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Thread: Cedar Waxwing and a robin

  1. #1

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    Cedar Waxwing and a robin

    A couple shots from the yard.............

    Cedar Waxwing and a robin


    Cedar Waxwing and a robin


    Cedar Waxwing and a robin


    Cedar Waxwing and a robin

  2. #2
    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Re: Cedar Waxwing and a robin

    Steve,

    Beautiful shots!

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    Re: Cedar Waxwing and a robin

    Wonderful shots, Steve. I really love the detail on the robin: especially the eyes. They look half-closed. That isn't the nictitating membrane, is it? I seem to recall that that moves sideways, not up and down.

    Cheers,
    Rick

  4. #4

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    Re: Cedar Waxwing and a robin

    Thanks Rick, i think that is just a catchlight.

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    Re: Cedar Waxwing and a robin

    Thanks Jim, glad you liked them

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Cedar Waxwing and a robin

    Quote Originally Posted by rick55 View Post
    I really love the detail ....
    Steve

    I, too, echo that sentiment. The deatil in these is just out of the top drawer.

  7. #7
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Cedar Waxwing and a robin

    Great shots Steve,

    So tell me, what is your secret for reducing the contrast ratio?
    Some birds parts look sunlit, but the shadows are nowhere near as deep as I get.

    Fill flash (what sort)?
    Big reflector below?
    Darn good PP?

    I have to know to compete with this quality

    Thanks,

  8. #8

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    Re: Cedar Waxwing and a robin

    Steve,

    This series shots are really nice. The last one is very standing out. Just one question: Did you do 'eye-sharpening" in Photoshop?

    Regards,

    Yan

  9. #9

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    Re: Cedar Waxwing and a robin

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Steve

    I, too, echo that sentiment. The deatil in these is just out of the top drawer.
    Thanks donald, 420mm at about 20feet will do it. These shots are not cropped very much at all. They were shot at iso 500 and 640, so i lost a little detail there.

  10. #10
    Bannacht's Avatar
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    Re: Cedar Waxwing and a robin

    Love the clarity and detail.

  11. #11

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    Re: Cedar Waxwing and a robin

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Great shots Steve,

    So tell me, what is your secret for reducing the contrast ratio?
    Some birds parts look sunlit, but the shadows are nowhere near as deep as I get.

    Fill flash (what sort)?
    Big reflector below?
    Darn good PP?

    I have to know to compete with this quality

    Thanks,
    Thanks dave. Just good PP i guess. The originals don't look too much different than the edit.

    I'm editing with a combination of DXO---Lightroom---Photoshop. In dxo, i reduce the contrast with a reverse S curve to brighten the shadows and darken the highlights. Then i bring the contrast back with the gamma sliders / contrast sliders/clipping the blacks a little. In lightroom i adjust a little more with the fill light and recovery sliders and get some more contrast with the clarity slider.

    I also get more contrast with 3 layers of USM. First layer is in dxo--amount .40--radius 5---threshold 4. The second is in lightroom with a raduis of 3 and amount .36 and the third is in photoshop with an amount of around .30 to .50 and a radius of 6 to 50, it just depends on what looks best. As you slowly increase the radius, you will see a point where the detail starts to get worse and that is the radius i choose, then adjust the amount that looks the best for that radius.

    After all that, if i feel the background is too bright, i add a vignette to make the subject slightly brighter than the background. To make the vignette, i dup the layer and circle the subject with the lasso tool. Click on quickmask---invert---gaussian blur set to about 150---click off quickmask---add layermask reveal selection---set blending mode to multiply---set opacity to a range of 20-50/whatever looks best. At low opacities, this type of vignette is very subtle but a very powerful effect on your images.

    I don't know if that was the answer you were looking for.

  12. #12

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    Re: Cedar Waxwing and a robin

    Quote Originally Posted by Yan Zhang View Post
    Steve,

    This series shots are really nice. The last one is very standing out. Just one question: Did you do 'eye-sharpening" in Photoshop?

    Regards,


    Yan
    Thanks Yan, i didn't sharpen the eye. I use the dodge tool on the eye's. Set to 17% first pass with the shadows, then midtones, then highlights. Then i back the opacity slider down to about 85%.

  13. #13

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    Re: Cedar Waxwing and a robin

    Quote Originally Posted by Bannacht View Post
    Love the clarity and detail.
    Thank you carol.

  14. #14
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Cedar Waxwing and a robin

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    I don't know if that was the answer you were looking for.
    Hi Steve,

    Way more than I was expecting and a hugely different workflow to mine, but it certainly answers my own, and Yan's, questions.

    It reads like you're doing and undoing the same things (contrast mainly), but obviously the success is in the detail - which you have very helpfully provided, so I might experiment along those lines. Particularly for birds, well their feathers; I'm not sure I'm doing as well as I could, they seem to need a different sharpening technique to most other things in life.

    Many thanks,

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