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Thread: Mockingbird with berry c&c

  1. #1

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    Mockingbird with berry c&c

    Mockingbird with berry  c&c cannon xs 500 mm mirror lens manual focus

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    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Mockingbird with berry c&c

    It's a nice picture! If it were mine, I'd try to brighten up the bird a bit, and since the background is blurred out (nicely), I'd probably clone out or at least tone down the bright spots in the background, which distract from your main subject. If you did a little more of a square crop (cutting off the right side), that would move the bird a little more out of the center and would take care of the bright background on the right. Nice capture!

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    Re: Mockingbird with berry c&c

    My thoughts were exactly the same as Elise; it's almost a very good shot.

    Just a bit of extra brightness and selective sharpen on the bird and tone down the background slightly. But don't overdo the adjustments. And change the crop ratio; maybe a 5 x 4 ratio would work.

    Another ideal candidate for using layers and masks I suspect.

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    Re: Mockingbird with berry c&c

    Thanks for the critiques. I downloaded gimp but got quickly confused. I may need to take a class on pp. My major concern lately has been composition and focus. I feel that I'm making big strides in those 2 areas (with lots and lots of help from the ever helpful folks on this site).

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    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Mockingbird with berry c&c

    The bird looks pretty sharp to me, which is great. Strict rule-of-thirds composition would suggest that the bird's eye (or most of the bird) should be on the one-third line over to the right, which is why I suggested cropping on the right side -- that would move the bird closer to the sweet spot. That would give the bird a little more space (or the suggestion of more space) on the left to "look into." If that makes sense.

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    Re: Mockingbird with berry c&c

    Did I mess this up?Mockingbird with berry  c&c

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    Re: Mockingbird with berry c&c

    I dont know why but I automatically try to place subject right in the middle.

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    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Mockingbird with berry c&c

    No, you didn't mess it up -- it's just that by cropping so closely, you can see that it's not as sharp as it could be, and I'll leave it to others to give you some advice on that, since I'm not terribly skilled at it myself (I always oversharpen).

    Do you know the rule of thirds? I think it's normal to want to put the subject right in the middle of the frame, but from an artistic viewpoint, the composition is more pleasing if the subject isn't dead center. Of course, there are many exceptions to the rule.

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    Re: Mockingbird with berry c&c

    I will apply that to my next bird shot and try to put the subject there , or maybe in 1rst crop but that image there has been cropped more than i like. I definitely see what you mean though, kinda lends to an imaginary focal point of the bird.( I dont know if I said that right). Oh and let me thank you once again for all your help Elise, I checked out your photography. Your work is very artistic and a pleasure to view.

  10. #10
    mythlady's Avatar
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    Re: Mockingbird with berry c&c

    Thank you very much -- I'm just sharing things that I've learned along the way --

  11. #11

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    Re: Mockingbird with berry c&c

    James, I've done a very quick edit to your photo just to demonstrate the sort of things which are available. Spending more time with the original would produce better results.

    Mockingbird with berry  c&c

    The method which used layers and masks was:

    Crop photo; create a Curves Adjustment Layer and add a Reveal All Mask; adjust the Curves levels to suit the bird, ignore the background.

    With the mask selected, use a 'black' brush to edit the mask. When you select a soft low opacity (say 30%) brush you should be offered a choice of either a 'black or white' brush option. That is the difficult bit - with a Reveal All Mask a white brush adds to the mask while a black brush removes the mask and allows the background to show through. Once you understand this principle everything else is easy.

    Paint over the excessively bright background areas with this brush. Gradually build up density by making successive passes until those areas appear correct.

    Next add some selective adjustments to just the bird. Create a duplicate layer from the background and adjust the saturation and sharpness. Just concentrate on the bird and ignore the background. Add a Hide All Mask and the effects will be hidden.

    Gradually paint over the bird with a soft low opacity 'white' brush so that the new adjustments appear but only affect the bird. If you temporarily hide the background layer (close the eye symbol) you will be able to see how the 'painting' is progressing.

    And that basically is all there is to this method. While it may initially appear complicated the principle is worth learning as it will open up a whole 'new world' of photo editing.

    I didn't use Gimp but I expect the Gimp users will point out any variations.

    And finally, I would say don't worry too much about the 'Rule' of Thirds with this type of shot. It is only a guide and not a must do rule. If your main subject will not comfortably fit into that suggested guide just do what looks right to you. Do not force the scene to apply to arbitary rules. Sometimes it works well but in this particular case I would prefer to follow my own instincts.

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    Re: Mockingbird with berry c&c

    I agree that the rule of thirds is really more of a guidline, but it is a way to break out of the put everything in the exact center mentality. You should know the rules you are breaking when you break them. I don't follow that rule slavishly, but I always have a quick look to see what it yields in terms of composition when cropping, for example.

  13. #13

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    Re: Mockingbird with berry c&c

    Yes, and if an image can't conform to the 'rule' it makes you think about alternatives like having a bit more space on the side to which the animal/person is looking.

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