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Thread: Can this photo be saved?

  1. #1
    ddp4me's Avatar
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    Can this photo be saved?

    Hello All,

    I got a lucky shot this summer and have been trying to find a way to save it.

    This white crane took off in front of me while I was shooting flowers. I went ahead and shot while the shot was there and got the following image. This is the jpg but I have the raw file as well.

    Can this photo be saved?

    As you can see, there are blurs of flowers in front of the bird and the wings are in better focus than the head. I don't have the first idea of where to start. I know it's asking a lot but if you don't ask, you won't get help for sure!

    I am hoping some of the photo shop experts can help me. I have CS4.

    Thanks to all!

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Can this photo be saved?

    Hi Darlene,

    I am sure, with a fair amount of work, it could be improved, but it is never going to be great. Those legs and drips behind are so much sharper than the eye and head, also it looks over exposed, some feather detail might be recoverable, but you may have already made that as good as it gets.

    One of those occasions where you might take away that it always pays to be in continuous shooting mode, rather than single shot, so it could be 'hosed' as it flew through the blooms in the hope that one a split second later would have less issues.

    Looks like most things were set in the right area; 1/500s at f/2.8 and iso 1000 at 200mm, although 1/2000s + would be better, but the light level wouldn't seem to support that, although it was over exposed, so it might have been possible.

    I fear it'll take time and still be disappointing - I speak from my own experience
    That said, you did well to get the focus on the bird - I'd usually end up with sharp background or foreground in this situation (and your panning was good too)

    Is this cropped at all? EXIF says not, I think.
    If not, a smallish web use image might be recoverable because in the size reduction and subsequent (carefully applied) sharpening, the eye/head/neck and the legs might be evened out to an equal sharpness. So I think you might get a 700px image from it, maybe a thousand across, but no more.

    Hope that helps,

  3. #3
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Can this photo be saved?

    Hi Darlene, although it would never look 'great' it can provide a super opportunity to have some fun learning your way around post processing techniques. I have taken a number of 'snapshots' and played with them in Photoshop. Some have been flops, some have been surprisingly great, but all have been fun to play with and have helped me learn how to address issues that I wouldn't get in the better shots. In addition, they have helped me to sharpen my vision when I'm out shooting as I am more aware of the potential issues and can more readily avoid them as I press the shutter. Go ahead, have some fun!

  4. #4

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    Re: Can this photo be saved?

    Can this photo be saved?
    A quick and dirty attempt:
    I cropped the photo to disguise the foreground flower as an abstract blur. To bring back detail in the bird, I copied the image to a second layer, set this layer to "multiply" and adjusted its opacity to get the bird look OK. This made the background too dark, so I opened up the shadows with a "Shadows/highlights" layer. To tone down the foreground flower even more I turned down the magenta saturation, and finally I applied a bit of high pass sharpening.

    Of course, with the original raw file you could follow a more sophisticated workflow. I take photos like this too often, so I have had some practise making the best out of a bad beginning ;^)

  5. #5
    ddp4me's Avatar
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    Re: Can this photo be saved?

    Dave, Frank, and Lennart,

    I suspected this would be the case. I was hoping for a possible solution but I did try some cropping and a few techniques in PS but didn't have much success either. I came up with something similar to you, Lennart, although not with as complicated a workflow. I am just scratching the surface with PS.

    What I do appreciate is the feed back on the specifics of the bad parts of the photo. Learning how to recognize the bad (or not so good) and ways to shoot better or different in the future is what I really need and appreciate so much from all on this forum.

    Also how to look at the camera settings to get the desired results. I got set in my way of shooting on one or two speeds of film and now am struggling to take advantage of the increased possibilities of digital capture and PP.

    Thanks for the feed back!

  6. #6

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    Alan Pezzulich

    Re: Can this photo be saved?

    I converted to black and white with Silver Efex Pro 2. I used two control points to darken the out of focus areas.
    Can this photo be saved?



    Alan

  7. #7
    ddp4me's Avatar
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    Re: Can this photo be saved?

    Thank you Alan! Didn't even think of black and white conversion.

    I will play with it some more using some of the ideas in other black and white conversion threads that I have been trying to study.

    Would you be so kind as to explain. . .

    I used two control points to darken the out of focus areas.
    Thank you,
    Darlene

  8. #8

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    Re: Can this photo be saved?

    Control points are a feature of NIK software. They are a very fast way of making changes to a photograph. You place a control point on a point in the photograph and place a ring around it. The software analyzes the point you selected and will make andjustments on similarly textured and colored points within the circle. You control the adjustments with sliders. The effect is tapered so there is no obvious edge. NIK software provides a free trial version. Try Silver Efex for black and white and Viveza for color.

    Alan

  9. #9

    Re: Can this photo be saved?

    In short, no it's not worth the trouble except as an exercise in PS. If you are in South Jersey go to the Brigantine Division of the E B Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge in Oceanville NJ. On a good day you can see hundreds of these Great Egrets as well as many other birds, sometimes up close and personal. Take the wildlife drive and just poke around and keep your eyes peeled. Birdtwitcher
    Can this photo be saved?

  10. #10
    ddp4me's Avatar
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    Re: Can this photo be saved?

    Birdwitcher,

    Thanks for the information!

    I'll have to check it out. Is there a better time or season to visit?

    Darlene

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