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Featured Critique Backlite Egret

Discussion in 'Birds' started by gchappel, Feb 10, 2019.

  1. First time out to gatorland this season. They cleaned out some of the non native overgrowth- in some ways good, but even harder to get a clean background. One egret preened for a couple of minutes in an area I could get some backlight. I was looking for something a little different.
    I like high contrast bw, not everyone's cup of tea.
    Go shoot more.
    egret am 2-9-19 1178 warm.jpg
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    egret am 2-9-19 1379_1warm.jpg
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    egret am 2-9-19 1123.jpg
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    These look a little "hot" on the web images. At least in Capture one, nothing is actually burnt out.
    • Winner Winner x 8
    • Like Like x 7
    • Wow Wow x 1
  2. Oh my, oh my, oh my---Gary, you've outdone yourself! The first one was amazing, and then I looked at 2 and 3! Take a bow my friend!
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Butlerkid

    Butlerkid Cafe Ambassador Moderator

    Apr 8, 2008
    Rutledge, Tennessee
    Fantastic work! #2 is my fav! (but I would remove the faint vertical line in front of the bird.....and fine tune the masking above the extended feathers on the right and from the back of the head along the back...) All are Lovely!
  4. OOOOOOOH!!!!!!! Gorgeous, gorgeous!!!!! Of the egret "family," these with the long, silky-like feathers are my favorites. Just beautiful.......
  5. Those are eye stoppers, well done my man.
  6. wow these are wow, everyone is unique and so well executed. Somebody needs to put one of these on the home page
    • Agree Agree x 2
  7. The second one is an incredible composition. Exceptionally well done. Removing all bright areas that are not the subject or the wood the subject is standing on would take it to an even higher level for me. As an example it would be more like the first one in that regard.

    The first photo also has some remnants of light tones in the background, especially the bright dot above the bird's torso.

    Though the third one displays some nice back lighting, the overall content doesn't measure up to the first two for me, though few photos of anything would measure up to that standard.
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Amazing photo, well deserving of front page.
  9. Thanks all- I love this type of image. The only issue was no matter how I tried I could not get a completely clean background. Tried higher, lower, left, right, etc- bright light reflections in the water were killers- especially if there was any wind. The wind was needed as it spread out the feathers. Luckily this egret sat there for about 30min, and preened 6 times. No one else was interested in shooting it- so I had my way.
    The first one had some of the best dark background. I actually like the little feather dander floating above the bird- that is what it was preening off. It may be a distraction as others may not know what it is. I usually do not like manmade objects in my bird images- but it is what it is and kind of works here.
    The second image has the strongest composition I believe- taken during a really strong wind gust. But the background was awful- lake ripples from the wind were really bright along the right feathers. Took 2min in photoshop to clean up. Probably need to do more, I usually do not like to touch images but this one needed it. I could not decide if I should keep some of the water highlights in or not. Will be easy to remove.
    I remember smiling when I took the last image. The wing was beautiful- but I needed the head. All of a sudden the beak poked through. It was magical. Wish I had more of the head, but that is all she gave me. One shot. I like the abstract quality of this one, and the beak is then a surprise and makes the image complete.
    I have over 100 of these taken during the 30min display. Made my day. One or two more keepers, but they will require a fair amount of photoshop work on the backgrounds.
    I was just surprised that with 30 other photographers at gatorland that day- no one else shot it. People even saw me shooting, took a look and walked off. Fine by me, but I was surprised.
    Our hardest job is to see.
    If anyone should take a bow, let it be the egret. All I did was stand there.
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Those are really awesome. Inspiring!!
  11. When displayed at a larger size, that detail might be obvious.

    These three certainly make our day.
  12. I love this sort of image. Using the natural lighting conditions to isolate the subject. And this set is an awesome example of it. Count yourself gifted to be able to see the possibilities in scenes like this. Or congrats on learning to do so which is not an easy thing. In either case it is not a common skill as demonstrated by none of the other folks that day joining you.

    By way of critique, IMO the second image is the most interesting content of the three. Regarding how much of the BG to clean up it is much a matter of taste. A few hints of BG detail can dispel thoughts of it being a fabricated image. As presented here the only thing that I find distracting in the BG on no.2 is the vertical line(tree trunk?) about half way between the tip of the wing and right edge of frame.

    Overall a really excellent set of images. Well done.
  13. Dang, found that line on image number 2. I hate spending time in photoshop- I sit in front of a computer 9hrs a day at work.
    That was just a line from when I changed the crop factor to square- did it at the last minute, and the crop black for some reason did not completely fill in. My bad. Cleaned it up a little more- will print tomorrow. I left the light on the water- I liked it better there.
    Thanks for the critiques. I learn from your thoughts.
  14. Outstanding photography....and an excellent eye!

  15. Just saw this..wow...love the second image. Great job!
  16. The more I look at it, the more I also like it. That light on the water adds a bit of motion that goes well with the composition of the subject.
  17. Really nice set of images even better in black and white.
  18. Commodorefirst

    Commodorefirst Admin/Moderator Administrator

    May 1, 2005
    Hey Gary, when you get that image updated, post it in your initial thread, and I would be honored to feature it. Many nominated it. Stunning image, and I also love high contrast bw bird images. For now, I just used the current second image.
  19. Just wonderful. The feather detail in No.2 does it for me but I really like that tip of beak in No. 3 too. Gold Star stuff.
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