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Thread: Head on Goose - C&C please

  1. #1
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Head on Goose - C&C please

    I'm not sure what I think about this photo. I was very happy to capture the goose head on even though I clipped the tips of the wings and of course I blew the sky exposing for the bird. So I edited in LR to lighten the sky and increase the contrast more.



    Head on Goose - C&C please

    Your thoughts, please even if it is too say that it is a strange photo.

    Thank you.

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    That grey sky, instead of a nice blue, without any border frame does tend to look a little odd. But it seems much better when viewed at full screen size with the black frame edging.

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    Hi Geoff,

    Thank you for your feedback... The background looks bright white to me, not grey... Maybe I need to calibrate my monitor again?

    Yes, perhaps this type of image needs a border...

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    Maybe I need to calibrate my monitor again?
    Your software's default setting reminds you to calibrate it when it has been two weeks since it has been calibrated.

    It's difficult to describe colors, so I wouldn't assume that you're seeing a different color than Geoff just because he describes the sky as grey and you describe it as bright white...or that I describe it as something in between.

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    Hi Christina,

    It is about 245 (of 255), so pretty white - I find it almost too bright.

    I would have toned it down a bit in PP and brought out more shadow neck/chest/belly detail if possible.

    I like the angle of the bird though

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    Thank you Dave. Great to know. Yes, I just upped the exposure until the sky was pure white. I will save the image for future and tone it down. Thank you for advising.

    Mike... yes, I'm a few days past my calibration reminder and I will calibrate again asap.. Grey and white are very different to me, so I'm not sure what you are saying?

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    Grey and white are very different to me, so I'm not sure what you are saying?
    I'm saying that there are many shades of gray and many shades of white and that some of them are very different to some and very similar to others. Perhaps when referring to shades of grey and white, we should use the zone system to define the color.

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    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    Hi Mike,

    Thank you for the explanation. Right now explaining certain colours in terms of shades and the zone system is a bit much for me, but I understand what you are saying. Thank you.

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    Christina, I want to commend you on the fact of you persistence in perfecting your art of photography.
    There are a number of photographers (including myself) that could stand to emulate you.
    Keep up the good work.

    Bruce

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    That you clipped the wing tips is luck of the event but my understanding of composition has me believe that you failed to crop a bit more which would also have the advantage of reducing the white/grey which would enhance the bird. That you have near peak white would make it much easier to add a nice toned sky from your stockshot folder
    Head on Goose - C&C please
    Here we disguise the fact that you clipped the wingtips and the sky is pinched from our English member who took the piled stones on a beach recently... done roughly with 100% erase brush rather than using a layer mask which you would do if working on the camera file.
    This a compositional aspect I have heard judges mention from time to time which basically boils down to "if you are going to crop a recognisable subject make a heavy crop not a little one" The other angle which comes into play with human I think from memory is "do not crop at body junctions .. elbows etc"

    An editing wheeze applying to this was that I renamed the background layer [ bird ] so that I could place the sky underneath it and speed up the process by deleteing the white sky after using the magic wand to select it. The 'background' layer will not show clear in PS and PSP until you rename it. For some reason my Magic Wand didn't give me a tight outline of the bird
    Last edited by jcuknz; 16th August 2013 at 12:15 AM.

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    Hello Photo Nut,

    Thank you for sharing and showing your edit... It never occurred to me to crop a photo that I had clipped. I like your composition, it's unique and fun, and I can see the expression on the goose's face.

    The file size I have is large so it sounds very do-able and it should be easy to select around the goose on the large file but I know I will need a few months practice to try replacing a sky, if I want to do it well. I do have a lot of sky and cloud photos just because I think they are pretty and now I see they could prove useful in future

    Yes, I read about cropping subjects in the portrait threads and I suppose the guidelines apply to birds, too.

    Thank you sharing and demonstrating.. Truly appreciated, and kind of fun.

    PS

    Thank you Bruce...

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    Christina,

    When you replace the sky of one photo with the sky of another photo, make sure the characteristics of the light on the subject could have occurred under the newly replaced sky.

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    The mechanics of replacing the sky is very simple if you are using an editor such as PS PSE PSP PN GIMP etc
    First rename the background layer by double clicking on it in the layer palette ... it will probably offer you 'Raster One' as a new name which is as good as any so click 'OK'
    Use magic wand to select sky and hit the delete button ... if it is foliage you may not want to find every hole through the leaves and scrub the idea
    Find your sky [ appropriate as Mike suggests ] and copy and paste it as a new layer.
    It will arrive on top of the 'bird' so Layers/Arrange and 'Move to bottom' while it is selected in layer palette
    Tidy up edges with bird layer selected ... which is the time consuming part

    I have yet to do this BUT it is a good idea to assemble a folder of sky shots with different lighting ... must admit I didn't think of that with your bird but it is pretty right I think A fairly soft sun was over your right shoulder?

    With some subjects it is worth considering making a layer mask by using the Threshold tool to turn everything into black or white ...to isolate a single colour/toned flower from background foliage is one example. I did it once way back and last time it didn't work so I don't know what I had forgotten to do Maybe Corel have changed how the programme works. That is a good excuse
    Last edited by jcuknz; 16th August 2013 at 01:24 AM.

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    Thank you Photo Nut.. I will give it a try tomorrow and post... It is selecting things nicely that I find very challenging to do. Thank you for the extra tips.

    Yes, the sun was early morning and over my shoulder.

    PS Mike, thank you for the tip.

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    Hey, Christina. You are really getting good at keeping the BIFs in the "bullseye". This exposure is about as good as you can hope for without doing some selective processing as Dave suggested. The sky is pretty much what it is. Good practice and as suggested you could keep this one for stock to blend with a better BG if desired. Also as already mentioned, one way to salvage some shots when you clip is to crop them even tighter. The good news is that when you clip that usually means you're close enough to have great detail that you can take advantage of.

    You get better with every post. Keep shooting and get the techs down. After you have several hundred images of each species you can start worrying about perfect skies and backgrounds

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    Thank you Dan,

    Your comments and advice are truly appreciated. Several hundred of each species?

    I will figure out my backgrounds before then.

    PS Photo Nut

    I will work on that edit later this afternoon...

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    First we have the edit with the white toned down and shadows lifted, and cropped. I think I did a pretty good job on this one?


    Head on Goose - C&C please

    And now the one that is taking me forever and which I'm stuck on... I figured out how to combine a sky and the goose in a layer and I've erased the sky over the goose.. From here I thought I could press the alt button to restore the edges of sky along the goose, but instead I just get a big white mark or a black mark when I press alt with the eraser... I'm not sure how to restore the sky along the edges.. See below... Thank you.


    Head on Goose - C&C please

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    I never did figure out how to undo my erases so I started over, and this time I just did my best to stay within the lines of the bird. I must say selecting around the bird is an excruciating exercise in patience. I think one must have really high calibre photo to spend this much time trying to replace the sky...

    I worked with a 39% opacity brush and I found it hard to see what areas on the goose I had erased the sky from, so I just did the best I could trying to go over areas a few times but I expect I may have missed a few spots.

    Also after I finished this 2nd edit I tried to refine the edge, ie; feather it but that option was not available at all, and I'm surprised that refining edges is not available in layers.

    It was a very good exercise for me to learn how to do but it takes so much time to do, and it is still far from perfect even though I worked really hard at it.


    Head on Goose - C&C please

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    You are right Christina when you say excruciating exercise in patience. But in the end you did good.
    If you have a layer mask it is like an adjustment layer and you paint in the changes with black and if you go to fasr you correct that with white paint and try again. I did it the destructive way where you cannot correct mistakes except immediately with the undo button. But I don't know what programme you are using and I use Paint Shop Pro so it is likely though similar there are serious differences.

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    Re: Head on Goose - C&C please

    Hi Photo Nut,

    Yes, indeed and it is nice to hear that you agree. I can't see people doing this type of thing very often.

    Thank you. I have Photoshop Elements. A while ago I did an exercise for Manfred and his way seemed easier, so I will save this goose for future and try it using both methods. There was something about the layers in this photo, the white and black and the absence of the feather tool baffled me.

    Nevertheless it was a good learning exercise. Thank you to all.


    Quote Originally Posted by jcuknz View Post
    You are right Christina when you say excruciating exercise in patience. But in the end you did good.
    If you have a layer mask it is like an adjustment layer and you paint in the changes with black and if you go to fasr you correct that with white paint and try again. I did it the destructive way where you cannot correct mistakes except immediately with the undo button. But I don't know what programme you are using and I use Paint Shop Pro so it is likely though similar there are serious differences.

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