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Thread: Sparrow - C+C

  1. #1

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    Sparrow - C+C

    Sparrow - C+C


    Thanks for any comments. I'm esp. concerned about sharpening and composition. Cropped a good bit, too much? Shot in Av, 1/25s, f/5.6, ISO 100, 70-300mm lens at 300mm+2.0x Extender, AF/IS, handheld.

  2. #2
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Sparrow - C+C

    Hi John, this looks like an excellent subject to play with in post processing.

    If you have the image real estate, it could use a little less crop. See what it looks like with the bird's eye at about the horizontal and vertical 1/3 position in the image.

    If you have the post processing capabilities, I'd clone out the out-of-focus twig behind the sparrow. I'd also play with the brightness and contrast a bit on just the sparrow to see if you can get it to 'pop' just a little.

    I think I'd try to practice some subtle eye retouching and possibly try for a 1 or 2 pixel catch-light in the eye.

    For the next time you get a chance to do this kick the ISO from 100 to about 400 and use the added light to get the aperture narrowed down to enhance the DoF. You can easily blur elements in post processing but it is almost impossible to increase the focus (on the tail) in post processing.

    Lastly, I'd play very gently with sharpening just the sparrow as you are on the verge of creating halos if you take the sharpening too far.

    Great capture with a lot of potential!
    Last edited by FrankMi; 13th November 2011 at 07:37 PM.

  3. #3

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    Re: Sparrow - C+C

    Considering your shooting settings and using a x2 converter, this image has turned out very well.

    But I agree with everything that Frank said.

  4. #4

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    Re: Sparrow - C+C

    Sparrow - C+C

    Thanks, Frank and Geoff. Is this any better? I still don't like the background, but I'm not good enough at PP to know what to do with it.....

  5. #5

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    Re: Sparrow - C+C

    Sparrow - C+C

    Or one more try, before I pull what little hair I have left out!

  6. #6
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    Re: Sparrow - C+C

    Quote Originally Posted by jonjdoe View Post
    I still don't like the background, but I'm not good enough at PP to know what to do with it.....
    OK. My bad. Smack this doofus up side the head! I should have been clear that the eye be in the top right, not bottom right third of the frame. Sorry! That would make the sparrow more central as you originally had it, but just a little smaller to give a little more space around the bird and have less background than we have here. Actually, the background is quite appropriate for this image, I think. Nice job on cloning out the twig!

  7. #7

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    Re: Sparrow - C+C

    I would leave the bottom edge as it was, but just add a little more space around the top and sides.

    So that it ended up with just a fraction less space than your last edit on the top and sides.

  8. #8
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Sparrow - C+C

    Quote Originally Posted by jonjdoe View Post
    Or one more try, before I pull what little hair I have left out!
    Hi John,

    Hopefully you won’t mind my doing an edit for you to help save your poor hair! I opened the original image (because the Sparrow was larger there) in Adobe Camera Raw and boosted the Recovery to 30 and the Fill Light to 60 then opened in Photoshop CS5.

    I increase the canvas size by 400 wide and 300 High to give room around the Sparrow, then cloned the nondescript background into that space. I also cloned out the twig and second fence board (as it was blurry) while I was at it.

    Cropped the image with the added space around the sparrow.

    Because I planned on addressing the sharpening halos later and the tail was out of focus, I did a more aggressive sharpening than I would normally advise using the Unsharp Mask at 40% and 4 pixels, then again at 40% and 2 pixels.

    I duplicated the layer and applied a Soft Light blend at 30% to bring out a little color.

    For the eye, I lightened the bottom of the iris and the catch-light in the top right with the Dodge Tool set for highlights at 30% , then darkened the pupil with the Burn Tool at 30%.

    Cleaned up the halos around the edge of the Sparrow with the Clone Tool.

    Applied some subtle Levels and Curves adjustments.

    Sparrow - C+C

    It actually turned out lighter than I was expecting but hopefully it gives you an idea of the steps I took to get to this point. Your results will vary as you tune the steps to match your vision of what it looked like when you took the picture. Hope this helps!
    Last edited by FrankMi; 14th November 2011 at 02:45 AM.

  9. #9

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    Re: Sparrow - C+C

    Thanks, Frank. That's awesome!!!

  10. #10
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Sparrow - C+C

    A very instructive series of posts

    The last above, by Frank is the best (so far), but perhaps, as Frank says, it's a little bright.

    Unfortunately, I think the WB has also suffered, the whole shot almost looks to be overlaid with a sepia tint, but working from the original jpg only, that's a small price to pay for showing how a "good average" capture can be helped by effective PP to be something much better.

    Cheers,

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