Critique Landing egret

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Finally going through some of the egret shots from earlier this week. It was a nice morning out.
Small pond, perfect light. Lasted for about an hour before the background started getting mottled and ugly.
A bad day shooting is better than a good day at work.
I did add a little "glow", as I thought the original was actually too sharp.
Thoughts?
If this goes to print, I will likely give it a little more room. Straight out of camera was even tighter than this, but it is easy to expand black.

gary

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Butlerkid

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Another wonderful image! The square crop works well. I'm not sure how the original looked - or how this will look printed large. Perhaps it's my birding experience, but I yearn for a little more sharpness just on the eye. But if I were to see it in person, but would probably like your interpretation just fine!
 
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Karen, thanks for the input. These are the type of comments that help me a lot!!
As you pointed out, it is difficult to tell what images on line will look like in print, but thanks for the idea. I may print both with/without a sharper eye. I can easily add a sharper eye/head by masking out the glow layer.
I have lately been having the feeling that my images are too sharp, unrealistic. I have cut down on sharpening, still too sharp. Now all of a sudden I am adding softness. I will probably go too far that way before I come back to the middle.
Gary
 
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Considering that you took the background to black and often do so, why does it matter what the physical background looked like?
I really don't do a lot to these, just find the right spot and wait.
This is the image straight out of camera- dxo set on optical corrections only. I look to get the background around the bird correct in camera- I will just wipe out the background away from the birds. As soon as the background starts to get enough light that I would have to mask around the bird, I'm done.
gary

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Not so much with the glow applied.
I am experimenting. You all are my test audience- I appreciate the input.
I am kind of in a photo funk right now, and trying to find something different and interesting.
Sounds like this didn't work- which is OK.
As Thomas Edison supposedly said: "I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work."
I will play some more
gary
 
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I get my black outs from spot metering and I get tired of the look. Switching to matrix lets me see the bokeh which includes nice shades of green from the pine trees in the BG
 
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I am experimenting. You all are my test audience- I appreciate the input.
I am kind of in a photo funk right now, and trying to find something different and interesting...
I toyed around a while back with applying glow and for the same reason. Trying new subjects or techniques is always useful in some way.
 
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thanks again, all!!
It certainly seems the "glow" experiment was a bust- at least amongst photographers.
Andy, I have been shooting with dark to black backgrounds for 50 years- even with film my images looked like this. Now this is how I see, and it is hard to break the habits and move onto other backgrounds. White birds in light, shadow background= black, with very little post processing.
gary
 
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Now this is how I see
...
[therefore:]
very little post processing.
I'm excerpting these two things you said because they speak volumes. For portraits, I do a lot of black background work and design the lighting with that result in mind. Achieving this in nature is new territory for me, and I'm anxious to go egret hunting to see if I can emulate what you've perfected over the years. In fact, I might get into the car right now. Thanks for the inspiration.
 
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Andy, lighting will be the same as you are using in the studio. I suspect it will not take long. Especially if you shoot mirrorless, with whsiwyg, it is pretty simple.
I look for the light and the background, and then hope the birds show up.
I can’t wait to see what you come up with
Gary
 

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