Steve's Digicams Forums

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Rodney9 Apr 26, 2008 10:44 PM

Triple WOW, what fantastic shots, the detail, everything is perfect, gorgeous.

Ian Mc Apr 26, 2008 11:01 PM

Thanks Rodney. Much appreciated.

Glad you enjoyed them.

Cheers: Ian Mc

ennacac Apr 26, 2008 11:11 PM

All three are extremely nice but I still like the first one the best!


mtngal Apr 26, 2008 11:59 PM

I like the third one - the colors on the wings are wonderful. But the first is still my favorite.

Lyrics51 Apr 27, 2008 1:10 AM

Ian, what a great shot! Sharp and great color. I like #1 but I wonder if you could blur the background a bit since it is a bit busy. But as for the bird itself it doesn't get much better than that!


penolta Apr 27, 2008 1:19 AM

No 1 is a spectacular shot of a spectacular bird.

Do the sheep ranchers still believe they kill sheep by pecking out their kidneys, or has that been put to rest as folklore? I always thought they had gotten caught feeding on carcasses of dead sheep and got a bad rap.

Ian Mc Apr 27, 2008 2:09 AM

Thanks again Tom, Harriet, Glenn and penolta.

Glenn; Your in good company with Lana of the BPN forums who also commented about the busy BG.

Penolta I think it has got thro' that they don't do any damage to live creatures and they are fully protected.

I have not got round to blurring BGs yet with PSE.

One of many Photoshop procedures still to learn !!!

Best to all. Ian Mc

snostorm Apr 27, 2008 1:58 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hi Ian Mc,

I was stunned by #1! Really a great capture. Timing, exposure, DOF just right on!

I also noted the comments about the BG -- This is not that hard to take care of if your PSE version is one with layers.

Make a duplicate layer, apply Gaussian Blur at a relatively low level, then erase the effect from the bird, being very careful at the edges. Apply another Gaussian Blur at a higher level, until the BG is blurred to your taste, and touch up the edges again if needed. The reason for the two step process is that a heavy blur is first applied, the edges of the bird will blur into the background and cause a dark halo around the bird's outline. By doing it two steps, you shouldn't get the halo. A couple of tips for erasing the bird, first, do the edges at a relatively low opacity, going over the area as much as needed, then lower the opacity of the sharp layer to 0, switch back to the blurred layer and erase the area inside the edges with the opacity of the erase brush turned way up -- this speeds things up considerably.

I also softened the left wing a little, as well as the tail feathers, to give a little better transition from the sharp areas to the BG to prevent that "blue screen look".

I took the liberty to give this a try on your image, and really. . . Holy 3D!!! I think the image is worth the effort! (of course, if you object in any way to my playing, I'll delete the pic from the post -- just say the word)


thkn777 Apr 27, 2008 2:12 PM

WOW! :cool:

#1 is wonderful and I like #3, too!

It was a good idea to crank up ISO - don't be sad about that tiny bit of noise!

I also like snostorms edit - although the background is a bit too soft for my taste, it almost looks unnatural "good" to say so (no offense meant).

BIF is something that's still on my ToDo list - haven't made any remarkable progress in that field lately and still envy those beautiful pictures.


penolta Apr 27, 2008 4:25 PM

Sometimes it can be beneficial to effectively remove the background, but in this particular case I guess I am too much of a realist -- for me,removing the natural background takes the bird out of context. The bird is well enough defined against the background --you can tell something about its habitat, about the space in which it is moving,and that it is about to land. Rather than providing a distraction, the background is an integral part of the image. In the altered imagethebird, although quite well depicted,is sort of suspended in nothingness and its anatomical position has no relation to its surroundings. If it were indistinct against the background, or something like a falcon in a power dive,it would be different. After all, a photograph is a representation, and with too much alteration becomes a creation, like a painting with artistic license -- which is OK if thet is the purpose, but in natural history photography that is not usually the case. Just my opinion, and no offense intended.

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