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C&C - Poised

Discussion in 'Birds' started by PJohnP, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    I was able to get out at dawn this morning to re-shoot the wood ducks, but another old friend was lurking around the pond. As usual, I don't take the easy route of getting him directly in the rich dawn light (and anyway, he's skittish and will usually fly away when I change position).

    So I have a shot that's almost contre-jour, lit by the sun shortly after the light is getting strong, just about parallel to the water. I call this, for obvious reasons, "Poised".

    D100, 200-400mm AFS/VR, ISO200, handheld, uncropped, processed in NC, copyright added and re-sized in PS-CS

    Critiques and comments solicited and welcomed.

    Always shoot.

    John P.
  2. John, I stared at your image a few minutes... Fantastic shot!!!
    I wouldn't change a pixel... :wink:
  3. "The early bird gets the worms" - you surely did with this one, gorgeous!!
  4. JWEAR


    Jun 26, 2005
    very good light and great shot --looks gooood love the light
  5. mrtac2man


    Jun 3, 2005
    For me this is hands down one of the best i have ever seen....lets see more please..the only thing i might do is clone out the stick or whatever it is by his feet...

  6. bfjr

    bfjr Guest

    Yes just clone the stick and your done!

    Excellent shot, beautifu light captured just right :wink:
  7. My first thought was, "It's a translucent bird." I love the light in this one.
  8. The bird seems to glow making for a fantastic image. I agree with previous posters, clone out the stick by his feet.
  9. PGB


    Jan 25, 2005
    I think that this shot is beautiful. The orange really makes me love the shot. It acentuates the eye of the bird.

    Well done,
  10. John:

    Excellent shot. The composition is very good. The color and exposure is right on. The clarity of the eye is excellent. Can't offer any critique for this shot; there is none to give.
  11. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    Wow John - this shot is certainly beautiful, and the tension presented by the pose makes it a nearly perfect composition. However, you didn't just use our new icon and your code, C&C for nothing, so here goes, ... the brutal critique part:

    I looked and looked for some technical fault, and finally, when examining it with a magnifying glass, I saw a tiny bit of sharpening halo above the beak, the top of the head and down the back. Since you sharpened this with camera sharpening or Nikon Capture, my usual method of repairing this artifact (a tiny history brush at 50%) will not work. Therefore I would try to remove the halo by using Photoshop's Clone Stamp tool.

    Set the stamp to 3 pizels and 50%. Mask off the bird - that is select only the sky above the bird. Feather the selection by 2 pixels so that the edge of the selection leaves the halo in the sky, but none of the bird itself is selected. If 2 pixels is too much, try a 1 pixel feather.

    Now, with the clone stamp, pick up some sky just above the halo, and move it down by 1 and a half pixel (that is one or two pixels and let the feather take care of the half.) A correctly placed mask will make everything come out right. Then just paint out the halo.

    Be sure you take a snapshot first, or better yet, copy the whole image, do the work in a seperate window, then paste it back into a new layer on the original. Blend the transparency until you are happy with the result.

    But then, like you've seen from the other posts, this is an excellent photo where you have gotten some fine natural behavior in perfect light. Great job, and thanks for spearheading this whole C&C icon thing!
  12. I love this Night Heron -- great pose and lovely light !!

    I find it kind of scarey to actually make suggestions about someone else's photo !! But it really makes me have to THINK (which we hope is a good thing <grin>) about light, colour, compositon. Also I would like to hear more in depth suggestions about my own photos from time to time, so I'll give this a try.

    COMPOSITION: I did experiment with cloning out the stick and doing a tighter crop. There is a excellent, strong, dramatic diagonal in this photo, but I was thinking that maybe there was a bit too much negative space for the eye to get lost in? And my "eye" kept wanting to "see" that triangle between the bird's body and leg moved more to the right. After I cloned out the little stick, I got carried away with cloning out some rocks to clean up the triangle even more!! [How much are we "ethically" allowed to alter an original photograph for the sake of composition????? That's a question probably worthy of an entire thread.]

    COLOUR: I am just learning about colour myself, and I already see that it is going to be a life-long learning curve. In this photo I was thinking that perhaps the blue could be brought out as a nice contrast to those beautiful glowing dawn oranges, but I wasn't so sure about it after I did it. And I wanted to see also more of a black point in the photo so I tweaked that also. I think that my colour changes were a bit heavy handed and maybe the original only needed a little nudge somewhere. I have a lot to learn about colour for sure.

    Well, John, here are small versions - first has crop and clone, second has colour changes. I enjoyed learning from your lovely photo, so I hope it is not overly presumptuous (how do you spell that???) of me to have experimented with it.
    Cheers -- Andrea B.
    Original (eye travels down birds back and is drawn to glowing rock behind it; gets "stuck" there?):
    Crop and Clone Version (eye travels down birds back, around tail,
    along glowing leg and back to bird's red eye for a nice "loop"):
    Colour Tweak Version:
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 13, 2005
  13. Great picture, congrats.
  14. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Panos :

    Thanks. I'll look around for another image or two this next few days. Maybe I can change a pixel or two for that !

    John P.
  15. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Frits :

    Neat - if you want to eat worms... :eek: 

    John P.
  16. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Bob :

    Yah, it was great light this morning.

    John P.
  17. Ken-L

    Ken-L Guest

    Great shot.....and let's not overlook the fact that this was hand-held at 400mm, at only 1/80"!
  18. As nice as I have ever seen. Even the little stick does not bother my eye.
    WAY TO GO MAN!!!
  19. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Chris :

    Thanks for the analysis. I'm usually pretty careful with the sharpening, but I probably missed this thinking it was the sort-of-contre-jour light around the body of the heron when I was looking at/proofing the shot. Mea maxima maxima culpa (as opposed to Paul and the British contingent's "mea cuppa" :wink: )

    But I can probably go back and address this by re-processing the shot rather than all that PS stuff.

    Again, thanks for the helpful review of the shot.

    John P.
  20. PJohnP


    Feb 5, 2005
    Ken :

    Thanks. I'm getting a fair number of shots handheld these days (mostly because I was too lazy to use my monopod for most of the shots today :rolleyes:  ).

    John P.
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