Itch-Scritch-Scratch...

Discussion in 'Birds' started by PJohnP, May 14, 2007.

  1. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    It's always a challenge to try and shoot something a bit different than the usual photos one finds, especially with a familiar subject or location. I tried a new idea last week with a sunset silhouette (Pensive Heron), and then I pondered what would be next. Over the following days, I landed shots of birds gulping down catfish, baby ducks with their parents, (sadly) dead ducklings after a storm, and mirror-reflection shots at dawn against calm dark water, but for the most part, there was very little about these that struck me as noteworthy and substantially different enough from any shots that I've posted previously. And so I stacked up some RAW images on the hard drive of the laptop, and kept shooting.

    But I did have one moment at dawn on Saturday where a bird put on an odd display, albeit in sharp and hard parallel-to-horizon light. I decided to process this wholly in PS-CS2 to allow me a touch more latitude in addressing the highlights, as that's a bit more flexible than NC in that area.

    The bird was really digging into the feathers for a minute or two, possibly to dislodge some kind of mite burrowing under the feather layer. I liked the slightly spiked head feathers as well as the strangely obsessive glare that it made at me as I photographed the moment.



    [​IMG]
    D200, 200-400mm f/4 AFS/VR, processed in PS-CS2


    Interestingly enough, I printed this out today at 9.3" x 14", and the slight halo I see in the internet posted image isn't at all visible. Sure wish that I knew quite how some of these things arise !




    Even if it itches unbearably, and no scratching can assuage the feeling...

    Always shoot.




    John P.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  2. Glacier

    Glacier

    Jan 17, 2006
    Boaz, Alabama
    I see the halo too. Probably has something to do with the jpeg compression. Since the print looks good that's all that matters.

    The angle of light works perfectly for this type of image. Perhaps his day is nearly over and he was just getting ready for a night of whatever night herons do?:biggrin: All the diagonals make for a nice composition and the light is great. I hope to be able to get out of my backyard soon so I can do something different also.
     
  3. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    The fellow in town here from me that does my printing told me you need to sharpen a bit more for printing. View image at 50%:>))
    If that helps any.

    Very nice shot by the way:>)))
     
  4. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Andy :


    Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate your noting the composition - I was standing in mud to get exactly the diagonals that you observed ! :wink:

    These black crowned night herons seem to work a "split shift" with a morning hunting period, and an evening one, both set up around low sun at dawn or sunset. They usually fly in just around dawn or about an hour before sunset, then depart. Where ? I don't know, offhand, but I imagine a conclave of these birds sitting around complaining about the sharp fins on the catfish that they eat ! :eek: :rolleyes:



    John P.
     
  5. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Gale :


    Thanks for the kind words.

    I was pondering if the use of PS-CS2 for all processing introduced the effect. It's nowhere as noticable in the full size image, so I might have somehow created it in downsizing, I suppose.




    John P.
     
  6. Love it, John! All that bird needs now is some painted toenails!! :wink: I love the reflected setting sun the eye...
    It truly is 'something different'.
     
  7. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Sandi :



    Painted toenails ? :Confused: :Dizzy: :Smart: :910:


    Hurm. I'm going to have to think on that one a bit...

    ... but thanks for the kind comments. :wink:



    John P.
     
  8. Flew

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    John,

    First, I have to say that I love the shot. Like many of us with a bunch of shots, it is hard to produce something unique. You have definitely done that with this shot.

    WRT the halo, I have found that using Shadows/Highlights (which I do use when applicable) can cause this effect. As you probably know, I don't print many images, so I didn't realize that the problem goes away in hardcopy, but I am especially mindful of this issue when processing for the web.
     
  9. Very nice Presentation
     
  10. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Frank :


    Thanks for the kind words. I've been trying to post only when I have something new to offer, and it's good to know that I've been successful in that aim. This time. :wink:

    S&H halos, eh ? Hurm. I'll have to test that a bit with some other shots. I wonder if an HDR treatment would work better ? More tests. Interesting too in that it was exacerbated when I downsized the image. Even more tests.

    The print's sitting next to me here in my study, and although Alice characterised it as "creepy", she didn't see a halo...



    John P.
     
  11. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Gary and Dianne :


    Thanks.

    It would have been fun to have some other folks out there to shoot with for this, except we'd all have been standing atop one another for the "keyhole" through the foliage that I was shooting through (and also standing in ankle-deep mud as well).



    John P.
     
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