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Thread: Great Blue Heron - Portrait (C&C requested)

  1. #1

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    Great Blue Heron - Portrait (C&C requested)

    What to do when you have a big subject standing about 15-20 feet from you with a really really messy background? Here, 300mm was too long and 70 too short and the surroundings too messy.

    But I really wanted a nice full-length with as little background distraction as possible. The only alternative left then was to do a vertical pano.

    This is 4 shots @300mm combined and cloning to remove the big branches behind him. The full sized image comes to 23x36 inches and over 47mb at max jpg quality. Probably the biggest image I have ever made.

    My intention is to have a full or half-size print made at a professional lab and present it to a very good friend.

    Of course would like it to be 100% perfect before it is handed to the lab.

    Where to go for some comprehensive feedback? CiC of course.

    Great Blue Heron - Portrait (C&C requested)

    Best viewed large. Click on magnifying glass icon here.
    https://picasaweb.google.com/1112784...49091807042498

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    davidedric's Avatar
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    Re: Great Blue Heron - Portrait (C&C requested)

    Stunning image - lucky friend.

    I can't comment on techniques (you are so far ahead of me there), but subjectively the very bright background behind the head and bill takes my eye away away from that focal point of the image. Do you have a way of taking some brightness away from there?

  3. #3

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    Re: Great Blue Heron - Portrait (C&C requested)

    Thanks Dave.

    It is not all that apparent in the full-size version but yes the top part is a bit bright in the smaller versions. Bad part - I dont know how to fix this without messing up the bottom.

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    Victor Rakmil

    Re: Great Blue Heron - Portrait (C&C requested)

    This is a great photo to immediacy and presence make it stand out.

    If you have Photoshop you could use a brightness mask or the burn tool for the upper background. There is something coming out of the chest that might also be darkened it looks like a plant cone.

    I hope to post some more Heron shots on my website in the next few days, in addition to one already there.

  5. #5
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Great Blue Heron - Portrait (C&C requested)

    I will go with the suggestions before me and just say....Very nicely seen and captured there Bobo. It reminds me of the first good shot of a Heron that I ever got. You may remember it as I have posted it a few times. That image remains my most popular of all my bird images since. This image has that certain tension. well done. I hope you post another when you have toned the brightness some.

  6. #6

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    Re: Great Blue Heron - Portrait (C&C requested)

    Thanks Victor, Paul.

    Working on a new one from scratch. Lets see how that goes. The worst part is spend lots of time removing the branches - hate that....

  7. #7

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    Re: Great Blue Heron - Portrait (C&C requested)

    The leaves on the tree almost look like green feathers! They are close to the size and shape of the bird's feathers --kinda strange how it seems to all blend together (for me at least). I don't know how to change that without masking it all out by hand and darkening the background levels. His legs are even close to the texture and color of the branch he is standing on. Good camo to hide from predators!

    It is really a nice angle and pic of the bird! Almost as if he is posing for you--showing his "best side".

  8. #8

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    Re: Great Blue Heron - Portrait (C&C requested)

    Thanks Gretchen.

    I am wondering what could have been done photographically to get a better shot. The strong back lighting, reflecting leaves, messy branches, were not all that apparent at the time. Actually the individual parts look decent too. It is only when everything is joined up that parts of it go south.....

    This is a re-edit but the branches have not been removed (or should they be removed?)

    Great Blue Heron - Portrait (C&C requested)
    Last edited by Bobobird; 16th August 2012 at 05:30 PM.

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    Re: Great Blue Heron - Portrait (C&C requested)

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobobird View Post
    Thanks Gretchen.

    I am wondering what could have been done photographically to get a better shot. The strong back lighting, reflecting leaves, messy branches, were not all that apparent at the time. Actually the individual parts look decent too. It is only when everything is joined up that parts of it go south.....

    This is a re-edit but the branches have not been removed (or should they be removed?)

    Great Blue Heron - Portrait (C&C requested)
    A nice shot bobo. I don't understand why you shot it as a 4 shot pano, when you have a zoom lens? Are you printing this extremely large and needed the extra resolution?

    If you would have stopped your lens way down , you could have killed some of the hard light. You would have also prob. needed to use a tripod or monopod to help with the slower shutter speeds.

    As far as the edit goes, i would lower the highlights some more. Add some more room to the right if i could, and dodge the shadow areas around the head to brighten them up a little more. I think i would also add a mild vingnette to darken the background a little more.


    A very nice shot bobo, well done!!

  10. #10

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    Re: Great Blue Heron - Portrait (C&C requested)

    No, I think it's a great shot really. Because it shows the bird as he is. Maybe perhaps increase the lighting a wee it on the bird to show more shadows? I don't know. I actually like it the way it is. I just think his natural camo is very cool and you captured that.

    Your re-edit is good, leave it alone now. There comes a point where you just have to stop and I know it's hard. Unless you want to photoshop it into a art piece based on a photograph . . . .Then I could have lots of fun!

  11. #11

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    Re: Great Blue Heron - Portrait (C&C requested)

    Thanks Steve, and again Gretchen.

    My bone (that lazy ) says stop here. Next time will just need to be more aware of his background but despite that he will always take precedence so luck of the draw it is.

    Steve - the tripod is always close by in the car just that it never comes out. Will will it some air more often.

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