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Old Aug 15, 2005, 10:10 PM   #1
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Today I went back to where the Wood Storks and Egrets were. The last time I was there and shooting those white birds I was using exp comp of -1. Today I tried again and used -1.3 and even though I had to lighten up the background in some of them I was quite proud of myself. Now lets see what you all think.

All were taken with ISO-400 and in Aperature Priority mode at F5.6 and shutter speeds varied between 1/1000 and 1/2500. I also was using Partial metering.

1. Calling his/her mate.......or maybe just yawning. Cropped just a tad, resized, used SRPro to lighten up the background some, levels and FM but it took very little of that.
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Old Aug 15, 2005, 10:13 PM   #2
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2. I think he just said "You better hurry up and get your photo, I can't stand like this much longer".

Full frame and just resized down to post.
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Old Aug 15, 2005, 10:15 PM   #3
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3. From the way those legs are spread your guess is as good as mine as why.......

Cropped a tad and resized down.
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Old Aug 15, 2005, 10:19 PM   #4
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4. A long hard stare at me as if to say you've got enough now so be on your way.

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Old Aug 15, 2005, 10:27 PM   #5
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5. A shot here of the birds in the trees waiting for me to leave but I didn't. And finally they started returning. Maybe tomorrow night I can get some of the inflights processed and posted.
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Old Aug 15, 2005, 10:41 PM   #6
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Nice series, Houston! Woodstorks don't occur where I live so it's great to see the pictures of them.

Love the yawn you captured in the first picture. The pose and composition in the next to last one is very good and with perhaps a tad more selection/curves/levels work I think you could make it pop. The rookery shot is interesting as most of the shots we see of storks, herons, egrets, etc., always seem to be of the birds wading in the water.
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Old Aug 15, 2005, 11:04 PM   #7
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geoffs wrote:
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Love the yawn you captured in the first picture. The pose and composition in the next to last one is very good and with perhaps a tad more selection/curves/levels work I think you could make it pop. The rookery shot is interesting as most of the shots we see of storks, herons, egrets, etc., always seem to be of the birds wading in the water.
Thanks for looking in Geoffs and I appreciate your comment. But to be honest I just don't know what "curves" is. I've seen it mentioned occasionally here in the forum and I've looked in Photoshop Elements 2 that I use and I just haven't found it in there. Could you possibly explain it for me.

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Old Aug 15, 2005, 11:38 PM   #8
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Great shots of a very unique looking bird, Houston. I do believe that you have improved your work flow with these over the last ones in the area of exposure. I agree with geoff that a touch of contrast pop would help here and leave it to him to explain about PhotoShop as I use Paint Shop Pro. However, let me make this very clear, these are excellent shots and very well exposed indeed.
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Old Aug 16, 2005, 1:55 AM   #9
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Houston, you have definitely joined the ranks of the "National Geographic" photojournalists now, well done !!
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I agree with geoff that a touch of contrast pop would help here
I would also give a bit of selective saturation boost, but then that is subjective to one's preference

The SR pro from FM is great, I do use it alternatively with the other method, Houston.

Give that other adjustment a bash as well [the Parameter settings on the Menu of the 20D, go to "Set 1,2 or 3" and change the contrast of any one of them to quite low, leaving the saturation and sharpness up [Others might have other ideas, I just found that with my 20d and 100-400 in jpeg mode, this gives a more balanced expoure]
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Old Aug 16, 2005, 2:05 AM   #10
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Houston wrote:
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Thanks for looking in Geoffs and I appreciate your comment. But to be honest I just don't know what "curves" is. I've seen it mentioned occasionally here in the forum and I've looked in Photoshop Elements 2 that I use and I just haven't found it in there. Could you possibly explain it for me.
Houston, it's been so long since I used PS2 that I forgot what it had and what it didn't have. So, I went back to my copy and ran it and I saw that it does not support curves. It's still ok. PSE2 still has some very able tools, just not as comprehensive or capable as PSCS makes available.

I hope you don't mind, but I downloaded the next to last photo and edited it in PSE2 and here it is:



The above was a result of a very quick edit (about 10 minutes) and isn't meant to be perfect, but just to illustrate what you can do.

I selected just the woodstork - you'll notice my selection was rushed and not perfect by looking down near the legs where things start getting a bit fuzzy. Then I inverted the selection so that everything but the woodstork was selected, feathering the selection by 3 pixels. I added a levels adjustment layer using the selection as the layer mask and adjusted levels of the elements other than the stork. Then I once again selected just the stork and applied local contrast enhancement (just USM at settings of 10-20/60/0). Then, I also sharpened using the same selection mask meaning that only the stork would be sharpened and not the BG or water. Finally, I cloned out the stick passing in front of the stork so that it instead looked like it was passing behind the stork. 10 minutes of work. To do it right on the original resolution picture probably would take 2-3 times that amount of time.

There's a lot of subjectivity involved in that what looks better to some people might look worse to others. So, is my rendition of your image more or less pleasing in your eyes?
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