bird watching · photos · squirrels · Uncategorized

Accidental Almost Art

Yesterday I thought my camera was broken.

It was definitely acting weird earlier this week, refusing to turn on, or completely off, until I took out the battery and put it back in. After that, it worked but seemed slow. Still, I wasn’t too worried because the pictures seemed fine. Until I took this picture yesterday afternoon:

It’s a hawk, in case you can’t tell from the weirdly blurred shape.


I’d been sitting at my computer for hours, trying to pull words out of my foggy brain to form a somewhat coherent post about how another of “my” squirrels has lost the end of its tail. When I went out to the kitchen to get something to drink, I noticed the hawk sitting in the maple tree at the end of my yard. It was watching my little squirrel friends as they stood outside my slider waiting for food! I was horrified but also kind of excited, because I’ve only seen hawks in my yard two or three times in the fourteen years that I’ve lived here. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few pictures, even though I knew they wouldn’t be good with the hawk outlined against the gray sky.  I hoped I could move fast enough to scare the hawk away if it dive bombed down for one of my little friends.

After snapping a few pictures, I slid the door partway open to throw some peanuts under the table on my deck so the squirrels could eat under cover, safe from the rain and the hawk. The hawk flew away the second the slider opened and the squirrels vanished, so quickly that I didn’t even see them move. I was relieved that they reacted so quickly. I sometimes worry that they feel a false sense of security here.

I uploaded the pictures right away, so I could write about how the hawk appeared in answer to my question about how so many of the squirrels are losing their tails. Like I said, I knew the pictures wouldn’t be good. Even so, I was shocked to see the weird, blurry, unfocused, undefined shape of the hawk. And the trees looked strange too. What was going on?

I clicked on one of my squirrel pictures from that morning and it was messed up too.


The one of the squirrel looking at me while hanging upside down was terrible too. WTH?


It was only when I clicked on this last one, where the special effects are more obvious, that I realized what was going on.


I’d been playing around with different camera settings and had left the picture mode set to watercolor. :/

I will try out watercolor on some different things but I’m not optimistic about its usefulness. Parts of the last photo kind of look painted but most of it just looks weird.

As I was clicking through the setting screen to find picture mode, I also noticed that I had the creative style set to sunset mode. I have no idea how long it’s been like that.

This is why my photography goal for the year is to just practice what I’ve learned so far and remember to check my camera settings.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go check on my squirrel friends!


18 thoughts on “Accidental Almost Art

  1. The watercolor feature may be a good idea for a landscape, beach, ocean, sunset, something like that. Though I do like the softness of the squirrel photos, I’d prefer a featureless photo as well. They look all puffy and weird lol.

    1. I will try it out on landscapes, if I ever get out of the house to see any again. For squirrels, I will keep the creative mode turned off. They do look puffy and weird!

      1. I think it could be a nice feature on a very colorful landscape. It could make it look like a painting. I’d imagine it would be perfect for hanging. But yeah, no more “puffy and weird” squirrels lol.

  2. Yes, check the camera settings for sure.
    My memory is such that I need to put them back to a certain settings after altering them, otherwise the next day I get confused.

    Interestingly enough, these last few days (maybe 3-4) I turn my camera on and it’s still black (no I didn’t leave the cap on 🙂 ). My camera is also not focusing. Like before I had it repaired last year. I have to turn if on & off again for it to come on. I’ll try taking the battery out – see if that helps.

    1. That’s what my camera was doing. The screen stayed black even after I turned it on. (And I hadn’t left the lens cap on either, at least not this time!) I hope taking the battery out will reset yours. I took one photo today and everything worked fine and didn’t seem any slower than usual, so I’m hopeful that it’s all back to normal now.

    1. I just wish I could capture that hawk against a good background and with the right camera settings! I’ve been wanting to take a good hawk picture for years.

    1. Thank you! I think I would like it if it were a bit more consistent, with the whole thing looking painted instead of just parts. I can’t wait to play around with it on other stuff though!

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