"...I don't do photography for profit..." In time you may well rethink that...
I doubt I have enough time left, I'm 68 years old and my health has declined significantly in recent years.
Loving your rendering of the Yellow Headed Blackbird Sakwes... Stellar composition, epic color harmonies...
Thank you, I'm glad you like it.
"They sing like a rusty hinge..." possibly that may be because you're not a female Yellow Headed Blackbird...
LOL Very good point, I'm sure the females think it sounds divine!
Oh, final thought... If you seriously want to compare your current work to those at the Upper Echelon of the "Craft" please consider joining flickr. There you will find imagery by those who have reached the zenith of the Art & Craft of Photography.
I have a flickr account that I've been locked out of since their last upgrade. I even called them and they walked me through correcting the problem, but to no avail. As soon as I logged out I wound up back where I had been.
"...attain the level of professional..." No worries Sakwes... Photography is merely a "Craft" which doesn't require either academic credentials nor Local, State, or Federal licensure i.e. regulation of license credential, as virtually all professions require...
Good point. I guess what I'm saying is I wish I could use a camera as well as many who do it for a living.
As it is I have to rely heavily on spray and shoot and editing software.
I have missed so many great, or once in a lifetime shots because I didn't choose the right settings or didn't notice I was using the wrong settings. Rooky mistakes. Far too many rooky mistakes.
Like this shot, I still don't know what I could have done differently,
These birds are very hard to photograph, they stick to dense under story growth where there is a lot for the camera to focus on and lots of deep shadows.
This is the best shot I have of them, out of hundreds shot.