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I Walk Because I Cannot Fly
I Walk Because I Cannot Fly

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Birds II (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: Animals
Camera: Olympus E-500 EVOLT
Lens: Olympus 50-200mm f/2.8-3.5 ED Zuiko Digital
Date: Jan 27, 2008
Galleries: Nature, Animals
Date Uploaded: Jan 26, 2008

(AKA "I cannot see because I have no head" or "bird butt" - take your pick)

First, it should be obvious that this is a bird. :P

Second, it was anywhere between 10-30 degrees here this week and a lot of the pretty birds are in hiding. Plus I live an hour from the zoo. So I'm not going to be submitting any colorful pictures of birds this week.

This is a Canadian Goose. I'm fascinated by these birds for some reason. They usually travel in pairs and this one was alone. It was injured in some way and one of it's wings is broken. I saw it two times this week at Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge. I wonder if I will see it again.

So I am sure this will not do well because 1) it's not in color, and 2) people don't want to see a headless bird.

I just saw it hobbling across the ice, with it's wing in an obviously bad position, so I had to take a picture. I wanted the focus to be more on the wing and the feet walking across the ice, so the birdy head had to go.

Place: 145 out of 251
Avg (all users): 5.4732
Avg (commenters): 6.8000
Avg (participants): 5.3093
Avg (non-participants): 5.6204
Views since voting: 1341
Views during voting: 348
Votes: 205
Comments: 36
Favorites: 4 (view)

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11/11/2008 11:34:46 PM
Michelle...what a powerful photograph. I would love to see you reprocess this and post a larger version. Absolutely stunning and moving, and have not read the details yet, but I can only imagine what it says.

I love Canadian Geese, too many stories...

ETA: Much better than my entry despite the score. I went for a straight portrait...

Message edited by author 2008-11-11 23:36:27.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/27/2008 03:41:03 PM
The processing looks a bit off, but holy emotion. I almost cried reading the title. I love the black and white choice, and I actually don't mind that he's headless. I think if he had a head, the wing would be less noticeable. The power of this image relies heavily on the viewer noticing the broken wing.

As for the processing, it looks like maybe the bird itself was maybe out of focus and in turn you over sharpened it trying to bring it in? The goose has a slight halo glow. Maybe this is a small crop from a larger image, and its lost some detail.

Meh, I still love the shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/08/2008 07:31:26 PM
This is an amazing image Michelle...very underrated. I love the contrast and the composition...I like the crop and the headlessness :) I think it makes you think...great image
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/13/2008 11:47:15 AM
I love this picture and especially love the title, it sends a message. I dont know why it dident score higher.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/20/2008 08:28:38 PM
hahaha on alt titles. you funny. i especially love the spooge behind the feet.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/12/2008 08:38:15 PM
This should have scored higher than it did. I think it is a fantastic capture, very sympathetic and sincere.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/11/2008 05:36:58 PM
Excellent option in the crop. Unusual and and very well processed. Great image in many ways. Congrats on the Posthumous Yellow!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/08/2008 12:22:41 AM
Excellent photo, good job in cuting the subject in the right place. This makes you think, and that makes a good photo.

I think I told you before, you are a master at getting in close
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/07/2008 12:35:49 AM
What a sad image. I'm actually quite partial to images that can evoke such emotion without any expression. Wonderfully captured, lovely processing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/06/2008 02:39:38 PM
Wow, a bird picture that is quite unusual but still well done. I really like the different angle here, but more impressed that you still composed it extremely well. The puddle...it's what makes the picture work.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/05/2008 11:14:14 PM
What a horrible thing to befall a migratory bird. You were right to focus it as you did, and compose it headless as you did - zeros right in on the point of the piece and makes it all the more poignant. B&W was absolutely the way to go with this one.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 03:09:31 PM
Ayee !! another underated shot in this challenge . .

This is such a good shot, and tells so much more of a story than just something sitting looking back at you (like I would have taken :- ))

This does what a picture should - it tells a story and connects with the viewer.

Although I have to admit it didn't seem to connect with that many in this case . . I can only hope some of them come back and take another look at leisure.

p.s. The title you used was perfect . . I wouldn't have said the same for 'Bird Butt' :- )
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 01:25:34 PM
brilliant michelle .. a photograph that tells a story and a very sad one too .. but that's life eh? .. excellent process and crop .. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 08:47:15 AM
Hey, congrats on your Posthumous. We deserved!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 01:46:29 AM
This was a really nice shot for the challenge simply because it was so different to the vast majority of images.

I thought the composition was fantastic, espially the way you captured the melting ice were the goose had walked. Really strong black and whire conversion as well. Mind you just looking at that wing made me wince
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 12:57:02 AM
You were robbed - this is excellent. Oh, wait! You weren't robbed at all! You got a Posthumous! Huge congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 12:41:03 AM
Super BW (ah, your high contrast!). Almost worship the ground it walks on, splendidly rendered. Congrats on ph yellow.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 12:37:17 AM
Very well done! Belongs on a museum wall. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/04/2008 12:31:46 AM
I love this photo!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/03/2008 11:26:47 PM
fascinating, original image. posthumous yellow.

' . substr('//blackyak.com/dpc/yellowpost.jpg', strrpos('//blackyak.com/dpc/yellowpost.jpg', '/') + 1) . '
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/02/2008 04:24:28 PM
powerful shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/02/2008 11:52:49 AM
Street photography meets Birds II. Well done! 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/02/2008 12:24:23 AM
love your subject 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/01/2008 09:47:18 PM
Not sure I like this composition with the head cut off.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/01/2008 04:03:37 PM
an interesting perspective, the quality of the picture lets it down a little
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/01/2008 12:37:18 PM
Beautiful image. I love the texture of the sand.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2008 09:31:23 PM
hah! very cool shot ;-D
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2008 08:31:04 PM
The water is in focus, but the bird is not .
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2008 12:26:30 PM
Nice shot and composition, although I would have still like to have seen the face. 6
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2008 10:30:34 AM
Very sad like the water effect on the ice.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2008 08:39:23 AM
Very evocative. Great shot! Something different from the normal headshot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/30/2008 03:35:27 AM
:-) nice composition!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/29/2008 08:31:28 AM
This was the first thumbnail I checked when glancing through the challenge. It's sad and poignant and I love that you did it in B&W and did not include the whole bird. Excellent.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 03:14:41 PM
Good choice of black and white. I wish the focus was more on the legs then the water.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 02:05:48 PM
love it, very good indeed, love the fact that it is not a whole bird, it expresses emotion all around here. the wing or lack of is clearly shown and you can see the damage. this shot grabs you and makes you look at all the details, 10 straight across the board
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/28/2008 08:43:18 AM
Aw, really :-( Poor bird. Looks dejected and I can't even see his face.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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