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Thread: Full Power Takeoff Run

  1. #1
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Full Power Takeoff Run

    Not happy with how the background blends in with the Heron but I'm not sure what to do about it!

    Any suggestions (or any other C&C) would be appreciated!

    Full Power Takeoff Run

    Viewed best in the lightbox. Click the image.
    Last edited by FrankMi; 22nd October 2011 at 03:11 AM.

  2. #2
    rob marshall

    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    I think the only thing you could have done was got in closer, and so reduce the relative space that the water takes up in the shot. I presume you were at the max focal length?

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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    Still a fine photo,Frank.It's difficult to get in the right spot most times.

  4. #4
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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    Hi Frank

    The bird itself is very nice but the water is a bit strong and takes the focus off the bird. Could you not select everything except the bird and reduce the brightness or the highlights ? It's the light reflections off the water that make it bright I think.

    Cheers Dave

  5. #5
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    Quote Originally Posted by rob marshall View Post
    I think the only thing you could have done was got in closer, and so reduce the relative space that the water takes up in the shot. I presume you were at the max focal length?
    Hi Rob, I was at ISO 800, f8, 1/640 sec and 110mm on a 55-300mm lens so I had some wiggle room but at the time he bolted I didn't have the presense of mind to make many changes.

    For the processing, I was trying to emphasize how he used his feet to get propelled into the air and still leave enough room out front so he had space in the image to fly into. The drawback is that I had to shoot almost into the sun and was getting a lot of glare off the water in this position.

  6. #6
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    The bird itself is very nice but the water is a bit strong and takes the focus off the bird. Could you not select everything except the bird and reduce the brightness or the highlights ? It's the light reflections off the water that make it bright I think.
    You are absolutely correct Dave. I had tried a number of combination of brightness, contrast, and color tone trying to get a pleasing combination that didn't loose the subject in the contrast of the background but in the end, posted the image with the background pretty much SOOC.

    We could loose most of the water issue and end up with something like this?

    Full Power Takeoff Run

  7. #7
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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    Hi Frank,

    Somewhere here at CiC, I posted an image like this a few years ago (although mine was probably a swan) - like you, I included the previous step's splash of the take off run and I think I also left room for it to 'fly into' the picture - and as now, people said I should have cropped tighter You just can't win

    My suggestion for the background is to try 'cheating in' some selective angled blur (in direction of flight) to take the sharpness off the majority water - the sort of thing you'd do to make it look like it is going faster if a panned shot of a car say. Obviously exclude the bird and splashes from the selection (and don't over do it ).

    Sometimes it is just a case of the conditions weren't ideal; 'wrong place, right time', or 'wrong time, right place', but it is still worth taking the picture. The drama of the take off doesn't translate to a flat, silent, 2D image so well.

    I prefer the second crop, there's still plenty of interest on the bird itself.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 22nd October 2011 at 02:17 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    How about shooting through a polarizing filter to reduce the intensity of the water surface reflections ? That would make the birds stand out and lessen the clutter of the water.

  9. #9

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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    You may be able to Auto Select just the brighter areas of water then tone them down a bit. But I'm not giving any guarantee.

    Also a little bit of work on the ripples with a Blur Brush may help.

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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    The ballistic nature of the take-off and the water plumes are I think the key to this photo with the bird playing only a "supporting" role. The edit shows off the bird beautifully but reduces significantly the impact of the original. Might be better to crop in a tad less and bring back the tail-end of the water splash.

    Wonderful capture.

  11. #11
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    Quote Originally Posted by Steaphany View Post
    How about shooting through a polarizing filter to reduce the intensity of the water surface reflections ? That would make the birds stand out and lessen the clutter of the water.
    Hi Steaphany, I was sure I posted a reply to you but I don't see it now so I'll post again.

    I did have my CPL's with me that day but didn't need them where the bird was 'fishing' in the shadows, but when an approaching fisherman spooked him I had to rotate 90 left as he took off and ran smack into the sun with no time to get the filter out. Next time I may just put it on under these circumstances, 'just in case'. Good tip to keep in mind! Thanks.

  12. #12
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Somewhere here at CiC, I posted an image like this a few years ago (although mine was probably a swan) - like you, I included the previous step's splash of the take off run and I think I also left room for it to 'fly into' the picture - and as now, people said I should have cropped tighter You just can't win

    My suggestion for the background is to try 'cheating in' some selective angled blur (in direction of flight) to take the sharpness off the majority water - the sort of thing you'd do to make it look like it is going faster if a panned shot of a car say. Obviously exclude the bird and splashes from the selection (and don't over do it ).

    Sometimes it is just a case of the conditions weren't ideal; 'wrong place, right time', or 'wrong time, right place', but it is still worth taking the picture. The drama of the take off doesn't translate to a flat, silent, 2D image so well.

    I prefer the second crop, there's still plenty of interest on the bird itself.
    Thanks Dave! I'm planning to play with this image some more and will try some of your suggestions. I like the second crop as well, even though we loose the intention of the title. I love the muscular power the Heron displays when he really wants to move out! Reminds me of a seaplane breaking free of the surface.

  13. #13
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    Hi Bobo and Geoff. I'll try several things, like seeing if I can make it look 'natural' with a more subduded water surface and playing with the crop to see what I can get. I could try a crop with less space in front even though that breaks the rule, it might work in this case. Thanks for the feedback guys!

  14. #14
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    Another try. Reduced the contrast and add motion blur to the water, and changing the cropping. Your thoughts?

    Full Power Takeoff Run

  15. #15
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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    Quote Originally Posted by FrankMi View Post
    Another try. Reduced the contrast and add motion blur to the water, and changing the cropping. Your thoughts?

    Full Power Takeoff Run
    FrankMi,

    How does this look:

    Full Power Takeoff Run

    1. Luminance Masks Used (See notes on following from a workshop at BSCC http://www.stortfordcameraclub.org.uk/bscc-workshop- notes dated 18/10/2011 and also look at this site for actions etc: http://www.confessionsofaphotoshopne...ity-masks.html) via Levels and Curves.

    2. Image cropped

    3. Colour Boost with Topaz Detail

    Off to camera club !!

    Regards

    David

  16. #16

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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    You can call me crazy or some such, but i think this picture will do pretty nice without room for the bird to fly into and focus on the action of the legs and the water. something in the direction of a 1200*600 crop of the lower right part of the image. Such a crop will also solve much of the glare problem.

  17. #17

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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    skip flop flap flap take off !

  18. #18
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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    Frank,

    Here is what I was able to come up with in Lightroom3:

    Used the Gradient tool and the Touch-up brush to make the adjustments to the water, and
    then cropped the image to 8x10 after adding a slight bit of color saturation to bring out
    the best in the heron.

    s60euh-3.jpg

    Honestly, I think your version in post #14 is much better..Full Power Takeoff Run

    Mike
    Attached Images Attached Images

  19. #19
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    Quote Originally Posted by victor View Post
    How does this look:
    1. Luminance Masks Used (See notes on following from a workshop at BSCC http://www.stortfordcameraclub.org.uk/bscc-workshop- notes dated 18/10/2011 and also look at this site for actions etc: http://www.confessionsofaphotoshopne...ity-masks.html) via Levels and Curves.

    2. Image cropped

    3. Colour Boost with Topaz Detail
    Hi David, thank you for taking the time and effort to have a go at this image. I took a look at the two links and will need to return to them when I have a chance to study the material in depth. From what I saw, it looks like they have some great PS techniques!

    I can see a large light area around the bird so I think a little touchup with the burn tool may be needed to blend that out.

    One of the biggest issues with this type of image is how to get a natural appearing separation between the bird and the background. In this case, both have high contrast so simply changing the brightness of the background isn't going to provide sufficient separation before the background starts to look fake. On the other hand, we can't simply replace the background as the bird's right leg is completely immersed in the spray of water. So far, Dave's selective angled blur seems to work best but in reality, no amount of PP can compensate for the plethora of issues we can run into in trying to get a great shot. Thanks again!

  20. #20
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Full Power Takeoff Run

    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
    Here is what I was able to come up with in Lightroom3:

    Used the Gradient tool and the Touch-up brush to make the adjustments to the water, and
    then cropped the image to 8x10 after adding a slight bit of color saturation to bring out
    the best in the heron.
    Interesting! I had actually toned down the color saturation of the bird because I thought to was too much. This is the second time I see that others feel it could be boosted. I'll take that into focus with my future edits.

    Is it just me, or do David and your posts appear a bit dark? Perhaps the background water in mine is too light?

    Post #14 had one additional change that I'm not sure I like. I changed the color tone of the water from the original greenish hue to a more bluish one. The original greenish hue didn't seem to work well with the predominantly blue Heron but I'm not sure the bluish water is any better. Still exploring and, hopefully, learning.

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