Day 86 – Putting the Spring in Spring   10 comments

Yesterday afternoon was beautiful. It was 10C and sunny. The snow was melting and we were outside lapping it up. Don’t get me wrong, we’re still buried in snow, but it’s melting and I have every hope that it will all be gone in a few weeks. Fingers staying firmly crossed!

My youngest daughter and I were trying to create a drainage ditch in the snow bank for the water that has formed a small lake on the footpath in front of our house. I hear the neighbours coming out their front door when their little boy (I think he’s 4) yells “Mike!”. He wants me to come look at something in their yard. He and his older brother have been busy digging holes and tunnels in the snow in their front yard. It seems a snowshoe hare has taken up residence in one of their holes and has been there all day.

Snowshoe hares are very common around here. Barely a night passes when we don’t see a hare hopping down the street passed our house. Like any small wild animal, they’re pretty shy. I’ve only managed to photograph one so far and it was from pretty far away. This little hare sat quietly while I shot a few frames from a distance that hopefully didn’t make it too nervous. It didn’t move at all except to twitch its nose and keep an eye on me. I’m guessing this is a mama hare ready to give birth to a litter. If so, then this is another sign of Spring!

Processing Notes: This shot was originally composed as a horizontal, but I cropped it to more of a portrait composition to focus on the hare’s face. My first stop was Viveza 2 where I used to add structure (for more detail in the fur) and warmth to the overall picture. Still in Viveza I used control points to selectively add brightness, saturation and a bit of contrast to the eye and nose. I turned on quick mask and selected the areas around the hare’s face using a gradient before turning quick mask off again and then using the Lens Blur filter to soften up the focus and draw attention to the face. This softened the focus on the nose and chest so I used the history brush to bring back the focus. Finally, I wanted a border. I use Silver Efex Pro 2 for borders even though its meant for B&W conversions. I add a new layer and fill it with white. I then select that layer, run Silver Efex Pro and added the border. I delete the white layer and then, on the border layer I delete the white inside the frame. Last step, flatten it all and save it as Day 86.

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10 responses to “Day 86 – Putting the Spring in Spring

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  1. That rabbit doesn’t look like it wants you to get an inch further. That’s quite a tough glare that one eye is putting out! I love how the rabbit’s darker fur highlights are uniform and picked up with the thawed areas. Nice color comp.

  2. Love this shot. Gives the feel he’s looking at you.

  3. Great picture, Mike. Next time you are on Salt Spring we’ll arrange to have some of the local deer pose for you.

  4. Captivating Eyes!

  5. Talk about an intense eye!

  6. She’s beautiful!

  7. |Love the amusement factor I get from this, and the amber picked up in the eye and the landscape. Marvellous.

  8. Wonderful shot, it’s so neat to see wildlife from different parts of the world. And I love that you discuss the post-processing on the images. I don’t know enough about it and it’s nice to see other ways to do things besides LR3 presets!

  9. We love this picture of this hare whom we have named “Miffie.” We missed her for one day and then she was back again this morning for a few minutes and then gone again. Good thing she was so patient in posing for you the first time. Maybe she will bring little ones back to add to your portfolio…!

    Andrea and Sam
  10. Great job Mike, thank you for the processing information!

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