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Northern Cardinal with heavy background retouching

Discussion in 'Birds' started by Gordon Large, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Out-of-the-camera the left side of this image and the cardinal were totally clear of branches and twigs. On the right side, however, there were lots of both, and they were distracting - so I got rid of them, using the clone tool as carefully as possible and then using the healing brush to smooth out the clone marks. The left background has not been touched, and the right side had a similar texture. How does the end result look? And is there a quicker and better way to do this?


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  2. Looks to me like you did a fine job, Gordon. Another trick you can do with this kind of image is to copy the left side and use it for the right, erasing the section covering the bird. You can also flip the copied section. Then use the healing brush over the edge or even the eraser at a very low opacity (~10%) and just go over the edge to blend.

    There's always more than one way to skin a cat and your way looks just fine!
  3. PixelPete

    PixelPete Guest

    Looks good to me Gordon.Without reading your comments I didnt even notice your fixes.Nice Job!
  4. That's how I do it

    Seems I've always got stray branches and stuff in my boid shots. If I can I'll make a selection first and then do the cloning.
    You didn't mention your settings, but with blurry backgrounds it works pretty well using 50/80% opacity and going over the same spot a few times using slightly different reference points (whatever you call the alt-click area). This cuts down on exactly duplicating a pattern and pretty much eliminates the need for any cleanup.

    You did a very good job.

  5. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Hi Kevin -

    I'm glad you thought my way worked, but WOW did it take a long time. The left side has some very distinct patterns. Wouldn't it look strange to see them repeated on the right side, upside down, backwards or inside out? (The last is a new secret technique I'm not ready to reveal to the world yet. :biggrin: ) But I certainly can see your ideas working will with a background without obvious patterns or features and will try it when I get a good candidate.

    Thanks -
  6. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Good! Thanks, Pete.

  7. Looks Good to me Gordon, to help isolating backgrounds if this is at your feeder place some branches near the feeder with clear backgrounds and give the birds a place to perch on there way in and out of the feeders.
  8. I understand your concern and agree that it doesn't always work with every image but there are so many tricks that one can use to offset the ill effects of copying one section that you'd never recognize the pattern. :wink:
  9. Walk over to the bird, and give it better direction. Explain its motivation, and why it should turn such that the background is better. This is what is called "getting it right in the camera" and saves you a lot of time post-processing as well. You have children, you should be good at getting smaller creatures to pay attention to you and to follow directions. So what's the problem anyway???? :wink:

    Looks quite good to me. The other thing you could do is to select out the bird and branch, cut it out on a new layer, then clone the two sides, blur it up a bit, and drop the bird back over the top. Let the selection feather a few pixels, and blend, and BINGO, away you go.

    Looks pretty darned good to me as-is.
  10. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Thanks, Don, for both the nice comment and the tip. That sounds much easier and quicker than the way I got rid of the branches and twigs. I won't post it, but I'm going to try your method on this shot and compare it with mine.

    Hmmmm. Boid? Yeah, boid. Has a nice ring to it. Although I still think I like birdie better.

  11. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Hey Bill -

    Still LOL about your first suggestion. Maybe your West coast birds are better trained than our East coast ones, cuz I don't think that would work back here. And you've never met my children so forget that idea......

    I like your real suggestion. As with others I've gotten, I'm going back to the original and try all of them.

  12. Gordon Large

    Gordon Large Guest

    Thanks for the comment, Mike. I'm not sure what you are telling me. Are you saying to set up the feeder so that there are some branches for the birds to come in on but arrange the branches so they aren't distracting in a photo (like I suspect you have done in your yard)? I don't think the folks who run the nature preserve would be real pleased to find their bushes cut back and new branches strategically placed for the best photo ops. But if I did it at night............

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