long road to where I am now.

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    1. Thank you John, will definitely be following you, I have seen your posts before through Pat and I love your sense of humour.

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  4. It is much harder than I ever thought to create your special photos. Fascinating process though!

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    1. Thank you, this was quite an easy one once I got my head round the scale.

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  5. Brilliant, I love your photography

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    1. Thank you, I wish I had started a blog years ago

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  6. Beautiful work, I like the idea of adding the writing using Adobe instead of writing on th sign itself. Can't wait to see more photos.

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    1. Thank you, it is so nice to get so many lovely comments on my first post.

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  7. Looking forward to seeing many more of your photos.

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  8. This is a wonderful new blog to follow !
    Not sure I can do all yje fun adobe stuff but it sure works for you.

    cheers, parsnip

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  9. Lovely photos and I was most interested in looking at your robin. Looks different from ours here in Canada. I will be posting robin photos so we can compare. Birds are endlessly amusing. Good luck with your blog.

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  10. Wonderful photos! Looking forward to more posts. X

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    1. Thank you, I hope there will be many more posts

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  11. I was directed here by the Weaver of Grass. What an interesting explanation of how you created that shot. I will check in with you regularly.

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  12. I'm looking forward to your future blogs. I am a bird lover, out there every morning looking for the return of the birds for the season. I was startled this morning, a banging and clanging. It happened twice,the I heard the almost scream of the bird, I opened the balcony door, a Northern Flicker Woodpecker flew away. I was on my air conditioner beating his bill against the unit. I enjoyed the moment. Thank you so much for sharing your talent.

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    1. Thank you, I have many more ideas for birds.

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  13. Hello. I am from Weaver. Interesting blog and information. (Interesting in this comment box too, it is like handwriting). I look forward to more posts. Rachel

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    1. Thank you, I like the handwriting look but when you press publish it changes.

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    2. I noticed! You are welcomec to visit my blog too. Please do!

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  14. What a lovely start to your blog. The photos are delightful and thank you for your hints and advice on photography. I have visited your blog via Weaver and I look forward to further posts. Thanks you.

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  15. Good blog. Hope you keep feeding the birds !

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  16. Good luck with your blog, I love your images, particularly the one with the dig and the sheep!

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    1. The Sheep and Dogs are my favourite

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  17. Lovely first time blog, the birds and the board go together like a 'horsr and carriage'.. Very patient of you to feed them over months.

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  18. Hello I came here via Weaver. Very nice blog, we have quite a few birds in the garden in somerset but I still have to see a craine on the ground. I have seen them in the air and heard them but not seen them on the ground yet.

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  19. Hello and congratulations on creating your first blog.. I also find it interesting that English robins are so different than Canadian robins. Your dedication to your craft is wonderful. -Jenn

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    1. I will have to look up Canadian robins to see what they look like.

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  20. Really looking forward to seeing more of your work!

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  21. It takes a lot of patience to do what you do. I saw a man on tv using stuffed birds and and other stuffed animals and pretending they were real.. He was showing us the tricks of the trade as he called them. It was the end effect he was after. I like to take photos too and I'm particularly pleased with a photo of a dragonfly I once managed to take. More by good luck than skill I don't mind confessing. Good luck with your new blog and thanks to Pat for sending me.

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    1. I think I will stick to the real birds. Thank you for visiting

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  22. Hello, lovely to see a new blog. I think you have the patience of a saint to prepare so long for a photo.! Look forward to seeing more

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  23. I haave seen your photography in the past through your aunts blog and thought it was stunning. Congratulations on putting your blog together... I enjoyed reading about your process, and the end product was adorable!

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  24. Wow Thank you all ever so much for such a warm welcome. I look forward to sharing more of our special Kitchy & Co images and hope that I can follow you all in blogland.

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  25. this is just stunning, love how all the elements fit together, the dasies and sign and the sweet robin ....fab work
    Tilly

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  26. Wonderful photographs and such love of nature shown in your work! I too came over from your lovely aunt's blog and am so glad I did. Hope to see more of your work soon. I am bookmarking your blog as a favorite.
    Mary

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  27. Lovely to have someone new to visit - grateful to Pat for giving us a heads up to come visit here.
    Funnily I've posted today on the American robin - I'm English but have lived here in the US for a long time.
    Our robin is quite different to your 'robin redbreast' - visit and take a look here when you have time!

    http://abreathoffreshair-mary.blogspot.com/2017/04/ruffled-feathers.html

    Welcome to 'blogland' - and good luck with your photography.

    Mary (North Carolina)

    P.S. Can you perhaps enlarge your font in Comments please - it's so tiny so there may be spelling errors!

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  28. Perfect photographic composition. Nature is not an easy subject, but you have succeeded at catching all its beauty.

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  29. Hello!!
    I envy your absolute patience, I wouldn't hold for ten minutes! We had a marvellous photographer in Sweden called Jan Lindblad who started shooting very young, pictures at first, then filming. He was the best!!
    Your love for these little creatures will take you far, no need for stuffed animals here, Gwil's right. So nice of Pat to direct us over to your world, I'll be back to be enchanted for sure! Thank you from me here in Sweden!

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  30. Just discovered your lovely blog (via Weaver). Loved the photo of the Robin looking at the sign - superb. I absolutely love the picture (think it's your home page) of all the farm animals outside the shop (with the vegetables everywhere). Would love to get a copy of that picture!! Definitely will be following your blog and looking forward to your photo's.

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