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Old Jul 24, 2004, 11:33 AM   #1
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I slipped out early yesterday to shoot. I saw 3 green herons but they stayed away until just before I had to leave. And then this full adult in wonderful breeding plumage flew over and landed about 20-25 feet infront of me. He was so big I had to remove the teleconverter to get him full frame. This picture is about 90% of the original frame (cut off a bit on the right.)

He is actually walking, and the 1/90 (sun going down, cloudy day) made it a bit tricky. But I think this is sharp enough to post. I also had to use serious JPG compression to get the file size acceptable (even after reducing the image size from about 2000 pixels on long side to 800.)

He eventually hid partially covered in some reeds. I still have some shots from that, but I'm not sure they work as well. I'll edit one of them up later and let you decide.

Camera: 10D 600mm 1/90 f5.6 ISO 200 RAW, tripod
PhotoShop: RAW convert, curves, saturation, crop slightly, reduce, sharpen

Eric

ps. One thing that I don't do but some others do is put a border around their images. What do people think, should I do it? There are days I think it looks better, and then there are days I don't care.
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 11:45 AM   #2
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Here is another shot of that green heron, after he hid in the reeds (just to the left off the picture) caught a frog and (nicely!) came out to eat it.


I just love how those white hilights run along the edges of its feathers on the wings. It's almost like it was painted on.

Camera: 10D 600mm 1/180 f5.6 ISO 400 RAW Tripod
Photoshop: RAW convert, curves, saturation reduction, crop, reduce, sharpen

Eric
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 12:21 PM   #3
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Don't you just love it when after a bunch of time trying to get close enough to your subject, you're about to give up, and then one all but falls into your lap?!!! :-)

Glad it happened to you, Eric, in this case because you got some wonderful shots of that Green Heron. Your gear takes such detailed shots. I know that the perfect exposure is due to your experience rather than just your equipment, and it really shows.

I too love the white edging around his upper wing coverts. It's also interesting to see how in the first picture the bird's crest is raised a bit while in the second it's lying flat. That frog didn't have long to worry about what was happening!

I notice that in your workflow you do a bit of saturation reduction. Why is that? Does the 10D normally produce slightly oversaturated results?
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 12:30 PM   #4
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They are both beautiful photos but the intensity of expression ('Bird with a mission') in the first makes it my favorite. Your clarity of detail is wonderful (oh for a larger CCD and the skill to use it well). This looks like a damp place to wait but it certainly paid off. These are great.



Suzan
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 12:35 PM   #5
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This one chased a first year green around the pond for a bit. In trying to get away it flew right at me... I thought "stop chasing him! Let him land!" but they didn't listen and went around another loop. But I forgave him after he came up for a visit.

I have a few shots where the crest is even higher! It looks kinda silly, actually. "Green Heron with a Mohawk" is the working title.

If I'm working in AdobeRGB, then the switch to sRGB for web posting also drops saturations, so I increase it ahead of time. And some times, I think it looks a little better with a little more pop in the greens.

But in the second one I felt that the changes I did in curves (mostly increase contrast, but unevenly) made the lighter color on the back too light. And it brought out the single green reed that is in the foreground.

I did two things to solve that. I reduced the saturation (which reduced the prominance of that reed) and I partially erased the contrast adjustment on the back to use the lower layer without the contrast adjustment.

Eric
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Old Jul 24, 2004, 7:24 PM   #6
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Eric, the 10D outputs images natively in Adobe RGB, doesn't it? You also do all your work in PS in that working space. I guess that explains why the conversion to sRGB for web washes out some color, and also why you might play with saturation a bit. My camera outputs in sRGB and in PSE2 that's what I end up using for my work - I don't think I have a choice using PSE2. Therefore, I never see the differences among different color profiles.

As to the mature heron chasing around the juvenile, the normal pecking order must be enforced! :-)
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Old Jul 25, 2004, 6:21 AM   #7
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I really like the first shot, the color is nice. Wish i had more time to get more wild bird shots.
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Old Jul 25, 2004, 11:02 AM   #8
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geoffs,
You are correct on all counts. I don't believe that PSE2 doesn't have colorspace controls. So sRGB is the right way to go... and the only way to go.

I don't know why I find the territorial nature of herons so odd. But I do. I bet that the young one is this ones kid, so I guess I was watching a more aggressive form of "move out! You're a grownup now so get going!" than happens in humans.

Eric
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Old Jul 25, 2004, 11:35 AM   #9
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eric s wrote:
Quote:
I bet that the young one is this ones kid, so I guess I was watching a more aggressive form of "move out! You're a grownup now so get going!" than happens in humans.
:-) Now that I am finally seeing my youngest getting married this summer, I will have seen three children raised and out of the house. In humans, it seems more and more these days the kids "hang on" with the parents later and later into life and they also have a way of returning. I believe it's a bit more black and white, as you say, in the animal kingdom.

Here's an interesting little bit of information. Now that I am starting my work with a local organization involved with the recovery of bluebird populations in my area, I am finding out interesting things. Like, for bluebirds it is not unusual for the fledged young of a first clutch to help the parents during the raising of the young in a second clutch of a season. So, it's not completely black and white with all animals!
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Old Jul 25, 2004, 12:36 PM   #10
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Great photos eric. I especially like the color saturation in the top one but I love the "action" in the frog one. I agree fully with the wing edging, special stuff.
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