Digital Category Voting Analysis and Related Comments « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Digital Category Voting Analysis and Related Comments

Digital Category Voting Analysis and Related Comments

Totals of the Judges’ Votes (each of 5 judges awarded each image 1-5 points):

1-Yellow-rumped Warbler art, Jeff Rugg: 20
2-Coot chicks, Brendan Dozier: 18
3-White Pelican squadron, Indranil Sircar: 17
T4-Filter-feeding Flamingo, Brendan Dozier: 16
T4-Flamingo group, Paul McKenzie: 16
T6-Paint drop avian sculpture, Maureen Allen: 15
T6-Chickadee, Andrew McLachlan: 15
T8-Great Blue Heron,Indranil Sircar: 14
T8-Snow Geese blast-off, Melissa Groo: 14
T8-Waterbird flight, Hector Astorga: 14
T8-Wood Stork line-up, Cheryl Slechta: 14
T8-Great Horned Owl landing, Andrew McLachlan: 14
T8-Peacock displaying, Kerry Perkins: 14
T8-Arctic Tern, John Ippolito: 13
T16-Marbled Godwit, Indranil Sircar: 13
T16-Brown Pelican on netting, Andrew McLachlan: 13
19-Gadwall preening, Andrew McLachlan: 12

Public Voting Totals (each of you was asked to vote your five favorite images 1-5 points with 5 being your favorite):

1-Yellow-rumped Warbler art, Jeff Rugg: 161
2-Arctic Tern, John Ippolito: 155
3-Wood Stork line-up, Cheryl Slechta: 124
4-Filter-feeding Flamingo, Brendan Dozier: 123
5-Peacock displaying, Kerry Perkins: 74
6-Bearded Barbet-Brendan Dozier: 73
7-Chickadee, Andrew McLachlan: 65
8-Snow Geese blast-off, Melissa Groo: 63
9-Coot chicks, Brendan Dozier: 59
10-Paint drop avian sculpture, Maureen Allen: 52
11-Flamingo group, Paul McKenzie: 50
12- White Pelican Squadron: Indranil Sircar: 49
13- Young Brown Pelican landing, Indranil Sircar:: 45
14-Great Blue Heron, Indranil Sircar:: 42
15-Marbled Godwit, Indranil Sircar:: 38
16-Great Horned Owl landing, Andrew McLachlan: 35
17- Brown Pelican on netting, Andrew McLachlan: 34
18- Waterbird flight, Hector Astorga- 32
19-Gadwall preening, Andrew McLachlan: 13

When I posted the nineteen images for the public voting here, I knew that this would be a tough category to judge as there were so many superb images and many folks are not accustomed to looking at digital creations. For the second time in three categories, the first pick in the public vote matched the winner as chosen by the five-judge panel.

There was a huge BirdPhotographer’s.Net connection in this category; 16 of the 19 images sent to the judges panel were created by BPN folks and 15 of those 16 by photographers who frequent the Out of the Box forum: Brendan Dozier who posts regularly in OOTB placed three images in the top eight; Andrew McLachlan had four image sent to the judges; and OOTB moderator Indranil Siracr had also had four image sent to the panel. John Ippolito is a regular at BPN who often hangs out in OOTB. Kerry Perkins was an OOTB moderator who now direct his efforts to helping new photographers improve their skills in the Eager to Learn forum. Maureen Allen is very active in OOTB and Melissa Groo posts often in Avian.

Kudos to long time OOTB moderator Denise Ippolitohere in the BIRDS AS ART On-line Store.

How difficult was the judging in the Digital Creations category? How good were the images? Consider that one of my very favorite images, Andrew McLachlan’s superbly beautiful “Gadwall preeing” finished last with the judges and last in the public voting…. My top pick, Maureen Allen’s stunningly creative “Paint drop avian sculpture” finished tied for sixth and tenth respectively. As I said, there were just too many wonderful creative images and too few prizes. Congrats to all whose images appear below and thanks to all who entered photographs in this hotly contested category.

A final note: many folks think that you can take a poor image and turn it into digital art; that is rarely the case. Eighteen of the nineteen images here began with good, solid traditional photographs of birds. The lone exception is Maureen Allen’s “Paint drop avian sculpture:” that began as paint in a container.

The images below are presented in the order of the judges’ placement along with my comments.

Yellow-rumped Warbler art, Jeff Rugg

Jeff’s forethought and creativity in assembling this composite image were indeed remarkable. The soft watercolor look and the various filters that he used added up to our Digital category winner.

Coot chicks, Brendan Dozier

The lovely juxtaposition of the too-cute American Coot chicks, two perfect head angles, the bright colors, and the Pixel Bender oil paint effect combined to make this image stand out in a category crowded with creative entries. Brendan took an image created in less than ideal light, added a huge crop and some digital expertise and imagination to create something special. (Note: as far as the huge crop, anything goes in our Digital Category.)

White Pelican squadron, Indranil Sircar

The musical arrangement of the subjects, the soft light, the lovely choice of a complementary background texture, enough depth of field to cover all the birds, and the subtle reflections are the strengths of this image.

Filter-feeding Flamingo, Brendan Dozier

The incredibly sharp eye, the combination of blues and pinks, the neat image design, and the treatment of the pink feathers made this image a favorite. Brendan: what effect did you use on the feathers?

Flamingo group, Paul Mckenzie

The beautiful arrangement of the birds, three perfect head angles, the positions of the birds’ heads in the water, and the choice of background texture are all pluses.

Paint drop avian sculpture, Maureen Allen

This was my first place winner. Maureen used a special paint drop photo set-up to create her original capture and then crafted her contest entry “sculpture” in Photoshop. I love the elegance of the birds, the pleasing image design, and the modernistic almost metallic look.

Chickadee, Andrew McLachlan

I believe that Andrew used Fractalius to create the wonderful illustrated look that made this a popular choice. I love the way that the effect rendered the branches. I would have scored this one higher with just a bit more head turn towards us.

Great Blue Heron, Indranil Sircar

This looks like another Fractalius to me. I believe that the original was created on last year’s SW Florida IPT. Everyone loved the color and treatment of the background water and the bird’s feathers. Denise taught folks to use a Layer Mask to reveal portions of the bird hidden by the effects layer.

Snow Geese blast-off, Melissa Groo

This tight pattern image, the soft light, and the pano crop worked perfectly here. I believe that this might be the Pixel Bender “Oil Paint” effect….

Waterbird flight, Hector Astorga

The black background, the beautiful composition, and the prehistoric look made this image stand out as as different and creative. It almost looks as if the bird were x-rayed. Hector, what effect did you use? And what species is this; it has baffled me since the moment that I saw it.

Wood Stork line-up, Cheryl Slechta

The black background, the soft light, the mysterious mood, the overhanging branches, and the arrangement of the Wood Storks each added to the overall success of this image.

Great Horned Owl landing, Andrew McLachlan

The soft light, interesting background, the landing pose, and the illustrated look teamed up to make this a strong and effective images that got folks’ attention.

Peacock displaying, Kerry Perkins

Here Kerry went way out of the box with both color and effect that resulted in a pleasing stained glass look. Kerry, how did you create this?

Bearded Barbet Fractalius, Brendan Dozier

The interesting and different subject, the sweet background, and the amazing colors and textures brought out by the digital treatment all contribute to the success of this image. Brendan, was this done with Pixel Bender “Oil Paint”?

Young Brown Pelican landing, Indranil Sircar

Here I like the soft light, the almost comical look of the image, the raised tail, and the sweet landing pose. In an ideal world the distant horizon line would have fallen somewhere below the bird.

The beautiful braking in flight pose, the soft light, and the lovely oil painting brush strokes made this one a big hit in the public voting. John, is this a DAP (Dynamic Auto Painter) creation? Where and when was it photographed?

Arctic Tern, John Ippolito

Marbled Godwit, Indranil Sircar

Here I love the positioning of the bird against the breaking wave, the sweet light, and the pano crop. I am betting that the original image was created at Morro Bay. Indranil, is this a Glow 100 Fract?

Brown Pelican on netting, Andrew McLachlan

The uniqueness of this image, the beautiful image design, the soft light, and the way the blue tones of the young bird’s bill pick up the blue tones of the water all made this another of my favorites. Andrew, what was the netting??? Did you see the bird land on it? Where?

Gadwall preening, Andrew McLachlan

I love, love, love the chestnut wing panel, the hidden face, the illustrated look, the pleasing composition, and the soft light. What effect was used Andrew?

Congrats and Comments

Conrats and kudos to all who had one or more images sent to the judges in the Digital Creations category. It was one of our strongest groups of entries.

All are invited to leave comments and questions below.

later and love and thanks again to our great line-up of sponsors.


27 comments to Digital Category Voting Analysis and Related Comments

  • avatar Hector Astorga

    Congrats to all the winners and all the finalists. The “Waterbird Flight” is a Great White Egret. He flew over me and I was able to get a shot of him. the sky was very cloudy but he was backlit so it gave him a X-ray look. I first converted the image to a negative using curves in PS CS5, then I applied the fractalius effect in a separate layer. I masked some of the fractalius layer to reveal some of the original bird.
    Congrats again to all the finalist and winners. Awesome images all around!!!!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Hector. As the bill appears slightly decurved I was very confused as to the proper identification. Where was the photograph made?

      • avatar Hector Astorga

        Yes, the fractalius effect curved the bill, I opted to leave it curved since it gave the bird a pre-historic look. The image was taken at the Fennessey Ranch in Refugio, TX.

        • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

          Thanks! Do you know Beto?

          • avatar Hector Astorga

            Yes Arthur, I know Beto. Im the ranch manager at Santa Clara Ranch.

            Thanks Hector. I am sorry that the rains derailed our May visit. artie

  • Congratulations again to all the finalists! Artie, for the Flamingo I used Pixel Bender Oil and Topaz Detail to increase the fine detail. For the Bearded Barbet, I used a combination of Topaz Clean, Detail, and Pixel Bender oil.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Brendan. I gotta try that Oil Painter stuff. Loved all of your images.

  • These are all fantastic! I was thrilled to see so many folks from OOTB come in on top!!! Congratulations to all!

  • Congrats to all the winners, and all who entered their wonderful avian visions!

    Artie, the bird is an Arctic Tern, photographed in the Chugach National Forest, Alaska. It is not a DAP. The BG is a fresco texture of which I have many iterations, including real oil and acrylic paint on a canvas print, photographed and blended with the tern on a separate layer. Nik filters were used to further enhance and blend the tern with the fresco. Title is Arctic Tern Fresco. Thanks for all the efforts in the BAA contest!

  • avatar Gloria

    Congrats to all. Some really neat creativity displayed here. Those coots are CRAZY gorgeous!!!

  • avatar Indranil Sircar

    Thank you Artie for your analysis and feedback. Congratulations to all the finalists. Fantastic creativity! Yes, I used Glow 100 on Marbled Godwit and it was Morro Bay, a week after you were there in April. Great Blue Heron was from SWF IPT and I used three different layers of Fractalius with custom setting each with masks for the final effect.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      YAW and thanks for the Fract and other info. And congrats on getting so many images to the judges!

      ps: My two headed eagle blur made it to the final round of BBC….

  • avatar Melissa Groo

    You sure are right, Artie, that was PixelBender OilPaint on my Snow Goose Blast Off. Thank you for creating this wonderful contest and for the honor. I am thrilled to find myself in such stellar, talented company!

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      You are most welcome. I have a feeling that your image is not from Bosque…. IAC, you oughta post some in OOTB!

      • avatar Melissa Groo

        Right again, Artie. I took that last fall here in upstate NY. Haven’t been to Bosque yet, but someday, hopefully soon. I will try to get out of my Avian box and into the OOTB someday too!

  • avatar Maureen Allen

    Artie, thank you for the kind words about my image. The contest was great fun, and it is wonderful to see so many of the OOTB folks do well!

  • avatar Cheryl Slechta

    Thanks again, Artie. It was a blast – I’m already looking forward to next year 🙂 Congratulations to everyone who participated – it was a wonderful collection of creative images.

  • avatar Hilary Hann

    Congratulations to all the artists, fantastic work with good variety. So nice to see familiar names winning accolades.

  • Congrats to all, lovely creative work!

  • Arthur, thanks for the kind words regarding the images, they are much appreciated.

    The juvenile Brown Pelican (Atlantic Phase) was photographed on Cayo Santa Maria in Cuba, in the Jardines del rey, an UNESCO World Biosphere. The netting that I found this pelican resting on was some sort of a netted enclosure, for what I am not sure, that was just offshore from the resort where I was staying.

    The Gadwall…I used Fractalius for the effect – ‘Rounded’ preset. I always apply the Fractalius filter to a duplicate layer so that I can adjust the opacity of that layer, to fine tune the effect fractalius has on the end result. I believe I reduced the opcacity of that layer in this image to about 50-60%.

    Thanks again.

    • avatar Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

      Thanks Andrew. I just love the pelican on the netting. It is possibly some sort of fish trap. And thanks for the mini-Fractalius tutorial. I should have mentioned in the post that folks should check out Denise Ippolito’s Fractlius gallery here and/or purchase Fractalius by clicking here. Denise has a great Fractalius tutorial on her website but I cannot find it :(.

  • avatar Carol Duncan

    amazing and inspiring!!

  • avatar Bill Richardson

    Congrats to all for creating such superb images. Wonderful creativity across the board.

  • avatar Brian

    Wow! This is the first time I have seen these entries. All of them are fantastic art.

  • avatar Mark Hendricks

    Very eye-opening. Love all the creativity!

  • Love them all! Great work, everyone!