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Thread: Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you

  1. #1
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you

    Just as an expression of my appreciation and thank you to Joe for helping me with my Bird in Flight shots. He's been advising me for almost 1 1/2 years and initally it was a real battle to get me to shoot over an iso of 100 but I finally relented.

    I think these are pretty good so I hope Joe does, too. If not, I am positive that they are an improvement over my first BIF shots.

    All edited in Lightroom.


    Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you


    Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you


    Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you


    Clipped, but I guess I kind of like the birds in my face...

    Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you


    Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you

    Actually I would like to say thank you to everyone on this forum because I have learned a lot. Too, many names to name, and thank. But this one is for Joe...

  2. #2
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    Re: Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you

    Christina, these are good looking photos -- even though the gull is a bit scruffy.. Some birds become flightless when moulting but this one was obviously still airworthy. My favourite is probably the third photo -- the final braking before touchdown.

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    Re: Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you

    Nice job, Christina. Even the short time I've been watching you've come a long way. Good focus on all of these. Exposure just a tad under on the last two. Those first two are my personal favorite wing position on incoming birds. You're doing that new camera/lens proud

    And kudos to Joe. Nice job of long range mentoring.

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    Re: Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you

    Thank you Bruce and Dan for your kind words... Truly encouraging to hear

    Bruce - molting good to know. For some reason I find all the soft, messy feathers appealing.

    Dan - thank you for letting me know that the last two are a tad underexposed. The histogram is a bit to the left so I can see this when I look at the histogram (And I wish I could see this just by looking at the photo) I used and exposure comp of +.67 which is as far to the right as I could push my camera without clipping the gull and blowing the water completely.

    I am finding it very challenging to decide what needs to be done to improve the photo when I am editing my photos from raw.. My last set were a tad overexposed so I decreased the exposure a bit in these or left as is with the goal of retaining detail in the feathers of the bird. I realize that I can selectively just decrease just the exposure of the water but somehow it never seems to look natural so I skipped it. I sharpened and increased clarity (25 & 20 percent) on just the bird, and used an adjustment brush to decrease the exposure on just the head of the bird.

    I also set the WB to sunny and increased vibrancy to increase the blue of the water (Which I think worked well), light noise reduction, and healed the dust spot. In most I left the contrast at zero but pulled the curves tool down on the upper right hand side, just a bit.

    Here are the original screen shots. I would appreciate it if someone could comment as to if my edits improved on the original shots enough.

    Screen shots of the original raw files


    Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you



    Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you


    Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you


    Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you


    Here is one of the original jpegs sharpened with a mask, denoised lightly - dust spot zapped. Is the jpeg or my edit from the raw file a better image?


    Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you



    Manual SS 2000 (less than Joes 2500 to allow for more light) F 6.7 instead of 8 for more light, exp comp +.67 for more light. Matrix metering. 51 point focus. Auto iso to a max of 3200 and all came out at iso 3200.
    Last edited by Brownbear; 15th August 2013 at 02:51 PM. Reason: add specs

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    Cantab's Avatar
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    Re: Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    ...Dan - thank you for letting me know that the last two are a tad underexposed. The histogram is a bit to the left so I can see this when I look at the histogram (And I wish I could see this just by looking at the photo) I used and exposure comp of +.67 which is as far to the right as I could push my camera without clipping the gull and blowing the water completely.

    Here are the original screen shots. I would appreciate it if someone could comment as to if my edits improved on the original

    ...Auto iso to a max of 3200 and all came out at iso 3200.[/I]

    Here is one of the original jpegs sharpened with a mask, denoised lightly - dust spot zapped. Is the jpeg or my edit from the raw file a better image?
    Christina, there's absolutely no doubt that your edits are a vast improvement compared to the jpeg's.

    On the underexposure issue mentioned by Dan, I recall from one of Joe's posts his suggestion, once the image is in LR, is first to make a global adjustment adjustment to the exposure to make the background the way it should be and afterwards, with the adjustment brush, deal with white feathers then dark feathers. If I understood and remember his advice correctly, this would mean first setting the global exposure so the water looks good and then going from there. But then you may already be doing this.

    Your camera seems to have very good ISO performance. I'd never have guessed that the ISO was 3200 in these photos. I missed the post when you got your new camera. What model is it?

  6. #6
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you

    Thank you Bruce... That is very nice and helpful for me to hear. I know that my editing skills have improved a lot, but I still have a lot to learn and build some confidence in my processing skills.

    You're correct... I am trying it right now on some Guillemots.

    Yes, it does. My new camera is a Nikon D71000 and the noise performance is far better than my Nikon D80 and I'm very happy about that. That said these are small size photos and there is noise in the water seen at full size which I am going to have to learn how to deal with later...
    Last edited by Brownbear; 15th August 2013 at 06:25 PM. Reason: spelling

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    Re: Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you

    Hello Christina, looking good but you can do better. Here is what you are going to do. Using your first image in Lightroom with the Adjustment Brush set the Clarity to +30 and the Exposure to -80. Make sure that AutoMask at the bottom of the menu is not checked. In the lower left hand corner look for Show Selected Mask Overlay and make sure that is checked. Paint over the bird and a little outside the bird. Now while holding the ALT key down clean up what is outside the bird, for this you want to make sure that AutoMask is checked for the eraser. If you keep the little - symbol in the center of the eraser outside the bird it will only erase the mask that is outside the bird. I then cropped it to a constrained crop of 4x5 to get rid of some of the water that was not needed. Here is what it should look like... you still have a tendency to overexpose the birds in post processing.

    Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you

  8. #8
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you

    Hello Joe,

    Thank you. I will get to work on it, and post my edit soon. Thank you for the guidelines. Truly appreciated.

    I was working on some Guillemot photos and I just realized that all those funny bits in the water are the reflections of clouds overhead.
    Last edited by Brownbear; 15th August 2013 at 07:06 PM. Reason: typo

  9. #9
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you

    Hello Joe,

    Following is my edit of the gull, following your guidelines exactly... I think it is pretty close except my edit still seems to be more exposed than yours. Perhaps it has something to do with working with the raw file as opposed to the jpeg. My edit also has more noise than your edit and I'm not sure why this would be.

    This edit would mean that I increased clarity on the gull a total of 50%.

    Is this edit an improvement?

    Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you

    Thank you.

  10. #10
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    Re: Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you

    Hi Christina,

    I like your gull's exposure. The white feathers on its head look fine; in fact, I might increase the overall exposure about 1/3 stop to make it really white. As you build experience in post-processing, it will become easier to evaluate an image and decide what it needs to bring out its potential. You are making good progress.

    Paul S

  11. #11
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Birds in Flight for Joe - Thank you

    Thank you Paul. Helpful advice and nice to hear that I'm making good progress.

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