Meet Your Neighbors


Golden Sparrow

I wanted to pass on a website that I got directed to from another blog, Nature and Photography. Rob Sheppard’s post is called Context or No Context.

I also vote for having context in wildlife and landscape photos because it says much more about the habitat of the subject. I have shown how easily context can be misconstrued just by an angle of view in the post Capture the Context.

From that post,” Any design has the element of context and story, sometimes in opposition of, other times in concert with and other times in deference to. Context gives a sense of time, place or even social norms in photography.” I also showed pictorially with the common sight of Niagara Falls, how I can skew perception of place and environment.

But there is two sides to every coin.

To isolate a subject from its environment can place emphasis and focus the viewer directly to the subject. I did not take the “no context” approach in my post on context.


Male Cardinal in the Snow

The site doing this beautifully is Meet Your Neighbours. They take an inspirational look at nature photography where the goal is to raise awareness of animals and plants around the world through the uniformity of the photographs. Thirty photographers have contributed to the site sharing the stories of their images and the process used to create the art.


Male Sparrow on a Branch

There is a particular way to photograph the subject, using studio lighting techniques and placing the subject against a white background for consistency of images. My images were masked out and isolate the birds from their background through Photoshop.


Blue Jay in the Snow

Their photography process is very precise and would be difficult working with birds. I really loved how they took the creature out of context and made it of utmost importance. You will see jaw dropping images at Meet Your Neighbours.

Each image is a work of art. I especially like the colorful flowers, photographed similar to botanical prints.


Black Capped Chickadee on a Branch

The beautiful macros would make art worthy of a gallery showing. I hope you take a look at this simple and clean presentation.

Also, read Rob’s post because he explains the use of context in nature and why it is important. The world is more than macro, and as beautiful as shallow depth of field photos are, it says much more about the animals and flowers if you see them in context.  It is also why I often stress a wide shot of home gardens.


Male Cardinal with Tilted Head

Up next, a post that was inspired by this post. It questions blogging with value and why there is so little of it. I have had time think as I am recuperating from surgery.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at:
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23 Responses to Meet Your Neighbors

  1. I usually photograph in context as I like the look, but the way you have displayed the birds emphasizes the actual bird and all its features…quite lovely. I have seen Meet Your Neighbors but had not explored it as much as I would have liked. Thanks for the reminder. Hope you are doing better and that you are recovering nicely.

  2. alesiablogs says:

    How interesting to hear about different ways folks photograph their subjects. Thanks for such insightful. Info

  3. Having a solid white background certainly does make the subject matter stand out. It is a nice way to see all the details of the subject. Whereas I do think they are beautiful and it makes for an interesting divergence the photos on the MYN feel a little sterile to me. Like being in a doctor’s office with solid white walls. For some reason I don’t get that feeling from your photos with the white background. Are they processed differently?

    • They are and would not be accepted to their site. One has to maintain 255 across all color channels and that means pure white. How I did mine was I masked the images to a white background, but left in a bit of the surroundings. This would be the disqualifier I think. I did not do mine with lighting like they did. I was so impressed with their sea shots and the only way I thought that would work is by isolating them in Photoshop, but I read that they shoot them in an aquarium with a white background. Pretty tricky stuff.

  4. The technique you use really allows you to demonstrate amazing detail. The photos are really superb.

    • The original photos are a bit nicer as they have the natural background, and I do have to over sharpen these images in order to make them pop against such a stark white background. But the site I was writing about does their detailed work with studio lighting. All that light really brings out details. I have done studio work and love it, so I may give their technique a try.

  5. Sometimes designers need just the object with no background. I can see where that kind of shot is very useful.

    • They do have this site set up for advertisers and publishers to purchase the images. The photographers can make money off their images. I think they look great as stand alone as art. In a post I did awhile ago, I did this with the text following the path of the animal form.

  6. Christy says:

    The pictures above are beautiful and I can really see all the details of the birds. But I also really like the pictures you’ve posted of the birds in their natural habitat. For example, the one of all the Sparrows in the tree, that was amazing!!

    • It is all in how the images are to be used, but the site is making a collection of animals and plants around the world. If successful, it will be a great resource. I especially liked the copy accompanying the images. The photographers talked about each animal and how careful they were if they had to handle the creature.

  7. HolleyGarden says:

    I hope your recovery is going well. Your photos are fabulous, and really show off the birds. It makes every detail more alive – I can almost count every feather!

    • Thank you Holley. I have been in bed two days so far, but it is getting much better. I find out the biopsy results on Wednesday, next week. The detail in the images is thanks to Photoshop. The original images, like I usually show, are not quite as crisp.

  8. Thank you for this link. The detail in some of the photos is amazing.

  9. Love to look at the birds close up in the snow. Hope you are recovering quickly.

  10. Hi Donna. Wishing you well. I love your photographs and artwork and can never get enough. Also thank you for the great link. Feel better.

  11. Great shots!! I have wondered about buying Photoshop and seeing what images I could enhance. Love the ability of making the background blank to showcase the birds.

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