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Thread: There is nothing "just" about ducks

  1. #1
    Soozie B's Avatar
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    There is nothing "just" about ducks

    Following on Bobobird's theme of ducks (one of my new found favourites) I would like to share what I considered unusual poses by our fine feathered friends. I understand that there may be some required enhancements to be made and if I have learnt anything over the last 3 nights they may include cropping, sharpening and a bit of tweaking of colour.

    Hope you enjoy these little treasures

    1. Have you every seen a bird drinking? I captured a shot right at the exact moment a droplet of water fell from its beak. It was truly magical

    There is nothing "just" about ducks
    Drinking Ducks by Soozie_Lou_B, on Flickr

    2. A halo of water surrounds this little vain pretty

    There is nothing "just" about ducks
    Water halo by Soozie_Lou_B, on Flickr
    Last edited by Donald; 9th September 2012 at 12:26 PM. Reason: Inserted hyperlink to Bobo's thread

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: There is nothing "just" about ducks

    Quote Originally Posted by Soozie B View Post
    ......... and if I have learnt anything over the last 3 nights they may include cropping, sharpening and a bit of tweaking of colour.
    Given that you're able to produce this self-critique, then you obviously have been learning.

    I'm not sure that you need to do anything on either the sharpening or the colour, though others may disagree, but I do agree that you could look at how to crop to best present the first one. I'm not sure it needs the little bit of grass at the bottom.

    I wondered about something like ..............

    There is nothing "just" about ducks

    ......... in which the droplet is lying on the right hand 'rule-of-thirds' vertical (not quite on the intersection with the horizontal thirds line, but close.

  3. #3
    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: There is nothing "just" about ducks

    Good evening Sir,

    Many thanks for the input and I agree it makes for a better shot. Unlike my younger years when learning was a chore, I am really enjoying the self discovery and the input of others with this. Its like a new toy that I cant put down.

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    Re: There is nothing "just" about ducks

    Quote Originally Posted by Soozie B View Post
    Its like a new toy that I cant put down.
    Haha, same here, same here.

    Ducks and geese are a good start into nature photography. That begins with observation of behaviour and how to best capture that and the subject. You already have that knack as can be seen from these 2 shots.

    One point to note for the future - try to get down to their level, always. Not always possible so we need to find something else to compensate - it could be nice foreground, a curving "sideground" etc. Just something to take attention away from the "from above or from below" perspective.

    C&C
    #1 - not showing now but Donald's edit is. Excellent catch with the water drop and the edit is great.

    #2 - I would have waited for the head to turn towards me but.... Additionally, you can try to hone your PS skill here with removing the twgs from the top and right side. They are fine in this shot but a useful skill for the future.

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    Re: There is nothing "just" about ducks

    I can only see the second shot and I like it. I agree with Bobo, it might be nice to remove the twigs --they are a bit distractling. Yet they also show that the duck is near the shore --perhaps showing proper humility while grooming? LOL

  6. #6
    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: There is nothing "just" about ducks

    Thanks Bobo and Gretchen. I take this on board and hope to be able to show you the outcomes of these learnings very soon

  7. #7
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    Re: There is nothing "just" about ducks

    Hello Soozie, interesting ducks, nice images. I think image #1 might be impoved by cropping so all of the reflection of the first duck is visible if the original image shows it. Also I would use either the Healing Brush or Clone tool in Photoshop to remove the sticks in the foreground of the image. As for image #2 I agree with Bobo's and Gretchen's suggestion. Keep enjoying your photography you can take it as far as you desire.

  8. #8
    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: There is nothing "just" about ducks

    Hi there.

    I have no idea how to use the cloning brush. Might have to be tonight's research

  9. #9

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    Re: There is nothing "just" about ducks

    Well, remember, cloning (for me anyway) is a generic term. While there is an actual "cloning tool" on PSE, there are also numerous other ways to add or remove parts of a photo one wishes to. Sometimes, the "Spot-Healing Tool" is appropriate, sometimes the "Paint Tool" works best. You can always layer different opacities --something I just learned about here and for which Donald has an excellent post I printed out for future refernce. Don't ask me how to find it on the forum. I am old fashioned, I keep a binder for such things.

    The clone tool can be tricky as it just clones other parts of the photo --and can appear very obvious if one doesn't vary the path of the tool and the areas to be cloned. Sometimes I clone and then use the spot healing tool to blend it all together. Oh, and there is the "Blur Tool". And the Blur filters which can help. Sometimes I mask off the whole background and play with on a separate layer as not to frustrate myself too much.

    Which version of Photoshop do you have? There are excellent tutorials available online.

  10. #10
    Soozie B's Avatar
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    Re: There is nothing "just" about ducks

    Oh my now I'm totally bamboozled. I have and am trying to learn Coral Photoshop X4. I have youtubed some tutes but they weren't very good. My method of learning is best achieved with visual and audio rather than written which is why I went looking in that direction.

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