You Be The Judge: Digital « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

You Be The Judge: Digital

You Be the Judge: Digital Creations

The judging for the BIRDS AS ART 1st International Bird Photography Competition is complete. All of the judges including me were stunned by the quality of the images. We will be posting all of the images that were sent to the judges in each category. Each of you will have a chance to judge these images one group at a time. Please read the directions below carefully. Your votes will not determine the winning images but it will be fun to see how everyone’s votes compare to the votes of the judges.

Below are the nineteen images in the Digital Creations category that were sent to the five judges: Darrell Gulin, Chris Van Rooyen, Julie Zickefoose, Tim Laman (who filled in for a honey-mooning Andy Rouse), and yours truly. Here is another big time thank you to Darrell, Chris, Julie, and Tim. And a big time thanks also to Peter Kes and Denise Ippolito for helping me choose the images that were sent to the judges. We worked very hard for nearly three full days to get from more than 5500 images down to the final 163.

The Digital Creations category was defined as “anything goes including the use of filters and effects as long as there is a bird or birds in the image.” It turned out to be a very popular category especially among the BirdPhotographers.Net folks who spend time in the Out-of-the-Box Forum where Denise Ippolito has led by example as the #1 moderator for several years.

Before you vote, please click on each image to view it at full size. Then pick your five favorites and vote them 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 with 5 being your very favorite. Like this:

Flamingo filter-feeding: 5
Gadwall preening: 4
Great Horned Owl landing: 3
Brown Pelican on netting: 2
Chickadee: 1

The “Sample Vote” values above are for illustrative purposes only. Please do not let the sample vote, the vote’s of others, or the names assigned to the images influence your vote. Please put each of your five favorites on its own line by hitting “enter” after each one. No ties; please assign a single digit, 5, 4, 3, 2 or 1 to each of your five favorites. As you will see there are a great many beautiful and creative images here.

If you wish to comment on any or all of the images, please do so below your five voting lines; this will make tallying the votes easier. Votes cast by those who fail to follow the formatting directions will be relegated to the Trash Bin.

A tally of the public vote along with the actual winning images for each category will be announced approximately 48 hours after each posting.

Flamingo group


Waterbird flight


Young Brown Pelican landing


Great Blue Heron


White Pelican squadron


Marbled Godwit


Yellow-rumped Warbler art


Common Tern


Bearded Barbet Fractalius


Coot chicks


Filter-feeding Flamingo


Gadwall preening


Great Horned Owl landing


Brown Pelican on netting




Wood Stork line-up


Peacock displaying


Snow Geese blast-off


Paint drop avian sculpture

122 comments to You Be The Judge: Digital

  • avatar Geoff

    5 – Filter Feeding Flamingo
    4 – Peacock Displaying
    3 – Wood Stork Lineup
    2 – Common Tern
    1 – Yellow-Rumped Warbler Art

  • Pelicans-5
    Snow geese-4
    Warbler art-3
    Paint drop-2
    Common Tern-1

    The rest – I’m afraid – just look like random mucking-about with Photoshop plugins and filters to me.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Keith, Why choose to be insulting and nasty when you simply could have posted your vote?

  • Great Horned Owl – 5
    Common Tern – 4
    Wood Stork Line-up – 3
    Chickadee – 2
    Marbled Godwit – 1

  • avatar Dieter Schaefer

    Filter-feeding Flamingo: 5
    Passerine species: no clue!: 4
    Coot chicks: 3
    Snow Geese blast-off: 2
    White Pelican squadron: 1

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    As of 9:18 am eastern time on Sunday, June 3, 13 of the 19 images have received at least one first place vote. And nobody has given a to my very favorite image yet! Amazing.

  • Common Tern – 5
    Passerine species: no clue! – 4
    Peacock displaying -3
    Snow Geese blast-off – 2
    Coot Chicks -1

  • avatar Tom Lamb

    Passerine species: no clue!: 5
    Yellow-rumped Warbler Art: 4
    Filter-feeding Flamingo : 3
    Chickadee: 2
    Common Tern: 1

  • avatar Maggi Fuller

    Wood Stork line up: 5
    Common Tern: 4
    Gadwall preening: 3
    Great Horned Owl landing: 2
    Great Blue Heron: 1

  • avatar Dennis Olsen

    Common Tern: 5
    Peacock displaying: 4
    Passerine species: 3
    Wood Stork line-up: 2
    Coot chicks: 1

    I would love to learn how to apply these techniques to my photographs. Can you recommend a good resource to get me started ? Congratulations to all the finalists, I’m impressed.

  • avatar Pam Scott

    Coot Chicks: 5
    Filter-Feeding Flamingo: 4
    Chickadee: 3
    Passerine Species: No clue: 2
    Wood Stork line-up: 1

    Congratulations to all the finalists.

  • avatar Col Seller

    White Pelican squadron: 5
    Peacock displaying: 4
    Woodstork line-up:3
    Yellow-rumped Warbler art: 2
    Filter-feeding Flamingo:1

    Wow! These images certainly evoked some extreme emotional reactions in me, challenging me perceptions of “natural beauty”. I believe that individual taste will play a major part in the judging of this category. I have to say that I found a couple of these images quite disturbing – a bit like plastic surgery gone wrong.

  • avatar Deirdre Sheerr-Gross

    Passerine species: no clue: 5
    Coot Chicks: 4
    Chickadee: 3
    Wood Stork line-up: 2
    Gadwall Preening: 1

    Great fun! I had many more winners…
    Wonderful Creativity!
    Congratulations to each.

  • avatar Alex

    5 – White Pelican squadron
    4 – Snow Geese blast-off
    3 – Wood Stork line-up
    2 – Yellow-rumped Warbler art
    1 – Young Brown Pelican landing

    Love the creativity of the images!

  • Common Tern: 5
    Yellow-rumped Warbler art: 4
    White Pelican sqadron: 3
    Snow Geese blast-off: 2
    Paint drop avain sculpture: 1

    Inspiringly creative!

  • avatar Bill Mc - Singapore

    Filter Feeding Flamingo – 5
    Yellow Naped Warbler Art – 4 (Very creative!)
    Coot Chicks – 3
    Passerine Species No Clue! – 2
    Common Tern – 1


  • avatar Gloria

    Chickadee 5
    Common tern 4
    Wood stork line up 3
    Paint drop avian sculpture 2
    Coot chicks 1

    Yay! Another one. These are mega fun.

  • avatar Peter Noyes

    Wood Stork Line-up 5
    Flamingo Group 4
    Yellow-Rumped Warbler 3
    Peacock Displaying 2
    Marbled Goodwit 1

  • avatar Steve M

    Filter-feeding Flamingo: 5
    Passerine Species: 4
    Snow Geese Blast-off: 3
    Peacock displaying: 2
    Common Tern: 1

  • avatar Marvin Falk

    Wood Stork line-up 5
    Peacock displaying 4
    Filter-feeding Flamingo 3
    Yellow-rumped Warbler art 2
    Marbled Godwit 1

  • Chickadee 5
    Yellow-rumped Warbler Art 4
    Common Tern 3
    Passerine Species 2
    Coot Chicks 1

  • avatar Gaurav Mittal

    Filter-feeding Flamingo: 5
    Common Tern: 4
    Peacock displaying: 3
    Passerine Species: 2
    Snow Geese Blastoff: 1

    Wow!this was a tough one to call, such beautiful work and each one deserves recognition. Congratulations to all.

  • Congratulations to all the finalists; very impressive work!

  • Common Tern-5
    Filter-feeding Flamingo-3
    Peacock Displaying-2
    Great Horned Owl-1

  • avatar Gail bisson

    Yellow rumpled warbler art 5
    Wood storks 4
    Paint drop avian image 3
    Great blue heron 2
    White pelica squadron 1

  • Wood stork line-up : 5
    Filter-feeding flamingo : 4
    Yellow-rumped warbler art : 3
    White pelican squadron : 2
    Flamingo group : 1

  • avatar Gary Felker

    Chickadee 5
    Flamingo Group 4
    Common Tern 3
    Great Horned Owl 2
    Coot Chicks 1

  • Wood Stork Lineup – 1
    Passerine Species – no clue – 2
    Great Blue Heron – 3
    Yellow-rumped Warbler Art – 4
    Common Tern – 5

  • 5-wood stork line up
    4-white pelican sqadron
    3-common tern
    2-filter feeding flamingo
    1-passerine species

  • avatar Jay Gould

    Common Tern – 5
    Paint Drop – 4
    Yellow-rumped Warbler art – 3
    Flamingo group – 2
    Filter-feeding Flamingo – 1

  • 5-Chickadee
    4-White Pelican Squadron
    3-Common Tern
    2-Great Horned Owl Landing
    1-Gadwall Preening

  • Common tern = 5
    Snow Geese Blast off = 4
    Passerine No Clue = 3
    Brown Pelican = 2
    Chickadee = 1

  • Yellow Runped warbler art – 5
    Wood stork lineup – 4
    White pelican squadron – 3
    Common Tern – 2
    Snow geese blast off – 1

    These are wonderful!. Ann

  • Marbled Godwit-5
    Peacock Display-4
    Waterbird flight-3
    Common Tern-2
    Woodstork lineup-1

  • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    Talk about a tough to call category: 8 different images have already received first place votes!

  • avatar Hossam Sadek

    Peacock displaying: 5
    Coot Chicks: 4
    Passerine species: no clue 3
    Great Blue Heron: 2
    Marbled Godwit 1

  • avatar Stan Hoyt

    Filter-feeding Flamingo: 5
    Coot Chicks: 4
    Common Term: 3
    Yellow-rumped Warbler Art: 2
    Passerine Species: No Clue!: 1

    What a great group of images for this category! I think all of them are strong. I would enjoy having on my wall several besides my top 5 picks, particularly the Flamingo group, White Pelican squadron and Wood Stork lineup. I loved the vivid colors, the sharpness, the out of focus background, and the marvelous eye of the Passerine species. I would have rated it higher, but I just don’t find the bill attractive. Some of the light spots in the background are slightly distracting. I love the artist’s rendition of the Yellow-rumped Warbler – great idea and well done. I love the soft painterly colors of the Common Tern. Very beautiful. I would like to see more separation for the bill and the eye. I adore the snuggling coot chicks, the strong colors, muted background, the reflection in the water. Great job. I liked the filter-feeding Flamingo best – the glossy bill touching the water, the oily ripples, the soft pink and that yellow eye. Congratulations to everyone on making it to the final cut.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on what I agree is a great group of images.

  • avatar Elizabeth Lodwick

    Snow Geese Blast off- 5
    Flamingo Group-3
    Great Horned Owl Landing- 2
    Yellow Rumped Warbler Art-1

  • avatar Carol Nichols

    Wood Stork Line-up: 5
    Filter Feeding Flamingo: 4
    Passerine Species: 3
    Common Tern: 2
    Peacock Displaying: 1

    What an amazing group of photos! They are all winners!!!

  • avatar Mary Ann Robinson

    5. Wood Storks Lineup
    4. Great Horn Owl Landing
    3. Brown Pelican on Netting
    2. Great Blue Heron
    1. Marbled Godwit

  • Yellow-rumped Warbler art: 5
    Common Tern: 4
    Marbled Godwit: 3
    Coot Chicks: 2
    Filter-feeding Flamingo: 1

  • avatar Garry Gibson

    Passerine Species -5
    White Stork Lineup – 4
    Filter Feeding Flamingo – 3
    Peacock displaying – 2
    Coot Chicks – 1

  • avatar George Cottay

    Snow Geese blast-off: 5
    Common Tern: 4
    White Pelican sqadron: 3
    Passerine species: no clue!: 2
    Yellow-rumped Warbler art: 1

    I look forward to seeing the official results. My mind has already changed in the moments since doing the list above.

  • avatar Judy Howle

    YRW Art 5
    Paint drop Avian Sculpture 4
    Filter feeding flamingo 3
    Passerine species 2
    Coot chicks 1

    This was really challenging as there are so many very good entries.

  • avatar Jack Williamson

    Yellow Rumped Warbler Art: 5
    Snow Geese Blastoff: 4
    Common Tern: 3
    White Pelican Squadron: 2
    Paint Drop Avian Sculpture: 1

    These are all great and I think that there is more than one that could be first.

  • avatar Jay Gould

    Artie, because I do not do these types of creations – Yet! – I do not believe I am qualified to judge others’ work. I know what I like from an emotional – what grabs me POV; however, judging these images and ranking them should also include their technical attributes – something I know nothing about. On a “gut level” each is more stunning than the next – congratulations to each of the entrants; your images will definitely cause me to become a student of this Art in my next life when we move from a trailer to a unit in the coming months. Cheers, and Very Well Done!!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      You do not need a degree in anything. Vote 5 for your favorite and so on down the line….

  • Great Blue Heron: 5
    Wood Stork line-up: 4
    Paint drop avian sculpture: 3
    Gadwall preening: 2
    Snow Geese blast-off: 1

    The color in my 5 and 2 are stunning. I also like how the water was treated in 5. In my 4 I like the ghostly quality of white against black and the reflections in the water. I liked 3 for the extra creativity involved; plus the excellent composition

  • avatar Alan Lillich

    Yellow-rumped Warbler art: 5
    Common Tern: 4
    Filter-feeding Flamingo: 3
    White Pelican squadron: 2
    Paint drop avian sculpture: 1

    Wow was this a tough group to rate. I found myself biased against the obvious Fractalius images, not because they were not each interesting but because the basic effect was so similar. So much for considering myself immune to the “different is better” syndrome. I really wanted to give some points also to “Snow Geese blast-off” and “Peacock displaying”.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Agree. My pick for best came in tied for 6th. And one that I loved came in last. Yikes. Tough is an understatement in this category.

  • avatar Ann the beginner

    Flamingo group: 5
    Peacock displaying: 4
    Yellow-rumped Warbler art: 3
    Paint-drop avian sculpture: 2
    Coot chicks: 1
    These images are really beautiful!

  • avatar Nancy Bell

    Filter-feeding Flamingo: 5
    White Pelican squadron: 4
    Common Tern: 3
    Wood Stork line-up: 2
    Coot chicks: 1

  • avatar Ron Perkins

    Passerine species: no clue! : 5
    Waterbird flight : 4
    White Pelican squadron : 3
    Wood Stork line-up : 2
    Chickadee : 1