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Thread: Merganser meets Gull

  1. #1
    Cantab's Avatar
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    Bruce

    Merganser meets Gull

    After taking photos of a group of common mergansers sleeping on the water, I saw a solitary duck that was sleeping on a rock -- but not for long. A gull decided that the merganser should move along:

    Merganser meets Gull
    #1 Leave me alone!

    Merganser meets Gull
    #2 Go away!

    Merganser meets Gull
    #3 Perhaps the gull will go away and I can go back to sleep.

    Merganser meets Gull
    #4 On second thought, maybe I'd better leave.

    Merganser meets Gull
    #5 A short flight

    I did basic processing and cropping in Lightroom 4, which I'm still getting used to. Any comments or suggestions would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
    davidedric's Avatar
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    Re: Merganser meets Gull

    Hi Bruce,

    That is a great behaviour sequence - don't see enough of them, well done!

    So far as C&C is concerned, I think the the thing that first strikes is that the highlights are very blown. You can pull back those in Lightroom using the Highlights slider, but you can't get back the feather detail. With white birds, it's best to under expose by 1 to 2 stops to get rid of the "blinkies" (the clipped highlight areas) and then manage the exposure back in Lightroom (Joe, jprzsbyla, is the expert on this).

    Personally, I would also have cropped more tightly to focus on the action.

    Cheers,

    Dave

  3. #3
    Cantab's Avatar
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    Re: Merganser meets Gull

    Dave, thank you for your comments. When I was doing the photos in Lightroom I noted that parts of the white feathers were clipped but didn't do anything about it. So I'll go back and have a go at pulling them back as you suggest.

    I was of two minds about the cropping. The photos were taken with a 100-400 zoom at 400mm; although the posted versions were cropped somewhat, there should be enough resolution for more cropping.

  4. #4
    Cantab's Avatar
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    Re: Merganser meets Gull

    I've reworked a couple of the photos, hopefully following Dave's suggestions.

    For the first two I reduced the explosure slightly and pulled back on the highlights then did a closer crop:
    Merganser meets Gull

    Merganser meets Gull

    I then moved the full size photos to Photoshop and added some local contrast enhancement and then some output sharpening on the downsized file:
    Merganser meets Gull

    Merganser meets Gull

    Has the local contrast enhancement pushed things over the top?
    Last edited by Cantab; 29th April 2013 at 11:48 PM.

  5. #5
    jeeperman's Avatar
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    Re: Merganser meets Gull

    Good series, Bruce. I like the second image best. It tells the story and can stand on its own.

  6. #6
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    Re: Merganser meets Gull

    Hi again,

    I think you have done a good job here - these images grab my attention more. I think your instincts are right: the extra lce doesn't add anything for me. I prefer the first two.

    Dave

  7. #7
    Cantab's Avatar
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    Re: Merganser meets Gull

    Paul and Dave, many thanks for your comments.

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