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aladyforty Aug 25, 2004 6:33 AM

I cant seem to get rid of the soft look with the bird. I used unsharp mask, settings 400, . 0.3 and 0 (as explained by Eric some time back).

Does the soft look wreck the photo? I may post it over in extreme makeover to see if anyone else has any Ideas.

ferny Aug 25, 2004 6:40 AM

I think it's a beautiful picture, Julie. The softness may be the reason. It's a gentle, calming picture. Despite the bird being naturally looking harsh. If you catch my drift.
You just missed off the bottom of the bottlebrush though.

aladyforty Aug 25, 2004 6:42 AM

yes I saw the bottlebrush problem. I can fix that but I really wanted the bird to stand out:roll:

aladyforty Aug 25, 2004 7:20 AM

heres another go at it

Which is best?????

zoomn Aug 25, 2004 8:35 AM

Great pose!

I like the second shot best, the colors seem more vivid and the bird is sharper.

The eye seems a little bright but hard to get everything perfect.

Nice picture!!

aladyforty Aug 25, 2004 9:11 AM

thanks, I can burn the eye a little and that can improve it.

woodysworld Aug 25, 2004 10:21 AM

I like the second one best. You really nailed that shot. Great composition, lighting and location of the bird. What type of bird is that? Very nice photo.

eric s Aug 25, 2004 12:47 PM

Here are my thoughts when I see this picture.

The lighting is fair, but not great. You couldn't help the sun angle (except not take this shot) so you needed to use fill flash. It can do wonders to bring out those details and fill shadows. There is just no detail around the eye. The black looks black to me. You can try to bring some out in photoshop by using the hilight/shadow tool in PS CS, or you can make a duplicate layer mask and play with curves or levels to see if you can lighting it some. The mask will have to be the entire bird, though, as if not it will not match the black on the rest of the bird.

You have too much dead space on the right and not enough space on the left. This assumes you actually have more picture to play with. You want more space where the bird is facing. You changed this in the second picture and it is much better.

I don't actually find the picture looks particularly soft. The issue (to me) is a combination of badly placed DOF (I'd like the branch to be a bit sharper) and lack of detail. It could be sharper, but it certainly could be softer. The bird has so many dark parts and those parts have little detail. Exposing for a white and black bird is very hard to do (flash helps there some.)

The bird's pose is really great, BTW. Its one of those shots that just appears and you hope you can get it in the little time you have. I think you did well. No perfect, but perfect in the time available (a few seconds, maybe!) is extremely difficult.

I hope that helps.


aladyforty Aug 25, 2004 6:29 PM

Thanks eric, will take all that away and try and work with the photo.:-)

Normcar Aug 25, 2004 11:04 PM

alady, alady, alady

This first photo is one of the most beautiful photographs I have ever seen.

It has a fantastic spectrum of color, and red being one of the majors (red is a good color for attention)

The balance is incredible

The emotive appeal (from the bird's perspective) is magic

You might consider sharpening it slightly, but only slightly

Then enter it into the greatest wildlife photo of the year contest, and I'd not be surprised at all if you won.

This photograph is magnificent!

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