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Thread: Ducks and Geese

  1. #1
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Ducks and Geese

    I'm trying to improve my bird photography, especially my focus, exposure and the sharpness of my photos. All C&C most appreciated.

    Nikon D80 Manual F6-F8 SS 1000 iso 560-800 Exp. comp +.7


    Ducks and Geese


    Ducks and Geese


    Ducks and Geese


    Ducks and Geese


    Seems I can't resist trying to photograph birds perched up high... Is it really pointless?

    Ducks and Geese

  2. #2
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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    Photos 1, 3, and 4 are very good. 2nd photo is fine, the angle of the duck's head is offsetting but otherwise very good. The 5th just needs a closer view, perhaps a crop to emphasize more of the goose. Then again, the current view does create a sense of isolation, perhaps a caption and as a stand alone image.

  3. #3
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    As always, thank you John. Good to know.

    And in #2 the ducks face looks cute and chubby

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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    For me 1,4 and 3 are very good.
    With nr 3 focus seems to be on the waterdrops on the chest iso on the bird's eye/face. I think they will all 3 benefit from some LCE, and/ or brighten the eye just a tad in 4 and 3.
    Nr 5, the goose high up: It is not pointless, as long as you like it!! You are the photographer. For my taste, it is a bit far away and a bit soft.
    Kind regards, Rudi

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    Hi Christina,

    As someone that shoots these exact same species here - I have to admire your ability to get shots of them doing something interesting - mine all look boring

    Even #5, certainly not pointless for a Canadian Goose, here they rarely seen anywhere like that; on the river, on the river bank, in a field, or flying noisily overhead are the norm. I'd agree on a tighter crop for it though.

    I love the shadow on the rock in #3

    Good exposure on the series too.

    Well done,

  6. #6
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    Thank you Rudi, very helpful. Yes, the focus does seem to be on the chest, and I will note for future shots.

    With respect to the high up goose, I think the composition is interesting but I could not focus on the birds eye (or it is not close enough)

    Thank you so much Dave. I'm trying real hard and learning tons from this forum. I think the geese are nesting too.. ie; I saw lots of them perched in trees and on stumps

  7. #7

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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    Christina, I really like the composition and cropping in #3 and agree with Dave's comments about the shadow. I wonder if some more PP work my make it pop a bit more? Rudy has already mentioned LCE but how about some additional contrast and selective sharpenning on the head of the goose?

    As a Vancouverite (I used to live in the West End) I have to admit getting a chuckle out of this shot as many people find them (& the volume of their droppings in the park and loud honking) more pesky than beautiful. Keep shooting, it reminds me of home...
    Last edited by ShaneS; 24th March 2013 at 09:28 PM.

  8. #8
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    Hi Shane,

    Thank you. This was a very helpful exercise for me because sometimes I struggle with the specifics of knowing what to do to improve my own photos. Six months ago I would not even have understood your suggestions.

    Here is the edit... This time I used Elements. First I went to colour curves, selected default and moved the midtone slider a wee bit to increase the contrast. (the high contrast default curve looked unnatural to me)

    Next I selected the head of the goose and applied an unsharp mask, and then I did the same to the shadow of the head. I do think it made my photo pop more but I'm not sure if the shadow of the birds head looks a little unreal? Thank you.

    I also tried adding contrast to the shadow of the body but it looked artificial so I scrapped that idea. I also used the healing brush to get rid of a couple of distracting spots.

    Here is my edit... How did I do.

    Ducks and Geese

    Yes, there are still a lot of geese here which allows me to practice my bird shots. Will do

  9. #9

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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    Christina, the overall picture looks much better IMHO but I do agree with you that sharpening the shadow may not have been the best idea. Did you try extending the sharpening to the body and feet? How did that look?

    I am certainly not an expert in PP but one other thing that I might try is a little dodging of the breast area - it might brighten the area up a tad and add even a little more pop to the image...

  10. #10
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    Hi Shane,

    Good to know... Here is an edit in which I also sharpened the body and the feet. I think it helped

    I did not fix the shadow of the head, as I will start over from scratch and tackle this photo another day. What is doging?

    Ducks and Geese

  11. #11

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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    Seems what needs to be said has been.

    All good shots with 3 as the standout.

  12. #12

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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    Christina, dodging and burning can be used to selectively lighten or darken areas of an image. I do not use Elements so cannot help you there although I am sure that there are tutorials on the web that will point you in the right direction. In photoshop you create a new layer filled with 50% gray and then 'paint' on that layer with ether black (darken) or white (lighten).

    The learning curve seems quite steep at times for this editing stuff (I was ready to throw in the towel last weekend) but it comes together eventually...and then you find that there is more stuff to learn

  13. #13

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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneS View Post
    Christina, dodging and burning can be used to selectively lighten or darken areas of an image. I do not use Elements so cannot help you there although I am sure that there are tutorials on the web that will point you in the right direction. In photoshop you create a new layer filled with 50% gray and then 'paint' on that layer with ether black (darken) or white (lighten).

    The learning curve seems quite steep at times for this editing stuff (I was ready to throw in the towel last weekend) but it comes together eventually...and then you find that there is more stuff to learn

    Don't forget to set the blending mode to overlay.

  14. #14

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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    Good catch Steve - only a key step in the process that I forgot to mention !

  15. #15
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    Thank you Bobo, Shane and Steve. Truly appreciated. I'll learn about dodging next.

  16. #16
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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    Nice job, Christina! I specially like the first 3! The fourth seems to be a bit too far, but still nice. Keep them coming!

  17. #17
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    Thank you Otavio...

    FYI... the latest trend is headless ducks in flight

    Ducks and Geese

    Actually I got a couple of good ones this morning. At last ducks in flight and I can rest in peace (when my time comes)


    Ducks and Geese

  18. #18

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    Re: Ducks and Geese

    love the headless ducks ... now if we could be rid of the feathers, a little asian sauce, ahh nice shots Christina.

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