I like this shot great deal as is. It is sharp, the color is great and the worn wood seems to match the Cardinal which is not in its full red color. In fact the color of the paint on the wood is very similar to the color on the tip of the wing. I can't really tell if a slightly different crop might work better. Perhaps a little less room on the left might be worth a try but that is splitting hairs. I will defer to others with more experience. Nicely done!
I'm not a huge fan of the centered subject framing on this one. If you do want to keep the bird centered, I'd actually go with a square crop on this one. The background and the board that guy is sitting on really don't contribute much of anything to the shot, so I would reduce them as much as possible.
The clarity on the feathers and the catchlight in the eye is fantastic though. Nice capture!
Hi Bobo, if there is one thing that I think is hurting the beautiful detail of the Cardinal it would be the detailed character of board he is sitting on. It takes the eye off the subject. If you have post processing software, you might try to tone down the contrast of the board and build up the contrast and vibrancy of the Cardinal to make it more prominent in the scene. Then, as Scott and Bill have mentioned, play with the cropping to see what looks best to you.
I originally liked the wood in the shot but also can see how it takes a bit away from the subject as Frank and Bill have mentioned. The Cardinal's tail gets a little lost in the detail of the wood. That being the case, I agree that fiddling around with the crop or toning down the contrast of the wood is a worthwhile idea. Good eye Bill and Frank!
Nice capture Bobo! My favorite bird of all time.
Just beautiful as is, great catch. As has already been mentioned the detail in the feathers and catch light in the eye are outstanding. Personally I like the texture of the wood as it gives some context, but that's just me.
Also as mentioned I would play a bit with the crop. The bird is a bit central. There are also some bright spots on the edges that I would clone to keep the background solid (If they don't get cropped), and there is a hazy white patch on the wood top right that if it does not get cropped out I would try to clone.
I love this shot, I have cardinals in the backyard and I find that unlike the blue jays the cardinals seem very timid and I have yet to get close enough for a really good shot. I love everything about this one: the background, the context, the pose and expression, and especially the detail and texture captured in the feathers. I'd be thrilled if it was my shot.
Thanks everyone for taking the trouble to give some very constructive suggestions.
Redone a bit based on your comments. Also lightened up the mouth area to show the tongue a bit more clearly and some missing detail on the neck below the bill.
Plus one more from the same shoot that you may find amusing. Not terribly good as the tips of the right wing are missing.
Last edited by Bobobird; 6th September 2011 at 06:42 AM.
I really like this. Lovely bird and beautifully captured. You have him so sharp!
Personally though, I would just take some of the space from the left of your original and crop morelike this...
This not only emphasises the bird more, but it also gives him some space in which to look into...
I would probably prefer a little bit more space just above and to the right of the bird, but it depends if you have any room to play with on the right.
Lovely shot though. Keep em coming
All these suggestions have made for a much improved presentation - a wonderful bird to photograph. I'd even try to clone some,if not all, of the white on the board. I've seen only one of these birds, a glimpse really and that was at the back of a Super8 motel at Stirling,Texas.
Thanks Tommy and John.
Yes the "look into" was what prompted the wider first version. Will revert to that. Have already tried cloning out the white but ended up looking terrible. That is a really big piece of white for the clone brush to handle.
Thanks Frank - have been working on it a bit since the last post hehe.
Have done all that you have suggested but the cloning is really blotchy so have to redo.
Maybe I should revert to the RAW and do everything over. Probably easier that way.
Another fantastic shot regardles of the unfortunate chopping of the wingtips. You must have great reflexes.
The one above now looks over sharpened on the bird's feathers I'm afraid.
Also, here, and in Tommy's rework of #1, I would clone out that split in the timber so that it just has flaking paint - I think it'll simplify the image.
Thanks Dave, appreciate the input.
Am redoing the whole from scratch and hopefully all the great suggestions will be incorporated.
Re-done from scratch. The warts are softer but still there. The bird's main tail feather is broken off so perhaps the imperfections will complement each other.
Or maybe should have done just a head shot. Cheeky bugger doing a bleh looks cool I think.
Thanks again to everyone for helping out. Learned a lot of pp'ing with this. Thank you.
Last edited by Bobobird; 7th September 2011 at 09:07 PM.
I am a newbie here and read the whole thread. I love the picture and what you did with it listening to suggestions. What kind of camera and lense did you use? How far away were you in taking this? You totally captured his little personality which I really love!
Thanks Liz, glad you like it.
CIC has helped me tremendously in the short time that I have been into photography.
Camera is a Canon 550D (aka T2i). Lense is the Canon 70-300L. Distance was about 6 feet.