Western Bluebird, Juvenile, © Photo by Steve Kaye

A Story in Every Face | July 2016

A Story in Every Face

Western Bluebird, Juvenile, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in A Story in Every Face

Western Bluebird, Juvenile

There’s a story in every face.

When photographing people, we capture their story by posing them. So we entice facial expressions. We arrange body language. And we might add scenery (such as makeup or special clothes).

Then the viewer uses these features to imagine a story.

When photographing birds, we use other techniques.

That’s because birds won’t pose. Their range of facial expressions is limited. And they refuse to wear makeup.

So we use a bird’s head angle or posture. And through that we tell an implied story.

Consider the three photos in this post.

Each implies a different story.

For example, the above photo shows a classic profile of a young Western Bluebird.

Allen's Hummingbird, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in A Story in Every Face

Allen’s Hummingbird, Male

The next photo of an Allen’s Hummingbird catches an instant of its looking about.

Does this bird seem concerned? Angry? Upset?

Mallard Female, © Photo by Steve Kaye, in A Story in Every Face

Mallard, Female

And finally, here is a Mallard, who has tucked her bill under her back feathers.

Now play with this.

Imagine the story in each of these faces.

How do these photos impress you?

And what feelings does each photo stir in you?

There’s a deeper point here.

Such questions matter when selecting photos for a presentation. That’s because the story in each photo adds an extra, unspoken dimension to the message in the presentation.

And so, showing photos of birds involves more than just picking nice pictures.

It involves selecting photos that create an experience to support the reason for giving the presentation.

Much success,

Steve Kaye

PS: See more stories and photo tips at:

Why Focus Matters

Photo Backgrounds Matter

How to Photograph a Marsh Wren

Nice Tail

Always Something

Birds at Risk

Help Birds Tip

Provide Water

Why: Birds need water, especially during summer.

How: Set up a bird bath. Or put out an old plate, dish, or empty food container.

Of course, use a clean container and fresh water. Then clean the container and change the water every day or two.

And be careful to avoid letting garden chemicals contaminate the water. These chemicals make birds sick.

Birding Resources

This beautiful book shows what can be done by keeping a personal nature journal. See: The Curious Nature Guide

Did You Know?

The most effective way to help birds is to buy land.

Here are three organizations that excel at doing this.

1) American Bird Conservancy

2) The Nature Conservancy

3) The Trust for Public Land

Please visit their web sites to learn about the work they do.

Here’s an excellent book: The American Bird Conservancy Guide to Bird Conservation

You can help – Please share this blog with others.
Inspiring Respect for Nature, one bird at a time.

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  • Bob Franz
    Posted at 07:10h, 22 July

    WEBL – OK already, can you turn the bright light off?

    Allen’s Hummingbird -What’s that gadget in your hand, is it some kind of Boom Box?

    Mallard – Now I lay me down to sleep, —

  • Delta T
    Posted at 15:19h, 21 August

    Western Bluebird looks like a checker at my local pet supply store: “Cat litter…AGAIN?”

    Allen’s Hummingbird: “You’re not going out wearing that, are you?”

    Mallard: “I’ve found comfort within my own down.”

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