Critique Another egret on a log

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Had some nice light for a bit Saturday at Gatorland. Light didn't last long, but it doesn't take long to take a picture. I love these birds. I really do not need more pictures of them, but I can't stop.
Critique always welcome- good or bad.
Gary

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I like everything about the second shot. The perch is interesting yet clean, backlit highlights, vanishing BG, etc. I'm not a proponent of completely "correcting" whites in shadow but in this case the blues are a little too vivid IMO.

Also IMO the first shot is a candidate for B/W conversion. As presented it just looks muddy to me. My least favorite of all the shots you've posted recently. Great textures and position on the bird but the colors just aren't appealing. Just one guys opinion.
 
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Dan, I appreciate the thoughts!! As I often say, I am often too close to my own work to see it as others do.
I am actually trying to learn color. I have not printed a color wildlife image for years. Was my new years resolution to try to get some color work. Lots to learn.
Here is a quick bw conversion of 1. Will never be a winner, but I liked the bird.

The comment on the second image I found most interesting. I took sooooo much blue out of the shadows it didn't look right to me, as I knew where it started. I actually ended up putting a little blue back in. Here is a version with no blue. Likely looks better to everyone but me- the backside of this bird looked like a blue easteregg.
Better?

Dan, thanks again. Still learning.
Gary

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Hi, Gary. Both images look much improved IMO. Keep in mind there's a lot of room for error in translation of colors to/from web etc. I'm viewing on a laptop that is calibrated but still no doubt a big difference between what I'm looking at versus what you see on your editing machine.

Getting those yellows from golden light on white fur/feathers can be really tricky. I just spent literally several hours editing and re-editing a shot of a polar bear in morning sunlight trying to get it to look "right" for printing/marketing. That was a similar situation with one side of the bear bright blue from sky reflecting off snow and the other side bathed in golden hour sunlight. To get the bear to look anything like what people expect a polar bear to look like I had to de-saturate way beyond what I consider to be the reality of that day.
 

Butlerkid

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I really like the re-posting of the second image. While the blue is "natural" I think the blue color pulls focus away from the actual bird.

The first image is a tough one for me. My first thought the processing seemed "gritty", dirty, rough, over sharpened (although I bet it is NOT! LOL!) etc. to me. However, the B&W re-posting seems to highlight those very aspects of the photos. Too much for me. Now looking at your original posting, it looks just fine!!!!!!!!
 
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The 1st shot makes the bird look rather ghastly.
I like the 2nd shot a lot, the backlit and golden feathers are special
My favorite one is the first one. I like your post processing.
I always find it interesting how work is perceived. One person's favorite is another's trash. Welcome to art.
Actually, none of these are going to print- but I learn as other see and critique.
Thanks for teaching.
gary
 

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