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Old Jan 27, 2009, 10:21 PM   #1
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A couple of bird photos. All but one were taken with the DA 55-300 (I think), and I thought it did quite well.

Are these Snowy Egrets? They look too small to me for some reason.



I'll probably re-process this next photo when I sort out my computer. I've been reading a book about Lightroom2 and it talked about a way to process a single shot in Photoshop to better capture the dynamic range. This was about the best I could do with conventional processing, trying to bring out both the white bird and it's reflection. I think I can do better as there is quite a bit of information in the picture (original was underexposed significantly, to try to capture the white of the egret).



This next one was taken with the A*300, the only one of this set that wasn't taken with the DA 55-300. The bird was fairly far away from me to begin with, and what really caught my eye was the ripples in the water.



The boat kept backing up but the pelican never budged. It obviously knew exactly where that boat was going to stop - I thought it would get run over, but the boat didn't go back much more than in this picture. It's not the greatest picture in the world, but I thought it was funny, especially watching the bird just calmly sit there while the boat backed up.



Best Buddies? The closest thing to a pelican in flight that I managed the whole weekend.



Putting their heads together - perhaps plotting how to raid some fisherman's line?



These were taken when we were in Oceanside over a week ago.
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Old Jan 28, 2009, 5:47 AM   #2
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Very nice Harriet, you must be happy with the new lens.
Simon
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Old Jan 28, 2009, 6:31 AM   #3
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Very nice series. The reflectionin # 2 is excellent. And I agree that the ripples in #3 make the picture! Nice lighting in #3 as well. Performance of the new lens seems top notch!
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Old Jan 28, 2009, 7:03 AM   #4
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Really nice series....The pelicans make it work for me. I really like the ripples in #3 and love the stubborn bird in #4. Pelicans can be down right pushy when it comes to giving up their territory. In #5 the wing spread is very attractive and creates great curved lines.

The only egrets I see regularly see around here are great egrets, but my ID books look good for these egrets being snowys....considerably smaller than great egrets.

Paul
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Old Jan 28, 2009, 7:45 AM   #5
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Hi Harriet, I think your shot of the Egret in the water is a lost cause because of the amount of blown out white that you have. I would think that no software will bring back information that is not there, which it looks like that is the problem with that shot.

The rest are great, I like the A*300 the best since it seems to have more contrast than the other lens, but the 55-300 does a nice job too.

Try downloading the demo of Aperture 2 from Apple and try that, I am using that now and it seems to do a nice job of processing images, although I don't have a current copy of Lightroom to compare it to.

Those small birds could be the juvenile Little Blue Herons since they stay white for the first year before changing colors, but I am not really a bird expert.

Tom
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Old Jan 28, 2009, 9:42 AM   #6
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You've got me thinking now. I took 3 shots of the egret, and this might have been the first one where I did blow out the white. I was thinking it was one of the second two where I exposed for the white bird and while I got more detail in the bird, the shadow is very dark in them. As soon as I brightened the shadows, the whites blew out and I couldn't manage to get a balance of the original bird with normal LR processing methods. It's thosetwo I want to try processing differently, to see if I can do a modified HDR type of thing for the reflection, without blowing out the bird itself.
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Old Jan 28, 2009, 9:58 AM   #7
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I've had some success with processing a raw file twice, once for shadows and again for highlights, then putting both versions of the photo on different layers in PSE. I then erase the offending sections of the top layer, exposing the better exposed lower layer. Since it has worked in PSE, I'm sure it will also work woth your full-blown version of photoshop. I'm not very skilled with post processing, so it usually takes me quite abit of trial and errortodetermine the right size eraser brush, and to figureout how many pixels the edge of the eraser needs to be feathered in order to make it look seamless, butafter getting all those variables nailed down itusually worksquite well.

The reflected egret is a fantastic shot and is definitely worth the effort!I also love the ripplessurrounding the pelican.
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Old Jan 28, 2009, 11:37 AM   #8
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I like em all Harriet!
Looks like you had a successful day of shooting.
:-)
Yes the first shot is the Snowy Egret.
the photo below is a poor one but, you can see the difference in size.
:bye:
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Old Jan 28, 2009, 1:19 PM   #9
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I would suggest two layers also then process each one to get the detail you need at both ends of DR. Then blend them together using the % of transparency you need to get a final image with detail in both black and white.

If it isn't too severe the shadow/highlight adjustment does a pretty good job too and then you can brighten it up using curves to bring it back to life.

Tom
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Old Jan 28, 2009, 2:38 PM   #10
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I really like the last shot of the Pelicans, nice bokeh as well!

Steve
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