Sunday, December 16, 2018

Appreciating Cardinals

It has been raining and gray here for days that feel like weeks. It seems to make the red cardinals stand out even more than usual. Click to enlarge.
It reminds me of something Terri Guillemets wrote:

"Winter is the slow-down
Winter is the search for self
Winter gives the silence you need to listen 
Winter goes gray so you can see your own colors..." 

On the technical side, when I was picturing red cardinals on gray backgrounds, I realized that although my camera can take a selectively colored photograph like that, I did not know how to change an existing color image to only show reds and grays. I figured out how to do it with Photoshop. (I have CS 5.) I opened this jpg and called it Layer 1. Then I chose Color Range from the Selection menu, and then Reds from the Selected Colors pull down. I copied that selection to a new layer. Then I used the Adjustment option from the Image menu to change Layer 1 to Black and White. That's it. Red cardinals on gray backgrounds.

Works well for house finches, too.


  1. I have a wonderful cardinal story. When Stephen and I lived in Searsport, we had a cardinal visit us one day. He loved our feeder so much that he brought his mate to eat there too. Pretty soon, they had a little girl and then they brought their little boy. It was our wonderful little cardinal family that returned for several years. We both loved cardinals!

    1. We had a cardinal family in New York City. The adults were eating together, sometimes the male giving the female a seed, beak to beak. Then male came to our place many times a day, loading his beak with raisins (from us) and sometimes a worm (found on his on). He worked so hard it was impressive. Then one day he showed up with a little brown guy. Then the female showed up with another little one. It was wonderful, so I know how you feel.