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Thread: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

  1. #1
    stardelta's Avatar
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    Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Hi guys I took these 2 shots today and would like advice on what I could have done better.
    Also i have only cropped these shots in dpp,nothing more.
    The 1st was a very protective swan , warning me and my dog jack away. The annoying part for me was the baby behind the swan.
    The 2nd was outside my house , I just caught him or her ,out of the corner of my eye. I dont like how the branch cuts through the tail.

    Advice on post processing would also be appreciated.
    I have dpp and photoshop 7.

    Many thanks as always.
    Glenn

  2. #2
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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Hi Glenn,
    it would be very easy to clone out the 'baby' behind the swan and I think you really should do that. The horizon between the water and the bank could do with a slight anti-clockwise rotation to level it up a bit. Other than those 2 small points I think it's a nice picture.
    Again in picture 2 if you wanted to you could remove the twig in PP quiet easily and build up and fill in the missing bit of the tail. If it was my picture I would just blur the background a bit in PP leaving the bird nice and sharp.
    Two nice pictures, that IMHO only need a few tweaks to make them keepers and ones to look back on in the future.

    Thanks for sharing, very nice, both of them.

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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    The 2nd one is fine as is, no need to worry about the tail bit as that is not what you are showing.

    #1 - it is very easy to blow whites in most conditions but more so in bright light. Clone out the black blob just behind the swan. Also see if you can tone down the really bright are on the left wing and left shoulder. The reddish tinge around the shoulder/breast area seems to suggest that the white area just to its left might be blown.

  4. #4
    stardelta's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Thankyou john for your kind words , I really like them so I think i need to get my head down and learn how to use p&p to my advantage.

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    stardelta's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Thankyou bobo. I can see what you mean, I have ended up with 1 bright wing and 1 dull ,shadowed wing .
    As i just said to john I need to explore post processing in more detail.
    Many thanks again.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    I think the guys above have covered the key points. By the way, the blakbird is a 'him'.

    The image of the swan is, I think, a very good bit of work, Glenn. Just needs a bit of work, as discussed above, to finish it off properly.

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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by stardelta View Post
    Thankyou john for your kind words , I really like them so I think i need to get my head down and learn how to use p&p to my advantage.
    Glenn,
    I have just tried to adjust the birds tail as I suggested, it is possible as I said; but it looks better as per your original picture, more natural.

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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Glenn, I think the first one is a very good shot of a bird that is difficult to get right. It is so easy to blow the highlights but you have good detail in a lot of the feathers and you have captured a good pose, even though that wasn't the swan's intention.

    A few suggestions

    - clone out the coot in the background. Have to admit that I find cloning water difficult to get right, the eye seems to spot irregularities in water very easily

    - rotate it a little to get the far shore of the lake horizontal. Generally having something cutting through the subject, as the shore line does, is not a good idea, but in this case I don't think it matters. The shore is distant and out of focus and the eye is definitely drawn to the swan.

    - have a play with the brightness curve in Photoshop to reduce the brightness of the highlights a little. I think it would get a little more detail in the whitest of the feathers and perhaps boost the saturation a little, and

    - a bit of sharpening

    On the second - I agree the branch through the tail is not good, but that is what happens sometimes. The EXIF data shows this was at 55mm so I assume, given the size of the bird in the photo, the crop you did was quite heavy and cropping has an effect on quality.

    Getting closer to the subject, which could involve a tripod and remote shutter release; or a longer lens will reduce the need for cropping.

    To get rid of distracting background you could set up a feeder in a position well away from other trees or shrubs. If you want a more natural look, drill a few holes in a dead branch and pack them with peanuts/ seeds or suet. Fix this somewhere convenient and the birds will find it.


    Dave

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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Thankyou donald .Can you tell me how you know it is an him,I am curious.

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    stardelta's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by JPS View Post
    Glenn,
    I have just tried to adjust the birds tail as I suggested, it is possible as I said; but it looks better as per your original picture, more natural.
    Thankyou john for trying.

  11. #11
    stardelta's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tringa View Post
    Glenn, I think the first one is a very good shot of a bird that is difficult to get right. It is so easy to blow the highlights but you have good detail in a lot of the feathers and you have captured a good pose, even though that wasn't the swan's intention.

    A few suggestions

    - clone out the coot in the background. Have to admit that I find cloning water difficult to get right, the eye seems to spot irregularities in water very easily

    - rotate it a little to get the far shore of the lake horizontal. Generally having something cutting through the subject, as the shore line does, is not a good idea, but in this case I don't think it matters. The shore is distant and out of focus and the eye is definitely drawn to the swan.

    - have a play with the brightness curve in Photoshop to reduce the brightness of the highlights a little. I think it would get a little more detail in the whitest of the feathers and perhaps boost the saturation a little, and

    - a bit of sharpening

    On the second - I agree the branch through the tail is not good, but that is what happens sometimes. The EXIF data shows this was at 55mm so I assume, given the size of the bird in the photo, the crop you did was quite heavy and cropping has an effect on quality.

    Getting closer to the subject, which could involve a tripod and remote shutter release; or a longer lens will reduce the need for cropping.

    To get rid of distracting background you could set up a feeder in a position well away from other trees or shrubs. If you want a more natural look, drill a few holes in a dead branch and pack them with peanuts/ seeds or suet. Fix this somewhere convenient and the birds will find it.


    Dave
    Thankyou very much dave ,some very good advice there.
    As regards tripod,longer zoom I agree totally, however i only had the kit lens with me .
    And I have set up a multi feeder station in my garden , however so far they are not coming to investigate.
    I think I am going to have to be patient.
    Thanks again dave.

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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by stardelta View Post
    Thankyou donald .Can you tell me how you know it is an him,I am curious.
    He's black and has a yellow beak. Female blackbirds aren't black, they're brown and don't have the same yellow beak

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    stardelta's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    He's black and has a yellow beak. Female blackbirds aren't black, they're brown and don't have the same yellow beak

    Thankyou donald , are the females brown in colour, if so that would explain why I have seen black and brown birds that look very similar. I do get a few popping into the garden for food.

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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Well, I am late again! The guys have things well worked out here, lots of good stuff. I look forwrard to seeing more from you. Nice shots.

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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Hi Glenn! Both images are really good and others have already provided excellent advice so I'll try to identify a couple of different things.

    You say that you cropped the images. The swan feels a bit tight to me in the frame, particularly at the top. You might want to experiment with giving a little more space around the bird if it doesn't reveal additional distractions that would negatively impact the image.

    On the Blackbird shot, the tail is in a most natural position for a bird on a branch so I wouldn't worry it to much for this image. When shooting future birds you could try for other positions but the most common way to get the tail in front of the branch is to have the bird facing away from you. Unless its head is turned toward you, this is not a very compelling pose.

  16. #16
    stardelta's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    [QUOTE=FrankMi;204345]Hi Glenn! Both images are really good and others have already provided excellent advice so I'll try to identify a couple of different things.

    You say that you cropped the images. The swan feels a bit tight to me in the frame, particularly at the top. You might want to experiment with giving a little more space around the bird if it doesn't reveal additional distractions that would negatively impact the image.

    On the Blackbird shot, the tail is in a most natural position for a bird on a branch so I wouldn't worry it to much for this image. When shooting future birds you could try for other positions but the most common way to get the tail in front of the branch is to have the bird facing away from you. Unless its head is turned toward you, this is not a very compelling pose.[/QUOT

    Thankyou frank for your reply , Here is the original shot , but for me I thought the background was to distracting.
    Let me know what your thoughts are.

    Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

  17. #17
    stardelta's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeperman View Post
    Well, I am late again! The guys have things well worked out here, lots of good stuff. I look forwrard to seeing more from you. Nice shots.


    Thankyou paul for your reply .And you were fashionably late

  18. #18
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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Hi Glen,

    Great shot, I'm guessing that you could have filled your memory with shots of this swan. What this image is starting to reveal is a strong reflection. Moving the camera angle higher might have taken the Swan's head away from the far bank and you may have been able to capture the whole swan reflected. Great photo though - well done.

  19. #19
    stardelta's Avatar
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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Hi mark,

    Thanks for the reply.
    You are right I did get quite a few shots of him, but they were mainly of him floating around , however I did miss what would have been a great shot, when he saw me , he came flying over the water and made a fantastic landing just to my right.
    However i was trying to keep an eye on my dog , who loves to have a standoff every weekend , with the swan.

    Thanks again for looking.
    glenn.

  20. #20
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    Re: Advice needed on these 2 shots please guys.

    Quote Originally Posted by stardelta View Post
    Here is the original shot , but for me I thought the background was to distracting.
    Let me know what your thoughts are.
    Hi Glenn and thank you for posting the original. I agree that with just cropping, that you were able to eliminate both the additional distractions higher up on the bank and the bulk of the reflections in the water. Both versions are great, but your cropped version keeps the attention where it belongs, exploring the swan’s beautiful detail.

    Alternatively, if you have developed the PP skills to do so, you could move the far bank higher up and either left or right to get a more homogeneous background that doesn't interfere with the subject and tone down the reflection. If you are just starting to develop that level of PP skill, it would initially be a lot of time, effort and frustration.

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