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Old Mar 30, 2005, 9:28 PM   #11
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Great shot Eric, these are some of the prettiest birds in the world and you caught it well. Do you ever open your camera up for your shots? I have been shooting at +2/3 stop with good results.
The higlight you mention is it the white, or the pinpoint at the tip of the beak. I ask because I believe the beak has some white on top/either side.
Was looking at your processing, what is "double raw convert"? Never heard of that. [Course there is a lot of stuff I never heard of]
Nice shooting.
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 10:14 PM   #12
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Great color capture of this colorful duck. Very good work.
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Old Mar 30, 2005, 10:22 PM   #13
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You know what, you're right. I didn't think they had white there but I just looked it up in my Sibley's Guide and it has white on the side of the bill. And here I was thinking it was a blown hilight (it was a very bright day.) Thanks for the info!

Well, my definition of "opening up" is to shoot at large apertures. I often shoot at the largest aperture (especially if I have the TC on) but I don't always. I do often shoot stopped down a bit. I also like the exposure comp. I think the reason I don't list it is 'cause PS doesn't list that when you get info on the file. Let me take a look using Canon's utils. What do you know, I shot the male at -1/3 EC & the female at -2/3. I did this to not blow out the white on the neck of the male, which I almost did any ways. I had some longer distance shots of this wood duck from the week before and not only were the whites blown out they also had light blue halos that bleeded over into the duck. Really ugly.

The double convert is a neat PS trick. I believe that Breeze Browser can do this automatically (some good software package can, I'm not 100% sure its that one.)

Basically, open the RAW file (it has to be RAW) and adjust the exposure and color balance so the picture is generally right and convert it. Ignore the whites.

Duplicate the picture and close the original.

Open the picture again and adjust the exposure for the whites (the white balance will still be right 'cause it will reuse the setting from the previous conversion.) Don't worry if the rest of the picture looks wrong.

Then use control-a to select the entire image in the second conversion and then switch over to the first conversion and paste. This will create a new layer that holds the image exposed for the whites, on top of the normally exposed image. Now create a mask on the second layer, fill it black, and then paint white on the mask to expose the whites from the other image, feathering them so it looks good.

This will produce an image with good light detail on an otherwise properly exposed bird. I do this very infrequently (the whites can't be that far out of properly exposed or they will look bad... usually with a color cast or come out sorta flat and slightly gray) but there are times when the results are worth the effort.

Glad you liked the pictures.

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Old Mar 31, 2005, 12:48 AM   #14
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wow!!! great shots Eric!!!! I've only seen 1 male wood duck my entire life. You captured them perfectly!!!

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Old Mar 31, 2005, 8:52 PM   #15
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Yes, Great shots

Oddly enough my book tells me that they are common...

I've seen them quite a few times from a distance. They are VERY timid, and vanish at the first sight or sound of a human.

There is another very colorful Duck in North America, but it's only realtionship to the Wood Duck is that it's a duck - The Harliquin Duck.

The Wood Duck is a Tree Duck, while the Harliquin is a sea Duck..

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Old Apr 1, 2005, 1:47 PM   #16
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Wood ducks are an odd one. They are probably more common than I think, just (as you say) timid. I am very happy when I find one, though... they just don't hang out where I usually go.

Harliquin Duck are great. I don't have any good pictures of them, but I certainly would like to. I've only see one or two ever.

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