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Thread: Have I overcooked this bird?

  1. #1
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Have I overcooked this bird?

    Would like your opinions on the post processing of this shot. I will post the camera processed JPEG first, followed by my effort after a bit of PP. Both are cropped images.

    I first tweaked it slightly in ACR before taking it into CS5 where I used parts of jiro's tutorial (B&W Luminosity Layer), sharpened, slight curve, vignette.

    Would like to know your opinions on whether you think i have overdone it or any thoughts / comments are much appreciated.

    #1 SOTC

    Have I overcooked this bird?

    #2 Processed

    Have I overcooked this bird?

    Also, if anyone can help me identify both the bird and the flower then I'd be mega-grateful - Both are native to Borneo.

    Many thanks...

  2. #2
    jiro's Avatar
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    Willie or Jiro is fine by me.

    Re: Have I overcooked this bird?

    I think you did very good on your PP edit, Tommy. The increased contrast helped the shot a lot. I don't think you overcooked it in any sense. The colors are more vibrant but it doesn't mean it's overcooked. The slight vignette really helped me concentrate my focus more on the bird and on the orange flower than just simply scanning the whole frame looking for congruency on the composition. I think the lighting is a little bit flat. On the other hand, if I may comment, I don't think the large, green leaf balances the composition of the image. I was actually thinking that by getting it out of the frame it might make the shot simpler but with more impact. Just an idea. Good job, Tommy!

    Here's one possible edit based on the idea:
    Have I overcooked this bird?

    I used the quick selection tool to extract the bird and the flower then use the puppet warp tool to bend the flower diagonally for some dynamic composition effect. For the green leaf, I selected it using the quick selection tool then use the content-aware fill edit in CS5 so replace the pixels with the background data. Hope this helps.
    Last edited by jiro; 13th July 2011 at 01:05 PM.

  3. #3
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Have I overcooked this bird?

    Hi Tommy, I think you did a very good job at PP. The colors and contrast are far more interesting in the result and I like how the vignette helps focus attention on the subject. The change in background color complements the colors in the flower better than the original background. I also like what you did with the drop shadow on the border. I agree with Willie about the leaf. It seems to hem in the bird and takes the eye away from the subject. If possible, I think I would try to remove the leaf, raise the crop a bit to get the bird a little closer to the bottom third of the image, and tilt the flower clockwise to increase the angle of the stem.

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    Re: Have I overcooked this bird?

    I think my difficulty comes with both the flower and the bird competing with one another for focal dominance. They are both equal in color, saturation and focus...one has to take a back seat to the other to make this totally successful...nice shot, but needs some adjusting. Perhaps you could select just the flower and stem and knock it down one full value or a half, anyway.

  5. #5
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: Have I overcooked this bird?

    Thanks for your comments guys, and thanks Willie for your version! I think you're right about the composition by removing the leaf and tilting the flower slightly.

    @ Chris, I think you have a fair point there. Shame that the bird didn't seem to like the slightly duller, less flamboyant flowers! I'll give it a shot, what you suggested, but not sure it'll look right somehow...

  6. #6

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    Re: Have I overcooked this bird?

    Quote Originally Posted by RockNGoalStar View Post
    Thanks for your comments guys, and thanks Willie for your version! I think you're right about the composition by removing the leaf and tilting the flower slightly.

    @ Chris, I think you have a fair point there. Shame that the bird didn't seem to like the slightly duller, less flamboyant flowers! I'll give it a shot, what you suggested, but not sure it'll look right somehow...
    Dang nature, anyway for not always being so cooperative...it's a fine shot as is and you are probably right as to knocking part of the value down to fight the natural tendency of nature doing what it does best...I tried it and even I am out to lunch on whether it directs the viewer's eye more to the bird, or makes the viewer wonder why the plant is not as bright...quien sabe on this one.

    Have I overcooked this bird?

  7. #7
    RockNGoalStar's Avatar
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    Re: Have I overcooked this bird?

    Nice one Chris... On 'my' version my eyes keep bouncing between bird and plant quite quickly, whereas on your slightly toned-down plant version my eyes rest for longer on each and settle on the bird.

    I wonder what others will think, but thanks for taking the time out to do it

  8. #8

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    Re: Have I overcooked this bird?

    Another possibility is to sharpen the bird but not the plant - same process of isolating the plant with the quick selection tool or a paint mask. I think even then, I would still mute the colors a tad. I didn't go a full stop....more like -1/3 stop on the flower.

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