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Old Jun 28, 2009, 6:36 PM   #1
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Default help with photo "repair"

Recently took a series of shots of an Eastern Pondhawk in the midst of eating a Yellowjacket! Did not notice that there was a yellow blade of grass in front of the lens. It left a stripe on most of the photos! Here is a sample of a close-up without the stripe, and one of the many with the stripe. Any suggestions for PP to remove or lessen this distraction? Thanks!
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Old Jun 28, 2009, 8:08 PM   #2
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I think your picture of the Common Pondhawk is a great capture. To get it eating the yellow jacket was even more incredible. Excellent shooting as always.

We have had terrible weather in MA but this Friday and Saturday we had some brakes. I went to our local Quaking Bog and shot Dragonflies and Damselflies. At the end of my shooting on Saturday I spotted an Common Pondhawk (also a female). I had never seen one before. It was extremely skittish and I had trouble getting near it. It was landing on the boardwalk and would not land on any vegetation (the boardwalk was in the sun). Consequently a poor picture due to background and distance from subject.

I got two pictures and had the same problem as you, a faint OF piece of grass going through the insect. I also do not know how to remove it. I will be watching this thread for an answer as well.

I am encouraged by the fact that I am now seeing more varied species emerging. I photographed an Aurora Damsel and a Northern Bluet. I took perhaps 35 shots and none of them were worthy of posting. I'll keep trying if I can get another weather break.


Last edited by Keltech; Jun 28, 2009 at 9:45 PM.
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Old Jun 28, 2009, 9:19 PM   #3
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hope you don't mind Marv,
I copied it and played with it a little in CS4. here is what I came up with in just a few minuets.


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Old Jun 28, 2009, 10:01 PM   #4
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OK This example is not perfect as I need to get ready for work.
But the method is simple.
  • Go to your channels pallet and find the channel that shows the strip of grass the most. Now duplicate that channel by dragging it to the new channel icon.
  • With your new cannel selected open “brightness and contrast” and drag the contrast slider all the way to the right. This will create a drawing like effect.
  • Now use a black paintbrush to paint out all but the blade of grass. When done, select the RGB channel and go back to your layers pallet.
  • Go the “selection” menu and click “load selection” pick the copy channel from the drop down list.
  • Go to the “layers” menu and add a new adjustments layer. You can use “brightness and contrast”, “levels” or “curves” whichever you are more familiar and comfortable with.
  • Now adjust the sliders until the light parts caused by the grass match the rest of the image
  • The selection should have created a mask on the adjustments layer. You can now remove the adjustment from any area you don’t want it by painting on the mask with black. The edges can be softened by using the Gaussian blur. (deselect first)
  • Now repeat the process to lighten the areas darkened by the grass.
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Old Jun 29, 2009, 4:37 PM   #5
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GW & tjsnaps - Thanks for the manipulation, and the directions. I don't have CS, just elements 2.0! But I do have Gimp, and will see if this can be done in gimp too. Thanks again.

Lou - sounds like you have a great spot for odonates (as well as for unique wildflowers!). I've had most success by sneaking up on the critters from the water side whenever possible. Also I tend to lean toward them, rather than walk toward them, when I am fairly close... Looking forward to seeing more of your great shots. Just for fun, here's one more of the pondhawk (different individual at a different, but nearby location):
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