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Thread: Wood Ducks

  1. #1
    Cantab's Avatar
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    Bruce

    Wood Ducks

    This is my first photo post; C&C most welcome -- especially as they are some of my early attempts at post-processing.

    These were male (non-breeding plumage) and female wood ducks at a nearby lake. Both were taken with a Canon 100-400 set at 400mm (640mm) and f5.6. The male duck was 1/800, ISO 1000 and the female duck at 1/1000, ISO 640.
    Wood Ducks
    Wood Ducks
    Last edited by Cantab; 16th August 2012 at 11:39 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Wood Ducks

    Hi, Bruce.
    Nice job of filling the frame and spot on focus, especially in the first image. The images are a little desaturated and flat, and I think you could really gain some pop by decreasing your exposure a bit, add some LCE to the birds , and bump up your contrast and saturation. Looking forward to more of your work

    Kevin

  3. #3
    Cantab's Avatar
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    Re: Wood Ducks

    gain some pop by decreasing your exposure a bit, add some LCE to the birds
    Kevin, thanks for your comments. Ironically, my recollection is that I slightly increased the exposure when I originally dealt with the RAW in Canon's DPP!
    Displaying my newness to digital editing, what does LCE refer to?

  4. #4
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: Wood Ducks

    Local Contrast Enhancement. There is a very nice CiC tutorial that is well worth a look. Also, I am not on my own computer/monitor- this one is not callibrated, so take the exposure/contrast comments with a grain of salt

  5. #5

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    Re: Wood Ducks

    Both images are quite worthy considering that they are your early attempts at postprocessing. Congratulations!

    Like Kevin though I am using my calibrated monitor, I also thought both images were overexposed until I checked out the histogram and saw that you nailed the exposure. The issue is that both scenes have a limited dynamic range. If you're not familiar with using the histogram to determine that, review the CiC tutorials about using the histogram.

    You could then look up the CiC tutorials about using the Levels tool to increase the dynamic range (raise the black point and lower the white point) and the Curves tool to increase contrast. Once you make two very simple adjustments in the Levels tool to display data across the entire horizontal axis of the histogram, both images will look 1000% better (that's one thousand, not one hundred percent). You can then tweak the contrast using the Curves tool.

    You have the basis of two very nice images here that will shine once you learn more about the basics of postprocessing. Enjoy the journey!

  6. #6

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    Re: Wood Ducks

    After writing my previous post, I decided to give you the motivation to look up the stuff that Kevin and I recommended. The picture shown below is the result of using my mouse to drag two sliders in the Levels tool and to drag two places in the Curves tool while keeping an eye on the histogram. The process that I used isn't the stuff of refined postprocessing. Just the opposite, hopefully the revised image shows you how much an image can be improved with only the slightest amount of time -- no more than ten seconds -- once you get to know what you're looking to achieve and how to achieve it.

    Wood Ducks
    Last edited by Mike Buckley; 17th August 2012 at 01:07 AM.

  7. #7

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    Re: Wood Ducks

    Too bad there is all that stuff in the water on the first shot. If there is a way to clean it up, you could probably see a perfect reflection of his eye. I like the glass surface of the rest of the water in both shots. These birds are so much more colorful that most people realize and you captured the colors too!

    On the 2nd one, is his neck at a funny angle, where it meets his back?
    Last edited by ggt; 17th August 2012 at 02:18 AM. Reason: forgot something

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