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Thread: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

  1. #1
    terrib's Avatar
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    Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    While on the coast of Texas, we took a boat tour designed to get us closer to nesting birds and to the Whooping Cranes. (more on Whooping Cranes later) I had my camera custom buttons set up - one for action and one for portrait. I found that in most cases I stayed with the action setting with the high shutter speed just to deal with the movement of the boat. In the case of the below photos, the boat was moving past an island full of nesting birds so I didn't have much time to identify a subject and compose the shot. There's some room for change in composition due to cropping but I didn't have any control over backgrounds or direction of light. So on these, I'm mostly looking for feedback on how I dealt with the post processing in Lightroom. Thanks!

    #1 Great Blue Herons. On this I brought the Clarity, Sharpness and Exposure down on the far background and I brought the highlights down on the foreground in addition to other pretty routine adjustments.

    Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    #2 Reddish Egret. I'm not crazy about the blurred foreground on the left but I didn't want to crop where the birds leg would be if it wasn't hidden by shrubs.

    Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    #3 Great Blue Heron. I like this one but I wonder if the exposure on the bird is good. Bringing it up further seemed to require bringing down the background which then makes the bird not stand out as much.

    Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    #4 Osprey with fish. These were exciting to see but moving bird, moving boat, it was a challenge. I have MANY shots since I was on high speed continuous but the ratio of focused to not focused wasn't great. With this bird I should have upped the shutter speed even higher because I did have room on the ISO. These were at 1600. These two also have some noise that I need to deal with but I need to go through the videos on Nik and decide between it and Neat Image. This is the best I know how to do with Lightroom.

    Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    #5 Osprey with fish

    Osprey w/lunch + other birds

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    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    Now reading over my post, I'm not sure I could have changed the shutter speed on the Osprey. With the cropping, the noise even at 400 and 250 ISO is more than I really want to deal with in PP.

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    Re: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    Pleasing, beautiful shots.


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    Re: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    With the first two, Terri, I would crop slightly tighter to reduce the amount of out of focus foreground. Could you get away with a 5 x 4 ratio crop on #1?

    With #3, I wouldn't be editing with Lightroom so would apply a little brightness selectively which could keep the background darker. Could you do this using an Adjustment Brush? Otherwise, use Curves to slightly increase the midtones but not the highlights?

    Flying birds are always difficult so you did well to get the Osprey with a fish.

    What I sometimes do with background noise problems is to run over the troublesome areas with a light Blur Brush.

    But these are merely minor tweak suggestions to what are good shots.

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    Re: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    Thanks Victor for the nice comments and Geoff for the helpful advice. I've redone the crops on #1 & #2 although probably not as much as you had in mind on #2 as I still don't want to cut off the birds feet. I also applied curves to all these. I always used curves when I was editing in Aperture and I'm not sure why I've forgotten that in my work flow on Lightroom but I need to add it back in. Thanks for the suggestion!

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    Osprey w/lunch + other birds

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    Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    #3
    Osprey w/lunch + other birds

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    Re: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    Try Try Again....
    Osprey w/lunch + other birds

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    Re: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    Yay! it worked!
    My first photo on Cambridge in Colour.
    The above is a HORRIBLE Osprey picture, hand held camera, spooked bird. Total crap, huh?
    Be proud of the flying Osprey with a fish.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    Great set of images Terri. You saw my comment in my 'Little Birdie ...' thread about being in awe of you folks who post up bird images of this sort of quality.

    Quote Originally Posted by terrib View Post
    #4 Osprey with fish. These were exciting to see but moving bird, moving boat, it was a challenge. I have MANY shots since I was on high speed continuous but the ratio of focused to not focused wasn't great. With this bird I should have upped the shutter speed even higher because I did have room on the ISO. These were at 1600. These two also have some noise that I need to deal with but I need to go through the videos on Nik and decide between it and Neat Image. This is the best I know how to do with Lightroom.

    Osprey w/lunch + other birds
    Okay, so you've identified some of the issues in this yourself, but how many of us (me being one of them) would love to be in a position to get that shot. Capturing that action is an achievement, I think.

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    Re: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    Very nice, I like the lighting on these.

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    Re: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    Quote Originally Posted by carjug View Post
    Yay! it worked!
    My first photo on Cambridge in Colour.
    The above is a HORRIBLE Osprey picture, hand held camera, spooked bird. Total crap, huh?
    Be proud of the flying Osprey with a fish.

    Well done and congratulations!


    @Terri,

    Terri, these are great and I like the crops (and composition - perfect) on the first two in the orignals, but totally get that some people don't like the distracting forground blurring (there is a lot on the first one in particular). It has personally never bothered me and I always thought it only helped to draw attention to the in focus subject. i like the breathing space around the original images better too. Just thinking whether the first might like a square crop better, which would pretty much eliminate most of that out of focus forground and still keep the width of the original..

    Thanks again for sharing!
    Last edited by Hans; 5th April 2013 at 11:29 PM.

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    Re: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    Great series and self critique/guidance for us, in first post Terri,

    I think the second attempts are better, but I do tend to concentrate on the bird
    so having it as a larger percentage of the screen space is preferred (by me)

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    terrib's Avatar
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    Re: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    Quote Originally Posted by carjug View Post
    Yay! it worked!
    My first photo on Cambridge in Colour.
    The above is a HORRIBLE Osprey picture, hand held camera, spooked bird. Total crap, huh?
    Be proud of the flying Osprey with a fish.
    First, Welcome to CinC. As regards to your photo.. We all have those missed shots don't we? The first Kestrel shot I posted was highly cropped and really blurred but I was so happy to have gotten any shot that I posted it for fun anyway.

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    Re: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    Very nice, Terri! You have certainly improved your bird images in the last 6 months! I look forward to seeing what you do this season, I am sure it will be full of great stuff....judging from these.

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    Re: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Okay, so you've identified some of the issues in this yourself, but how many of us (me being one of them) would love to be in a position to get that shot. Capturing that action is an achievement, I think.
    I so agree, Donald. I am so happy that my husband and I have the opportunity to visit these places and experience such wonderful things together. I can proudly say that I may have missed a good photo of a bobcat on this trip because my first reaction was to make sure he saw it before I raised the camera. The out of focus shot I got is still a reminder of the experience. I think it's so important for us to make sure we actually experience the moment and don't miss it because our eye is glued to the viewfinder.

    Thanks for commenting. I always enjoy your observations.

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    Re: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    Thanks, John. I also liked the light here. It was the earliest part of the boat trip. Later shots were much harsher light.

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    Re: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    Pete and Dave,

    Thanks so much for the comments and your views on crops. I remember when I first joined CinC that I was forever frustrated by the contradicting opinions. As an analyst and person with a technical professional background, the hardest thing I've had to overcome in my pursuit of hobbies of the arts - weaving and photography - is that there are multiple right ways that work. In learning the craft it's taking me a while to find my own style and know what I like. But the great thing about CinC is that the varying opinions keep you from getting into a rut. They always remind you to take a fresh look in both directions.

    Geez I'm in a soapbox mood this morning. Thanks to both of you!

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    Re: Osprey w/lunch + other birds

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeperman View Post
    Very nice, Terri! You have certainly improved your bird images in the last 6 months! I look forward to seeing what you do this season, I am sure it will be full of great stuff....judging from these.
    Thanks, Paul. Your words make me feel great about all the practice!

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