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Old Dec 24, 2004, 11:27 AM   #1
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Finally, after many trips to the refuge, I was able to capture one almost decent shot of a Northern Harrier Hawk. We call them Marsh Hawks in this neck of the woods. The wind was gusty and these guys were tipping and swooping all over the place looking for mice and other food. This hawk was about 75-100 yards out when I took the handheld picture. Of all the hawks out there Harriers require the most patience. Something I definitely have to work on. :yawn:

Steve

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Old Dec 24, 2004, 6:03 PM   #2
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Pretty nice shot from that distance, Steve. Where I grew up (NYC) we called them Marsh Hawks too - the world's changed a lot in those 30-35 years! :roll:

So tell me, what equipment were you using to get this shot? I think it could benefit from some processing through something like NeatImage...
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Old Dec 24, 2004, 8:21 PM   #3
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Thanks geoffs,

I am using a Panasonic FZ20. I did some processing in Photoshop elements. I use a Flat Panel iMac. So some of the great tools use PC guys use aren't availible to me.

Elements did a pretty good job of bringing out more of the highlights. It was pretty much at the end of the range for my camera. Hopefully I can catch one closer next time.

Merry Christmas,
Steve
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Old Dec 24, 2004, 9:45 PM   #4
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Actually, if you are willing to pay for it, I believe there is now a pay version of NeatImage for the Mac (PS Plugin only.) Some other noise reduction packages are out for the mac. Try searching for Noise Ninja (I think its for the mac....)

Nice detail on the back of the bird. You caught it well. Looks like you had very good light that day. I've got some nice harrier shots, but none in what I would consider "good light."

Northern Harriers are actually not a "hawk" in the strict sense of the word. They are the only bird in the Harrier family found in North America. I am betting this is why they were renamed from Marsh Hawk.

Eric
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Old Dec 25, 2004, 2:52 AM   #5
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hi smac,
I have a G5 Mac and have the folowing noise reduction software:
Noise Ninja, stand alone program (there is a beta plug-in for photoshop)
Digital Gem Pro from Kodak, plug-in
Neat Image, plug-in

For about 95% of photos that can use noise reduction, they all work pretty
good once you get used to them. The other 5% are those photos that
for one reason or another need a lot of work and are "must keep"
photos because of their content. In those cases, sometimes one program
will give better results than others. All of them have demos, so try them
all and see which one you are most comfortable with.
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Old Dec 25, 2004, 12:36 PM   #6
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I like the overall look of this one with the little bird dots in the background and the overall sense of forward movement. Nice job.
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Old Dec 26, 2004, 12:46 AM   #7
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Thanks for all of the great suggestions.

I actually bought Noise Ninja recently. So far, and my experience is limited, I haven't seen much difference in that or the noise removal filter in PS Elements. I am reposting the Hawk, filtered in Noise Ninja and the put into Elements. From there I Cropped the Hawk at actual pixel size then removed the noise again, used Auto Smart Fix and then USM. Other than the hawk bigger larger because of the crop I can't see much difference. Maybe some of you can. Please let me know. Thanks,
Steve

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Old Dec 26, 2004, 1:04 AM   #8
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Steve, here's a quickie I just did in PSCS using your last posted image and the NeatImage plugin. I think you should be able to get similar results using Noise Ninja.

Check out the sky area compared to your image.



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Old Dec 26, 2004, 9:15 AM   #9
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Here's one with Noiseware pro plug in with Elements 3.
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Old Dec 26, 2004, 9:53 AM   #10
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This one I used noiseware on the sky alone. I thought the other one took too much detail out of the bird.
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