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Thread: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

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    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Here is an image straight out of the camera, no post processing workup. What needs to be fixed as the first step in post processing?

    Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Since my goal is to learn to edit, I will give this a whirl...

    I would say WB because the feathers beneath the patch of red looks a little yellow? But I would also say exposure because the lower half of the bird seems a bit light (washed out and not as black as the head) but also because some of the ends of the tree are a little over exposed?

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    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    Since my goal is to learn to edit, I will give this a whirl...

    I would say WB because the feathers beneath the patch of red looks a little yellow? But I would also say exposure because the lower half of the bird seems a bit light (washed out and not as black as the head) but also because some of the ends of the tree are a little over exposed?
    You have a good eye. The lower half of the bird is over exposed and the neck and head are under exposed. The tree is not a big concern to me but the bird is. How do you fix it as the first step in post processing this image?

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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Good to know...

    I did not realize that I would have to answer questions in view of all...

    I would try clicking on different WB to see what looked correct. After that selection then I would select the yellow feathers with the WB tool to see if that made them white.

    I would lower the exposure of the photo until the lower half of the bird looked properly exposed... Next I would set the white and black points of the photo to bring out the detail with no clipping.

    Then I would select just the head of the bird and use an adjustment brush to bring up the exposure using the exposure tool in LR.

    ?

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    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    Good to know...

    I did not realize that I would have to answer questions in view of all...

    I would try clicking on different WB to see what looked correct. After that selection then I would select the yellow feathers with the WB tool to see if that made them white.

    I would lower the exposure of the photo until the lower half of the bird looked properly exposed... Next I would set the white and black points of the photo to bring out the detail with no clipping.

    Then I would select just the head of the bird and use an adjustment brush to bring up the exposure using the exposure tool in LR.

    ?
    Think Adjustment Brush set to Burn (darken). Paint over the overexposed areas without auto mask being checked so the coverage is uniform. Then check auto mask and holding the ALT key (Windows) clean up where straying outside the bird and lower the exposure to bring it to match the exposure of the head and neck. After the exposure of the bird is uniform the exposure can be raised in the Basic Module of Lightroom 4 so the whole bird is properly exposed. The Adjustment Brush allows working locally on parts of an image.

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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Joe, thank you for a great lesson in editing.

    I would not have thought of fixing the exposure of just the lower half of the bird before addressing the entire photo. Do you always edit this way? ie; fix the small details first before looking at the entire photo?

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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Here is the finished image. To correct the washed out yellow on the wing I used the Hue, Saturation, Luminance in Lighroom 4. The lower part of the beak had an area that had blown out from reflection. Working at the pixel level in Photoshop Elements I used the Clone Stamp to pick up the color of the gray and shaded the white to gray leaving a slight reflection. I did the same for the part of tree branch that had gone white. I also added Local Contrast Enhancement with the amount set to 10 and a radius of 200 using Unsharp Mask.

    Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

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    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    Joe, thank you for a great lesson in editing.

    I would not have thought of fixing the exposure of just the lower half of the bird before addressing the entire photo. Do you always edit this way? ie; fix the small details first before looking at the entire photo?
    Yes, easier to fix things like that in the beginning and then the rest of post processing is easier. Much easier to get the exposure looking right when not dealing with two different exposures especially on the subject.

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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Quote Originally Posted by jprzybyla View Post
    Here is the finished image.

    Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?
    ...And it is a wonderful one! Nice job, Joe!

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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Thanks for doing this Joe. It was very helpful to see how you took a beautiful image and and made it perfect. (I can now see what you fixed on the beak, and that the feathers that I thought should be white are a brilliant yellow)

    Thank you for sharing all the extra details.

    I hope you do more of these for others to try and for all of us to learn from.

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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Did you shoot this in RAW? Much easier to post process when starting with RAW.

    Also look up Serge Ramelli on YouTube. He has some free useful lightroom tutorials.

    Ron

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    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Quote Originally Posted by AceOfHobbes View Post
    Did you shoot this in RAW? Much easier to post process when starting with RAW.

    Also look up Serge Ramelli on YouTube. He has some free useful lightroom tutorials.

    Ron
    Hello Ron, yes I shot this in RAW. Much more can be done in post processing with RAW images. Thanks for the suggestion I will look up Serge Ramelli.

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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Joe, thanks for the tutorial. Examples such as this are very valuable as they teach us what can be achieved.

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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    I thought for sure that the first thing to do was to add audio.

    Very nice photo and explanation of your workflow!

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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Joe, I found this mini-lesson very helpful and hope you may find time to do others in the future. A dedicated thread would be womderful since it would allow people to subscribe and ensure they didn't miss any posts.

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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Hi Joe,
    Why did you choose to use the burn tool to darken the overexposed part? ie why not use the adjustment brush set to exposure and decrease the exposure?

    Thank you.


    Quote Originally Posted by jprzybyla View Post
    Think Adjustment Brush set to Burn (darken). Paint over the overexposed areas without auto mask being checked so the coverage is uniform. Then check auto mask and holding the ALT key (Windows) clean up where straying outside the bird and lower the exposure to bring it to match the exposure of the head and neck. After the exposure of the bird is uniform the exposure can be raised in the Basic Module of Lightroom 4 so the whole bird is properly exposed. The Adjustment Brush allows working locally on parts of an image.

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    Suzan J's Avatar
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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Hello Everyone: I would have liked to comment on some of the great bird and nature photos some of you have posted over the last week, but I suffered a catastropic hard drive failure requiring my Mac to make a visit to the local computer repair shop. (Luckily, my most important documents were backed up, but I may have lost the last two weeks of my photos. Hopefully, the wizards at the shop can recover those as well) I am now temporarily using a very old PC with an awful monitor. Anyway, thank you Joe for starting this thread. It is great fun to try and analyse the shot and come up with a PP plan. It would be interesting to have a thread like this once in a while to make us novice post-processors think a little bit. I use Aperture 3.2, but from what I have been learning from these threads, it is quite similar to Lightroom.

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    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Quote Originally Posted by Otavio View Post
    ...And it is a wonderful one! Nice job, Joe!
    Thanks Otavio, very much appreciated.

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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Quote Originally Posted by Stagecoach View Post
    Joe, thanks for the tutorial. Examples such as this are very valuable as they teach us what can be achieved.
    Thank you Graham, your comment is appreciated. I am by no means an expert but I have found ways to avoid or correct mistakes I have made. I will continue to post suggestions as time allows and I find interesting images to discuss.

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    Re: Red-winged Blackbird... What's wrong with the image?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Buckley View Post
    I thought for sure that the first thing to do was to add audio.

    Very nice photo and explanation of your workflow!
    Chuckles at audio, thank Mike very much appreciated.

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