Tuesday, January 27, 2015

BirdsEye Photos

For the past two weeks, I have been submitting my bird photos to BirdsEye Photography, also known as Birds in the Hand Photography:The online community for bird photographers. This site gives us amateurs a location to show off our bird pictures. Professionals also can share pictures—they just won’t be paid. The site is also mined for material by the developers, BirdsEye, the folks that brought us the BirdsEye bird finding app and the BirdLog eBird listing app for both iPhones and Androids. In other words, in exchange for giving us a site to display our art, BirdsEye can use our photos.

Submitting photos is an easy process. You can just drag photo files to a button within the site. Then you are asked to crop your photo so that it fits their format. Submissions are vetted by BirdsEye. As you upload photos, you create a personal gallery of birds (and/or dragonflies and butterflies). You can also study photos sorted by species or by photographer. You can also make a visual guide to the birds of a particular region of the world. Check this free site out.

One or two aspects of the site irritate me. First, all the photos are ranked from one to five stars by BirdsEye and any other gallery visitor. Why are humans so competitive? If the BirdsEye folks want to use only the best photos, then they should create their own private ranking system.  (For similar aesthetic reasons, I have stopped posting my life list totals in eBird.) If you want to be competitive, the criteria for a photo being rated two, three or four stars seem obscure. Finally, the photos in your gallery are in the order they arrived into the website. I would prefer a taxonomic order to my photos, which would make hunting down duplicates or the elimination of poorer photos much easier. I understand, however, that this beta-site is still under development.

I came upon this Snowy Egret as I moved photos into the website.  I was surprised that I have not previously posted it on this blog.  It is one of my favorites (even if it does not get five stars in BirdsEye).  I took it several years ago at Ding Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island, Florida. Although the photo is new to the blog, I have written about the species in an previous post.

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