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Thread: Is this Kingfisher sharp?

  1. #1
    andrewaxford's Avatar
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    Is this Kingfisher sharp?

    I could do with some help here please. Do you think this is sharpened correctly? i am not sure on the correct level.
    Thanks
    Andrew

    Is this Kingfisher sharp?

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    Re: Is this Kingfisher sharp?

    I am not sure, however there is a blue fringe along the white of its breast. This would be on its left side, its right side goes from white to orange. That fringe may be caused by over sharpening, but I do not know.

    Cherrs:

    Allan

  3. #3
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Is this Kingfisher sharp?

    Andrew personally I would like to see it a bit sharper. Without knowing what you've done, it'd hard to suggest any specific action. It's an attractive bird with nice colours. One thing that does distract me with this image is the fairly dominant bright blue area to the right. I would suggest some cropping to reduce this area and also toning it down

    Dave

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    Re: Is this Kingfisher sharp?

    Hi Andrew, nice capture! It looks like it is as sharp as you're going to be able to get it. Unfortunately although you can easily soften an image in post processing, you can't sharpen feather detail that is not in the original image. The blue halo that Allan notices could be coming from over-sharpening but without seeing the original I can't be sure.

    Was the original image a JPG? If so, it was likely sharpened in-camera by the JPEG processor and if so, any additional sharpening might not help very much.

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    Re: Is this Kingfisher sharp?

    I suspect, Andrew, that the camera angle is giving a slight fall off in apparent sharpness to the top of it's head.

    Toning down the right side, as Dave mentioned, would certainly give more prominence, and apparent sharpness, to the bird. I would also consider a slight crop of the top and right side to help with this.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 15th October 2012 at 06:51 PM. Reason: spelling

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    andrewaxford's Avatar
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    Re: Is this Kingfisher sharp?

    Thanks for the tips. I have tried to do some of the things suggested and i think it looks better. Frank was right it was a jpg. Thanks once again.


    Is this Kingfisher sharp?

  7. #7
    andrewaxford's Avatar
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    Re: Is this Kingfisher sharp?

    Oh dear i have just raised another concern. The picture on my laptop looks completely different in colour than when it appears on cic. I had a similar thing yesterday with a photo i posted on facebook. If it was my monitor surely they would look the same wouldnt they?

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    Re: Is this Kingfisher sharp?

    Hi Andrew,
    Nothing much to add, but when shooting wildlife try to get your focus point on the eyes.

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Is this Kingfisher sharp?

    Hi Andrew,

    You have two things working against you;
    1) The shot is over-exposed - from experience, nothing kills resolution in pale detail areas, and the edges where it meets darkness, like over exposure
    2) the second thing is that you posted both images at 1600px tall - my monitor is not that size, it is 1080 tall, as are many others, if not 1050 tall, or 800 (if a laptop), etc. - why does this matter?

    It matters because it means that to view the whole image, the browser is interpolating down to fit it into our screens and it does this without sharpening. Sure if you view at 100%, we can see that the eye reflection probably isn't quite the sharpest part but the picture deserves to be viewed as a whole, so we can see your composition, doesn't it?

    I commend you to have another go;
    a) down size to 700px tall (from the original image, not the 1600 size you posted here)
    b) sharpen with UnSharpMask (USM) at 100%, 0.3px radius and threshold of say 2.
    c) upload to TinyPic
    d) link here.

    When viewed on the page without the Lytebox, you should find it looks much sharper than the ones already posted, even though they have a greater 'resolution'/size.

    I am going to try, but bear in mind I was starting from the 1600px jpg version.
    My example PP of the above shot

    This was 130% amount, too much in hindsight, my first guess was right.

    I did cheat a little - since the 1600px version had some sharpened noise in, I did noise reduce this before the downsize and sharpen.#

    Oh and as a parting comment, this is still much better than my best to date shot of a (rather too distant and backlit) Kingfisher (and yes, I blew that too).

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 17th October 2012 at 11:06 PM. Reason: linked to image instead of inline

  10. #10
    andrewaxford's Avatar
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    Re: Is this Kingfisher sharp?

    Thanks for all the tips Dave, i never knew about the size so i hope i have got it right. Also for Jim i had my camera set to a centre focus point and i managed three shots before it was gone i guess i was just glad to get a focus anywhere. The whole thing lasted about ten seconds!



    Is this Kingfisher sharp?

  11. #11
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    Re: Is this Kingfisher sharp?

    Much better Andrew! There are a few things you may be able to do to improve the ‘apparent’ sharpness of the image. If you can clone with very small hard brush you can make the edge along the top of the head (and the white part of the breast) sharper looking by blending the background hard up against the head. That should make the edge look sharper, just be careful to not trim but a whisker off the top.

    Next, if you can do eye retouching, just as if these were human eyes, you can bring out additional definition by slightly lightening the eye, then, again with a hard brush, make the edge of the catch light sharp. Because of the contrast between the catch light and the eye it should make the eye look sharper and that’s the first thing that is noticed.

    Lastly, again with a small hard brush, gently clone out the halo on the bottom of the beak.

    You may not be able to recover additional feather detail but if you can selectively sharpen the high contrast borders the apparent sharpness should improve.

    If you don't mind, I'd like to take a crack at it?
    Last edited by FrankMi; 17th October 2012 at 11:35 PM.

  12. #12
    FrankMi's Avatar
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    Re: Is this Kingfisher sharp?

    Hi Andrew.

    If you don’t like how it turned out I’ll take it down. The hope is that it is easier to see how the changes affect the image. Like any image changes, the results can be quite variable depending upon how one interprets what is needed. In a situation like this the goal is to be very subtle but effective and knowing just how far to go and when to stop is in the eye of the beholder. Other than the eye and global adjustments, all changes were made to the background.

    Is this Kingfisher sharp?

    Steps taken:

    I started with the initial 1600 x 1600 pixel image where I noticed a fair bit of noise.

    Made a copy and fairly aggressively reduced the background copy noise.

    For the subject copy I did a very mild noise reduction and applied a subtle capture sharpening.

    To increase the contrast difference between the subject and background, I darkened and increased the contrast of the background.

    Masked the subject and merged the sharper subject with the softer background.

    I then cloned the background to the perimeter of the subject to reduce the softness of the edge by 1-2 pixels.

    Lastly, I lightened the eye and diminished the size and brightened slightly (to sharpen) the catch light.

    Cropping was all that was left to be done but because I knew that Topaz Adjust with a Brilliant Warm setting would help bring out the subjects texture and enhance what little feather detail we had, I gave that a try as well.

  13. #13
    andrewaxford's Avatar
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    Re: Is this Kingfisher sharp?

    Wow i just realised i have a lot to learn! What an improvment in the eye, back of head, neck and beak it really is noticable. I shall try to emulate these adjustments. Thanks everyone for all your help. andrew

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