Lunch ! <warning - graphic image>

Discussion in 'Birds' started by PJohnP, Mar 13, 2005.

  1. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    After my two posts related to shooting through cages or fences (https://www.nikoncafe.com//forums/viewtopic.php?t=1196&amp;highlight= and https://www.nikoncafe.com//forums/viewtopic.php?t=1198&amp;highlight=), I thought I'd share a somewhat less successful shot.

    This is a Laughing Kookaburra playing with its lunch. The bird battered its food around and shifted it back and forth in its beak for several minutes. Rather gruesome, I suppose, but that's nature for you.

    The shot itself had several points of challenge. The bird was flying back and forth in the cage from stark sunlight to shade. The kookaburra was sitting on a high wooden perch where the angle of shooting was acute, and the fence was extremely apparent with the acute angle. Most annoyingly, every time I lined up a shot, the bird flew to another part of the cage !

    As before, this was shot with a wide aperture, in fact, wide open for the lens used at f/4 .

    The shot hasn't been post-processed at all, excepting the copyright, to show the effects of shooting through the the cage more clearly. I'll explain some steps that could be used below in no particular order. Each photographer would manage the image in a different manner.

    The shot is uncropped and without any background post-processing in PSCS. If I were more ready with the Magic Wand, I might be able to use a significant Gaussian blur to make the artifacts in the background decrease. Alternately, some cloning efforts could be employed and then a blur applied.

    Notice also that the body of the bird shows several blobs of off-yellow colour below the "collar". These are from sun splashes on the cage wires. There are several other areas where this occurs in the image. Again, these could be managed using PSCS.

    The shot was performed at ISO400, as the bird was ducking into some deep shadows (and then out into the sun). A more processed image would be cropped, upsized as needed, and then the NeatImage plug-in would be applied to address some of the digital noise.

    I'll place a touch of space here for our more squeamish viewers.

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    [​IMG]
    D100, 200-400mm AFS/VR, ISO400, 1/4000s, f/4, exp. comp. -2.3 EV (bright sun!)

    As you can see, it's not as successful an image as the other ones I posted. However, it's shot upward at about a 60 degree angle through black mesh fencing with sun. With a careful crop and some PSCS attention, it's a usable shot, if not a cover photo for Birder's World.

    All part of the learning curve.


    No matter what's put on the dinner plate in front of you, always shoot.




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

    Flew

    994
    Jan 25, 2005
    Alabama
    John,

    I had a long detailed reply typed up and my browser crashed. :( I'll just say this time, Nature has her ways. Good shot under difficult lighting conditions.

    Frank
     
  3. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    John,

    Great effort on your part for a successful capture. Very difficult lighting for sure.

    Thank you for sharing. I know there is a way to photo into a fence and never kenw how.

    Question, how far from the fencing or cage would one shoot.

    I do not find the image gross at all.

    If that were my dinner, I would prob done more than toss it back and forth. :>))

    Best Regards
    gale
     
  4. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Frank :


    Ah, that's why I'm using Firefox these days.

    Here, assuage your unhappiness with this image...


    [​IMG]


    Even when they give you a funny look, always shoot.



    John P.
     
  5. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    I try to get the fencing or cage between 1/3 and 1/2 of the total distance to the subject. In some cases, I've shot with the fencing about 2' from the lens, and the subject much further away.

    Obviously, I'm still trying to codify several of these things. It also depends on how close the subject is to the fence.

    The angle and placement of the kookaburra complicated the shot a great deal, as did the sunlighted "dapples" on the fence.

    I'm not sure I want to have dinner at your house now ! :twisted:


    John P.
     
  6. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    John,

    I am playing with that image.
    It is cleaning up nice. For what little I know anyway.

    A great forum for this type of challenge is the retouching forum on DPR

    Those folks are real gurus.

    Cheers
    Gale

    Ps I will e-mail it to you when i finish my humble attempt. May not be today though.
     
  7. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Gale :

    Feel free to post your fixes in this thread.



    John P.
     
  8. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    John,

    Thank you , I will have to try this stuff next time I go to the zoo. Our little zoo is bad for not enough light tho.

    Maybe my 50mm 1.8 wide open might help.. Grrr

    Cheers
    Gake
     
  9. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Ok John no prob.

    No laughing allowed.....

    Gale
     
  10. NeilCam

    NeilCam

    609
    Feb 21, 2005
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Good job under difficult circumstances.

    I used to help out a vet mate of mine who used to treat a lot of raptors. We had a mouse breeding program going just to be able to provide the birds with enough food. It was actually interesting watching the birds go through a set routine in eating their prey.

    We'd stun/kill the mouse before we put it in the cage, but the bird would still pick it up and bang it around to ensure it was dead.

    I won't go into what they did next unless people want me to, but I found it interesting the routine thereafter that some of the birds would follow.

    Neil
     
  11. YUMMY!!!! :D :D :D :D

    That is pretty gruesome!! :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  12. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Neil :

    Yup. The birds are merciless with their food. I've watched herons toss the fish back and forth several times before the big gulp. In one case, a Black Crested Night Heron repeatedly jabbed and smacked a catfish until the final gulp down the bloody beak.

    [​IMG]

    Nature photography isn't for the weak of heart (or stomach).



    John P.
     
  13. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Hey Dawg !

    Have a look at the other shot I posed.

    That one was dinner, however. Shot right at sunset.


    John P.
     
  14. Oh MAN!! That catfish has been cut up and tortured before eaten. Is that the Reznick flip I see???? :D :D :D :D :D :D

    Great shot!!! :) :) :) :)
     
  15. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    John, Touch-up

    Ok John,

    I gave it my best shot. Won't get you a Mag cover. :>)) Original may have been easier.

    40780770.

    While I was at it I gave the other one a boost. Did not do to much to this one. Time for bed. Work ,yuk, tomorrow.


    View attachment 6201

    Just an example of what can be done. I am sure you can do it.

    Cheers
    Gale
     
  16. PJohnP

    PJohnP

    Feb 5, 2005
    Re: John, Touch-up

    Gale :

    Wow. I need to learn more PS so I can isolate birds in this manner. Great work. Thanks so much.


    John P.
     
  17. Gale

    Gale

    978
    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Hi John,

    Nothing fancy here. I cropped first. Then I ran another noise reduction on it with a freebee prog called Picture Cooler. Then I brought it into a Little cheapo prog I have that has a fix flaw option that I use to take out the other noise.
    then we went to PSCS. Think I did a levels adjustment too it to help along, oh yes desaturated the red and tried to get the true color of the bird, which I have seen before.. The rest was done by hand with "paint with light" 2 Layers, one for dark and one for light. Another PWL action as well that uses one layer filled with 50 grey and blend set to soft light.

    Took me forever to learn that and it really is easy. But wasn't for me.

    Layers make me shudder. If I could ever get a handle on that I could prob do much better.

    I read the Retouching forum every day.

    Bunch of free actions written all by the gurus of the retouching forum. What a great bunch of folks they are. They will help you all the way.

    Actions here

    http://actioncentral.com/download.htm

    Cheers
    I enjoyed the challenge.
    Thanks for letting me play.

    Gale

    Let me know if I can be of any help.

    We have a retouching and photoshop forum on here now.
     
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