Anhinga Punk Portrait


When I started taking pictures of birds, because I envisioned classic settings as you might find in a painting, I mostly posted images to my photo gallery which I deemed serious enough. I wanted the bird generally with a dark background with green leaves artistically arranged just so and with only hints of the natural tangle of its habitat, great lighting and feather detail.  And, I do love getting those types of images that just look really nice on canvas and you could enjoy on your wall…or a card. I also like symmetry and perfectly even borders in my designs. In other words, I’ve been accused of being a bit too serious and staid!

So I think in 2013 I will be less serious and staid and share more of the things I like to play with. I could very well destroy my credibility as a photographer with this line of thinking but heck, it’s fun!! I love layers, textures and grunge and compositing so maybe sharing my odd items or take on things will help me to practice and experiment more.

This image is of a nesting male anhinga in his mating plumage. While I have made the background into a monotone, the natural coloring of the bird is a striking black and white and the florescent blues and greens around the eye are just that vibrant in nature as is the ruby eye and orange/yellow bill. What attracted me to make a punk portrait was simply its natural spiky hairdo and that crescent of copper head plumes mixed in with the darker ones. I have a grunge texture layer in the image, gone is the tangle of branches. At the edge of the Big Cypress Swamp I found an old interesting gas pump so a hint of it is layered in with the texture too. So if steampunk is a mix of a Victorian setting with 19th century industrial steam machines or machinery out of time and place as in alternate reality or time travel novels, which I enjoy. ..Then maybe my grunge anhinga portrait is a bit steampunk with the old gas pump at the edge of the swamp?

I hope you  like him as in reality these are very handsome looking birds during the season with a striking and fierce demeanor. But, criticisms are welcomed too!!

Yikes and Happy Trails,


~ by Judy on December 13, 2012.

10 Responses to “Anhinga Punk Portrait”

  1. Wow. He is striking indeed. Handsome fella. 🙂

    • Yes, these are among my favourites at a nesting colony. Sometimes called the ‘snake bird’ their necks extended do look very sinuous.

  2. Super cool portrait of one of my all time favorite birds! Love seeing it in breeding color as well!

    • Oh thanks!! Anhingas are such handsome birds. I remember being so surprised the first time I saw anhinga chicks diving down their parents throat for fish…I didn’t know what that was at first.


  4. When I first started noticing birds, I wondered why some of the cormorants I saw looked different. I think I know the reason – they were anhingas! They are a handsome bird, and this portrait is just splendid. He does look a little punkish, and a little grungish, and that eye is just remarkable.

    Apparently the eyes and lores have it when it comes to mating plumage. Such bright, attractive colors. I think you did beautifully with this one!

    • Truthfully, I was confused about cormorants and anhingas for awhile too. One of the first birds I ever took a picture of was on Naples Beach FL, its neck was tucked down and it looked so cute standing on the sand on its little webbed feet and I actually thought it was a duck!! LOL! Then realized that the bill was more like a gull’s and of course it was a cormorant. With all the similarities between anhingas and cormorants , once you see the differences then you wonder why you were so confused!! I guess it is yet another thing that goes to getting to the simplicity on the other side of complexity.

  5. Adore. Love. Adore!

    Anything to bring out their personality, their quirk… Hoorah! This is just a wonderful portrait. I LOVE IT! The colors pop, he’s looking at you with that eye — what a great piece.

    • I love it that you like it! Some pictures you just look at and it seems to call out for a different treatment. I’ll need to show a female with its golden breast instead of all dark like the male as that is quite beautiful too.

      You are right about the gaze of that jeweled ruby eye!! Amazing the colors when you want to attract the opposite sex!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: