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Thread: Herons - C&C please

  1. #1
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Herons - C&C please

    Some recent heron shots which I like for the detail even though the background is a bunch of rocks and seaweed which I couldn't manage to blur in camera... And I couldn't manage to get the heron to look at me as he/she was intent on the fish in the water.

    I have a quite a few of these shots as the heron allowed me to get close, but he/she kept moving to different spots in the water so the colour and the exposure of the heron varied quite a bit. Edited in LR and I would especially appreciate feedback on the colour and exposure of the heron and which is truer to life for the bird.

    Thank you.

    Same locale and lighting, different edits primarily on the exposure of the background...

    Herons - C&C please


    Herons - C&C please



    Same locale and lighting, different edits

    Herons - C&C please


    Herons - C&C please

  2. #2

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    Re: Herons - C&C please

    Nice set Christina. Prefer the first one to the second but that's just preference. Whether it's truer or not depends on what the light was actually like. The crops are a bit tight perhaps.

  3. #3
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Herons - C&C please

    Thank you John. In most of the shots the heron looks more blue grey but when the heron is in the water on the other side he/she looks more golden.

    Unfortunately the first shot is not cropped, and the others just a wee bit so they were not so centered. I likely should've stepped back a few steps.

    Very helpful to hear. Thank you.

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    Re: Herons - C&C please

    Let me start by saying that those are really good heron shots.
    You have changed the color temperature between the 4 images..."exposure on the background"?
    Balance that out in LR, also move the "highlight slider" to left as the areas around eyes is too light,
    then boost exposure only if necessary.

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    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Herons - C&C please

    Thank you Chauncey,

    I am having challenges seeing exposure and WB/temp when I start editing... etc... However, I did note that the area around the eyes and head seemed a bit bright.. I think I dodged around the head to decrease exposure... I am going to try your reduce highlights suggestion but I would like to ask why decrease the highlights and not exposure, and how do you know that?

    Here is my edit... Your advice seemed to work. Thank you.

    Herons - C&C please

    Thank you.

    Quote Originally Posted by chauncey View Post
    Let me start by saying that those are really good heron shots.
    You have changed the color temperature between the 4 images..."exposure on the background"?
    Balance that out in LR, also move the "highlight slider" to left as the areas around eyes is too light,
    then boost exposure only if necessary.
    Last edited by Brownbear; 19th August 2013 at 09:21 PM.

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    Re: Herons - C&C please

    How would you feel, with your legs cut off!!!! If it's a virtical composition, shoot it that way.

  7. #7
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    Re: Herons - C&C please

    Hi Steve,

    I certainly wouldn't be very happy!!! Thank you for your straightforward feedback. Actually, in this shot the rest of the herons legs were under the water.... I was in front of the heron ...

    Indeed after taking a few photos in this orientation I asked myself why I was photographing it this way and I switched to a vertical (portrait composition) but for some reason it was harder to hold focus in this position...

    I will look for one or two vertical shots tomorrow to work on post it sometime tomorrow. Fingers crossed that they turned out.



    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    How would you feel, with your legs cut off!!!! If it's a virtical composition, shoot it that way.

  8. #8

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    Re: Herons - C&C please

    In tight shots, or whenever you can(have time), use your focus dots to compose the image. This way you don't have to recompose the shot, and can still use the focus drive for moving subjects.(AI SERVO for canon, not shure for nikon.)


    For these shots, you could have used one of the upper dots to focus on the eye, and still had room to include the feet. ( Even if the feet are not visible, show enough to include them, as if they were there. Much more pleasing to look at that way)

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    Re: Herons - C&C please

    Quote Originally Posted by Christina S View Post
    ...In most of the shots the heron looks more blue grey but when the heron is in the water on the other side he/she looks more golden.

    Unfortunately the first shot is not cropped, and the others just a wee bit so they were not so centered. I likely should've stepped back a few steps.
    Christina, these are nice shots.

    At what time of day were these taken? The golden colour in the second photo made me think it must have been early morning or evening but then the heron's colour looks more typical in the other shots taken at the same time. Is the difference in colour the result of the camera's attempt to set the white balance? I'm not sure about this but presumably you could see the answer to this question in LR by looking at the WB temperature in unedited versions of the three different images?

    Were you shooting these with a zoom that you could have reduced a bit or would it have been a question of stepping back a few feet on slippery rocks?

  10. #10

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    Re: Herons - C&C please

    I am going to try your reduce highlights suggestion but I would like to ask why decrease the highlights and not exposure, and how do you know that?
    Because the highlight slider only affects the highlights and not midtones as the exposure slider will.

    PS...see my post...#30...2013 Weekly Photos - part 2

  11. #11
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    Re: Herons - C&C please

    My apologies for the delay in my reply. I was pre-occupied with a slug, who I became enamoured with and I am having some computer challenges.

    Steve, Bruce and Chauncey.... Thank you for the advice and the tips.

    My challenge with this heron was that I only had my fixed 300 mm long lens with me. From a dock the heron was too far, from a bridge I was photographing from above, and while standing in the water I could not move too far back and the rocks were slippery so it was hard to hold focus... When I changed my camera orientation to vertical I could see that I was cutting off the reflection of the heron in the water so I was not sure which was the better choice vertical or horizontal as I was having challenges with both... I was also experimenting with different types of metering, etc... Anyway the next time I see this heron I will be prepared.

    Bruce, it was early morning from 6:30am - 7:30am taken at different times and from different positions... The WB ranges from about 4500-5800 K... For these shots I just left the WB as shot = automatic, and perhaps that is best because maybe someone will let me know if my cameras auto WB is okay. I think the shots are partly back-lit and side lit. A quick edit in LR because I'm saving these for later as I am not sure what to do with the dark background leave as is or lighten up, hence the different edits.


    Herons - C&C please



    Herons - C&C please



    Herons - C&C please



    Herons - C&C please



    Focus off and too big for the frame, but still cute...

    Herons - C&C please



    Herons - C&C please


    Herons - C&C please



    From above funky water...

    Herons - C&C please


    And a rather odd shot to show the lighting

    Herons - C&C please
    Last edited by Brownbear; 20th August 2013 at 08:16 PM.

  12. #12
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    Re: Herons - C&C please

    I like the second series, more animated action, gaze of bird. Nice stuff.

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    Re: Herons - C&C please

    I have taken only one or two bird photographs so please keep that in mind when reading my comments Christina. I like best the first and second of your first series. The first seems to me to have the more natural colour. I have no scientific reason to say that just how it feels comparing them. I also like the heron's pose in those two shots due to it's profile. The second series are also good, especially 1, 5 and 8. The fifth would have been my most preferred of all if the wing was in full view but as you had a fixed length lens and it is on the move you did well. A nice character shot. It can't be easy with such a subject on the move. Five also has a nice natural colour to my eye. I understand that feather detail is important in bird photography and I can see lots of that. The eyes are in focus too with the bird within the depth of field on all shots. I'd be pleased to have taken any of them.

  14. #14
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    Re: Herons - C&C please

    Thank you John and Barry,

    Barry I am most appreciative of your critique and feedback. I am working on improving my bird photos so it is nice to hear a critique, and yes, I am struggling with figuring out the natural colour... The 2nd series are all WB as shot but the colour varies with the light and position. Very helpful.. Thank you...

  15. #15
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    Re: Herons - C&C please

    You are getting better but you still cut the legs and wings off. You wrote that you had your 300mm for these shots, I choose a zoom and possibly give up a little sharpness because I have been caught as you not being able to frame the subject. The lighting is much better. I like the seventh the best, I think that has potential for a nice image. I would crop the top tighter to the bird which will focus more attention onto the bird. The reflection will add to the image.

  16. #16
    Brownbear's Avatar
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    Re: Herons - C&C please

    Thank you, Joe... Yes, it is slowly but surely sinking into my thick skull that I have to stop clipping my birds, and yes I miss my zoom lens, but from now on I will make sure I carry my other lens.

    Good to hear about image 7, I will revisit that, but I hope to find another heron and just do a better job of it.

    Your advice is always appreciated. Thank you.

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