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Posted by
CElliottUK (Reading, United Kingdom) on 20 January 2012 in Animal & Insect.

Yesterday wasn't HDR.
I found your answers to the HDR questionnaire to be absolutly fascinating. I really do appreciate all your views, it's helped me a lot. What I was doing was trying to do was fiddle with the various parameters that would give me a much wider tonal range without the end result looking false.
The difference between over-cooking it, and it not being noticable seems as much as anything to be to do with "Local contrast"-if things look "Too granular" or "Too clear" it's seen as an HDR image.
The other thing I've learnt is that you need to adjust the "Spread of the shots" depending on the light, "One size doesn't fit all". Anyway, thanks again for your thoughts, I really appreciate it (If anyone wants to know what settings I've ended up with, please lemme know, and I would be happy to pass them on)
Today's shot
Just as dusk approaches(That's about 4pm at the moment) a large flock of starlings flies above the pier, and finally settles after about 15 minutes
Brits love having stupid collective nouns, so a large flock of Starlings is called a "murmuration", just like a large flock of crows is called a "murder"

Panasonic DMC-G3 1/800 second F/6.3 ISO 1600 200 mm (35mm equiv.)

MissT from Chicagoland, United States

Amazing moment - beautiful!

20 Jan 2012 5:27am

Jypyä Pop from Turku, Finland

Whether in a big loft. Matched to those already belonged to the plague.

20 Jan 2012 5:34am

Luke from Spokane Washington, United States


20 Jan 2012 5:36am

Christine from Ellemford, United Kingdom

Must have been very noisy

20 Jan 2012 7:16am

Riccardo from Rome, Italy


20 Jan 2012 7:18am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Fantastic amount of detail filling the skies. A very Hitchcock moment!

20 Jan 2012 7:25am

omid from mashhad, Iran

very interesting!

20 Jan 2012 7:53am

flyingwind风飞扬 from China, China

Fabulous! A prediction of something in 2012?! 5*!

20 Jan 2012 8:10am

PRASHANT from Mumbai, India

Amazing....Migration time again.

20 Jan 2012 8:12am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

That's a hell of a word, where did you learn that?
Such huge flocks of starlings tend to leave an awful mess behind though.

20 Jan 2012 9:00am

@Curly: To me, it's a natural word, but Ronnie 2c has pointed out that it's not in his dictionaries, and I've just checked and it ain't in mine either! Something odd going on !

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

What a fascinating sight and, yes, an enthralling experience to actually see.
You got me checking that word 'murmuration' and, interestingly, it is not in my 1893 nor 1943 dictionaries although it is in the on-line searches.

20 Jan 2012 9:12am

@Ronnie 2¢: Now you've got me at it...It's not in my 1987 Concise OED either. SO, that implies it's a new word. What idiot would make up a word like that? I do seem to remember hearing the word on "Animal Magic"(Johnny Morris making out he's various animals, remember) I've just looked it up, and that series ran from 1962-1984, so, there's something odd going on here!

ursulakatariina from Leixlip, Ireland

Wow, there are so many of them it's almost scary.

20 Jan 2012 9:15am

Anna.C from LA ROCHELLE, France

wow ! very impressive ! great framing !

20 Jan 2012 9:46am

Tamara from Aarschot, Belgium

Oh dear... Hitchcock is not far ! Amazing capture... Well done ! Have a lovely day Chris :)

20 Jan 2012 9:57am

Sally from Glasgow, United Kingdom

this is a fab shot. now chris - you're not allowed to utter the letters 'HDR' for at least another month.

20 Jan 2012 10:28am

@Sally: Oh, alright then, but I'll find it hard...

J.R. from Urasoe City, Japan

Looks like a big old bunch of birds to me. You can use the words HDR again if you want but stop picking on me and my sliders:)

20 Jan 2012 11:31am

@J.R.: Oh, alright then, but I'll find it hard...

Göran from Skanör, Sweden

Just like Tamara above, my first thought goes to Hitchcock. Now I know where our starlings are during winter.

20 Jan 2012 11:51am

Lougris from Toulouse, France

impressionnant envol !! le bruit doit être conséquent !!:)

20 Jan 2012 11:54am

Anthony Morgan Lambert from Bielefeld,old West wales boy., Germany

A brilliant catch !! It´s funny,you don´t see many Starlings at all here in Bielefeld...

20 Jan 2012 12:11pm

Mhelene from Paris, France

Wow ...Incredible and very impressiv ! A superb capture !

20 Jan 2012 12:28pm

Tede from Aubenas 07, France

This impressive flock of starlings, splendid shot. Good day.

20 Jan 2012 1:06pm

Isidro from Barcelona, Spain

captura en el momento justo, muy buena composición!!

20 Jan 2012 1:59pm

Doug from Burnham-on-Sea, United Kingdom

Great catch. Sometimes watching them fly in these murmurations is like watching a school of fish.

20 Jan 2012 2:40pm

myky from Ontario, Canada

Nice catch...the framing of the pier works well along the bottom and gives context to this massive flock...makes me wonder how many are there!

20 Jan 2012 3:36pm

Slackwater Don from Spokane, United States

That's a new word for me. The density of these starlings is an amazing thing to see. Fine action shot.

20 Jan 2012 3:42pm

Francisco Romero from Carbajal de la Legua, Spain

Spectacular capture. Besides, they must have very interesting things to tell to each other.

20 Jan 2012 4:27pm

L'Angevine from Angers, France

on est envahi!!!!lol,on se croirait dans le film d'hitchkock....

20 Jan 2012 4:28pm

franz from Baden, Austria

truly a "bird cloud"!!! now i know where our starlings go when they leave here in autumn ... ;-))

20 Jan 2012 5:02pm

Sido from Seville, Spain

I would say murmuration is a nice name, isn't it ?

20 Jan 2012 5:33pm

The Mouse from Glasgow, United Kingdom

Yeah, what idiot would make a word like that up? But I do know a possible candidate!
Great shot, I love starlings when they fly en-mass

20 Jan 2012 6:54pm

@The Mouse: Not guilty, m'lud!

Jules from Drayton, United Kingdom

Wow - a pretty amazing sight and a fascinating organic spectacle - I quite like the idea of a "storytelling" of ravens living at the Tower of London!

20 Jan 2012 7:00pm

@Jules: It's an unkindness-this just gets odder and odder!!!!

Akbar&Armaghan from gorgan, Iran

very beautiful photo,nice composition and great capture

20 Jan 2012 7:14pm

David from Avranches, France

Wouldnt like to be underneath that lot once they have eaten. Shot sir!

20 Jan 2012 7:21pm

Adela Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

Interesting picture of the flight of starlings Chris .... I think that instead of a murmuration is to be a deafening noise ... very good! Best regards, Adela

20 Jan 2012 7:25pm

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal


20 Jan 2012 8:03pm

Shahriar choobin from Mashhad, Iran

Wow...that's great!!

20 Jan 2012 8:15pm

Julie L. Brown from Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Now that is a huge group of birds. You captured it well.

21 Jan 2012 4:27pm

Jules from Drayton, United Kingdom

Your response got me doubting the old grey matter - but after a google search it would appear we are both right - phew!!!! I can sleep easy tonight.

21 Jan 2012 10:34pm

karla from Omaha, United States

Ummm....people beset by too many starlings would think their name should be "murder" rather than murmuration. Have you looked in the full version of the OED? In any case, this is a huge number of birds in one place. Would think the noise from them would be a lot louder than the group name implies. Thanks for the HDR series. It was fun and improved powers of observation. :)

22 Jan 2012 2:55am

daniela scharnowski from Berlin, Germany

ho, take cover I´d say .

22 Jan 2012 11:50am

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

[ How I wish we could reply to Responses on this platform ! But, come to think of it, we might, then, still be discussing something from 2010 ! ]

23 Jan 2012 10:18am

☺ ► ƸɼiϾ ◄ ☼ from Narbonne, France

what a big cloud ! i hope you have taken you umbrella isnt it ?? ;-))

23 Jan 2012 11:11pm

Philip from Reading, United Kingdom

Cor! are you watching that bbc programme narrated by doctor who? great!

26 Jan 2012 10:14pm

Panasonic DMC-G3
1/800 second
ISO 1600
200 mm (35mm equiv.)