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Thread: Tri-colored heron in flight- CC appreciated

  1. #1
    New Member enjenneer's Avatar
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    Jennifer

    Tri-colored heron in flight- CC appreciated

    This is a shot of a tri-colored heron that I took at a nature reserve in Augusta, GA. This image is SOOC. Take with my Canon Rebel XT and testing my new lens (Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6 IS USM). Settings: ISO400, f6.3, 1/800s, 300mm.

    I like the image but am wondering what recommendations people have on what to try and do better next time or what post-processing techniques are recommended to improve the overall look.

    Thanks in advance for all suggestions and comments.

    Tri-colored heron in flight- CC appreciated

  2. #2

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    Bobo

    Re: Tri-colored heron in flight- CC appreciated

    Excellent image but the bright wing is drawing attention away from the body. Overall the image seems a bit too bright. Perhaps try to reduce the brightness and increase the contrast.

  3. #3

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    Re: Tri-colored heron in flight- CC appreciated

    I love the angle of the bird --and the shadows on his wing. I agree it might seem overexposed a bit His legs are blending into the grass --on my monitor anyway. Maybe do a layer in photoshop by masking him out and playing with the filters for the background, or making it B&W?

    I could do a lot of design work with him at the angle he is --I'm rather jealous!!! It's hard to get "live and flying" things parallel with the ground which is necessary for a lot of the artsy work I like to do! May I play with him a bit if I promise to show you what I do? Not really photographic as much as photoshop art, so I don't normally post that work here.

    ggt

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    Re: Tri-colored heron in flight- CC appreciated

    Against a clear blue sky, Jennifer, that would be a stunning shot.

    I think I would try cropping tighter and losing a bit from the right side and bottom which would reduce some of the distracting background.

    One thing which I do with shots like this during editing is to selectively sharpen just the main subject (bird) not the background.

    First, and correct, method is to create a layer from the background and sharpen it to suit the bird. Add a mask and edit with soft edged brushes so only the desired areas get sharpened. Sometimes, changing the layer blend mode to Luminosity can help if you get any unnatural looking sharpening problems.

    Another quick method which often works for me is to roughly draw a selection just outside of the bird outline. Feather the selection by around 5 to 10 pixels and sharpen with Unsharp Mask. Only the required (selected) area will be sharpened and the feathering prevents any sharp edges.

    And finally, I often run over the background with a Blur Brush (soft edge and suitable opacity) to reduce background intensity and remove any 'noise'.

  5. #5
    New Member enjenneer's Avatar
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    Re: Tri-colored heron in flight- CC appreciated

    Thanks all for the great suggestions. This was exactly the type of feedback I was seeking. Now my challenge is to put your words to mouse and keyboard. I may post the after if I can make this all work. Thanks again!

  6. #6
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Tri-colored heron in flight- CC appreciated

    Hi Jennifer,

    The other thing you want to do, after all the normal PP stuff with layers is;
    a) save a full size version (in case you want to print)
    b) downsize to 900px tall (and take whatever width this gives after the crop) using the plain "bi-cubic" method
    c) sharpen with UnSharp Mask at 90%, 0.3px radius and threshold of 1
    d) save this with a suffix on the filename of "_H900.jpg" (so you know it's the smaller version for web use)
    e) upload that to TinyPic as before and display here

    That's because you uploaded the fullsize image before (as SOOC) and TinyPic cut it down to 1599 x 1066px, which lost some sharpness.

    For chapter and verse on why you need to do this, have a read of this post, but you can take it from me that following a) to e) above will help.

    I've got to ask; are you an engineer?
    (I was once)

    Welcome to the CiC forums from .....

  7. #7
    New Member enjenneer's Avatar
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    Re: Tri-colored heron in flight- CC appreciated

    Excellent tips- and thanks for the welcome Dave! Yes, I am a civil engineer. The nickname gives it away but I like the play on name and career. Something has to pay for this new passion! What type of engineer were you?

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