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Thread: Duck Soup

  1. #1

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    Duck Soup

    Hi everyone, it's been awhile since I posted anything, and I'd like some help on this one. Thing is I really like it, but I don't get much of a reaction when I show it to anyone else. What do you all think. I'd like initial reaction and also any thoughts on Post Processing or anything else. It will remain one of my favourites, but I'm really interested to know whether this kind of shot appeals to anyone else.


    Duck Soup
    untitled-4531 by Wendy FS, on Flickr

    Thanks
    Wendy

  2. #2
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    Re: Duck Soup

    I like your photo as it is. I don't think it needs more post processing.

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    Re: Duck Soup

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    I'm really interested to know whether this kind of shot appeals to anyone else.
    Wendy it certainly appeals to me!

    I really love your shot, it has a superb mood.

    Apart from the tilt probably. And that branch on the right .
    Last edited by MilT0s; 10th December 2012 at 03:11 PM.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Duck Soup

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    ... but I'm really interested to know whether this kind of shot appeals to anyone else.
    I think it's sublime. I just love that sort of shot and you have developed great skill in making them work.

    Like Miltos, I'm feeling there is a bit of tilt to the left. Is that the case, or is it an illusion caused by the misty scene and/or the angle to that bank?

    Is that a light sepia tone you've got on it? It just adds to the subtlety. I can feel the calmness.

  5. #5

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    Re: Duck Soup

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    I don't get much of a reaction when I show it to anyone else.
    It's clear from this thread that you were showing it to the wrong people. Seriously, I really do believe it has to do with the tastes of the people that you show it too. A lot of people are so used to the highly saturated, contrasty style of images displaying "pop" that they don't respond affirmatively to images made in the style of this one. Add my name to the list of people who really like this exactly as it is.

    Be careful about tilting the image to the right, as I fear the reflection of the tree will not be properly positioned under the tree. Whatever you decide, you may have to strike a compromise with accuracy to achieve a look that doesn't make people think the photo is tilted.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Duck Soup

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    Be careful about tilting the image to the right, as I fear the reflection of the tree will not be properly positioned under the tree.
    Why didn't I think to confirm or refute my feeling using the tree and its reflection? Doh!

    And on the point of others not reacting. The moral of the tale is - Always go to CiC first!

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    Re: Duck Soup

    I really like it, it reminds me of Oregon in December. I would say the only that bothers me is that bird on the left facing the other direction, have no rational reason, but if you could plunk him around facing the other way it would be a very calming picture. Duck Soup is a really apt name.
    Last edited by CLK; 10th December 2012 at 04:29 PM. Reason: additional comment

  8. #8

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    Re: Duck Soup

    A very subtle change, but i think it helps to make you focus on the ducks.

    I added a quick mask around the ducks and blurred it. I then increased the contrast of the layer by sharpening a little and increasing the blacks a little. This added a touch more contrast to the ducks to grab your attention just a little more.

    Just a thought, but i like the image also.

    Duck Soup

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    Re: Duck Soup

    very serene,has an almost watercolour painting type to it.

  10. #10
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    Re: Duck Soup

    Hi Wendy. You might consider me on the team that loves it! Great image, in my opinion!

  11. #11

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    Re: Duck Soup

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. I am so happy that it has been basically positive.

    Apart from the tilt probably. And that branch on the right
    Thanks Miltos, the tilt will be tricky because it's not really tilted, but I can see where it is a bit of a visual issue. The branch, I can and will take care of.

    Like Miltos, I'm feeling there is a bit of tilt to the left. Is that the case, or is it an illusion caused by the misty scene and/or the angle to that bank?
    Is that a light sepia tone you've got on it? It just adds to the subtlety. I can feel the calmness.
    Thanks Donald, The tilt is an illusion caused by the angle of the bank, I might be able to compromise though and get it to be less disconcerting visually without putting everything else off.
    I don't think I added any toning to this but to tell you the truth it's awhile ago and I don't remember The original was pretty much white so there was a lot of processing. This isn't a B&W conversion, it was just really dull and damp and of course foggy.

    A lot of people are so used to the highly saturated, contrasty style of images displaying "pop" that they don't respond affirmatively to images made in the style of this one. Add my name to the list of people who really like this exactly as it is.

    Be careful about tilting the image to the right, as I fear the reflection of the tree will not be properly positioned under the tree. Whatever you decide, you may have to strike a compromise with accuracy to achieve a look that doesn't make people think the photo is tilted.
    Thanks Mike, I think you're right about the mindset of most people especially when it comes to photographs. Sharpness and lots of colour seem to be expected. Two family members who saw this asked if it was taken close by and suggested I go back on a sunny day.
    Thanks for the warning about over correcting the tilt. I will see if a compromise is possible when I go back to remove that pesky branch at the right.

    And on the point of others not reacting. The moral of the tale is - Always go to CiC first!
    Hehe, you are so right Donald. Family and friends at this end use their cameras for documentary purposes, and they really don't get why anyone would make a special point to go out with a camera in the fog. If I had to rely on those closest to me for motivation, I would have sold the camera by now. I wish I had more time to spend here.

    I really like it, it reminds me of Oregon in December. I would say the only that bothers me is that bird on the left facing the other direction, have no rational reason, but if you could plunk him around facing the other way it would be a very calming picture. Duck Soup is a really apt name. .
    Thanks CLK, Southern Ontario is quite a ways from Oregon, but sounds like we have the same weather. December here can be pretty snowy some years, but many years lately it's cold and wet most of the month.
    I wish I clould plunk the bird around too. Before I got close enough for the shot, they were both together and that is the shot I wanted. Even though I was quite far away though they were very spooked and by the time I got this shot they were getting restless swimming around and preparing to leave which they did right after this shot. The 2 of them together would have added to the serenity and peacefulness of the shot - I think?

    very serene,has an almost watercolour painting type to it. .
    Thanks for the feedback Steveuk, it means a lot to know that others like this too.

    A very subtle change, but i think it helps to make you focus on the ducks.

    I added a quick mask around the ducks and blurred it. I then increased the contrast of the layer by sharpening a little and increasing the blacks a little. This added a touch more contrast to the ducks to grab your attention just a little more.
    Perfect Steve, I did try to emphasize the ducks a bit more by burning the shadows and well... actually got a bit heavy handed I think. This is perfect though, like you say subtle but it's what I spent a lot of time trying to do. I really have to learn how to work with layers. I'm not sure I can do a mask with Elements

    Thanks again everyone, I really do appreciate the feedback. I don't get out much with the camera these days and sometimes it feels like I'm starting over.

    Wendy

  12. #12

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    Re: Duck Soup

    Quote Originally Posted by Otavio View Post
    Hi Wendy. You might consider me on the team that loves it! Great image, in my opinion!
    Thank you very much Otaviao

  13. #13

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    Re: Duck Soup

    Wendy,

    You can definitely create a mask using Elements. Though I don't know if you can create a Layer Mask, which is a particular kind of mask, you can achieve similar results by copying a layer and applying the mask to that layer.

    Similarly, you could fairly easily "flip" the errant duck and move the ducks closer together. Doing that might be a bit complicated at first if you have never done it, but it becomes a rather simple process once you have done it once. You would probably need to do some touch-up around the area of the moved duck to make sure the tones in the water make sense, but that too is a fairly basic process using Elements.

    I am really surprised to learn that this is a color image. Actually, I'm stunned. What was your white balance setting? Did you have to change it during post-processing?

  14. #14

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    Re: Duck Soup

    You can do layer masks if you know how to cheat.


    You copy and paste a mask to an adjustment layer. Make a mask and hit control A / control C (this will copy the layer)..............then click on the white mask box of an adjustment layer and hold Alt and left click (the screen will turn white) ...........then hit control V to paste the mask in the box.

    If i remember right, that is how it works. Look it up on utube and you will find a video on how to do it.

  15. #15

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    Re: Duck Soup

    I am really surprised to learn that this is a color image. Actually, I'm stunned. What was your white balance setting? Did you have to change it during post-processing? .
    Hi Mike: Here is a resized jpg of the RAW image, and the camera settings, which I forgot to post with the original.

    1/250s; f8; ISO 200; 200mm; Matrix +2/3
    Usually when taking shots in the fog I keep upping the exposure until I get blinkies (I want as much fog as possible) I did not get a chance to do that with this one because the ducks took off.

    As you can see it's a REALLY foggy day so there is not much colour to speak of. The bank is brown, the water is brown, I would have liked the fog lighter but actually the RAW image is pretty close to reality. If you look closely in the original post you can just barely see the green on the Drakes head and the orange beak of the hen. That's about it for colour.

    I did adjust the white balance +166 which I can see as I go through the lightroom history is the point where the sepia tone came in but generally speaking the scene was heading in that direction already, I just exagerated it a bit.

    Thanks for the info on Elements. I really have to get the books out again and try some of these things. Trouble is I learn best when I try something and post it and then get feedback and suggestions and instructions here at CiC. It's a very time consuming process which I don't mind at all, but I never seem to get large chunks of time these days. When I do though I will be counting on you guys to help me out.

    Duck Soup
    untitled-4531-2 by Wendy FS, on Flickr

  16. #16

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    Re: Duck Soup

    Thanks for the detailed explanation, Wendy. Very interesting!

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