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Old Apr 14, 2003, 12:33 AM   #1
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Default Canon 10D 100-400 combo

I did manage to grab my first decent photo of a red-winged blackbird today. I'm continuing to learn how to run this thing, but I've still got a ways to go.

Link to the growing 10D album: http://www.pbase.com/wmlarso/canon_10d

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Old Apr 14, 2003, 6:49 AM   #2
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Ward, I like this shot, but a couple of things to bear in mind.

On my monitor (Compaq V70) I'm not picking up very much detail on the underparts. I've noticed this with my CP4500 where you've got a high contrast between the lighting on the back of a bird and its underparts. Maybe we've got the same thing here. There's no easy answer apart from a "fill-in" flash gun (you can mimick this in Photoshop but I'm not convinced) or try more and more shots until the bird and the light are at the correct angle to catch some more feather detail and a "gleam in the eye".

I'd also consider re-cropping the image to concentrate on such a bonny bird.
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Old Apr 14, 2003, 11:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
I'd also consider re-cropping the image to concentrate on such a bonny bird.
So would I

The bird just gets lost in all the twigs.
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Old Apr 14, 2003, 8:50 PM   #4
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I'll take your very good suggestions. I cropped and brought out some of the detail that was hidden in all of the black body of this bird. I believe that it does look better. What do you think?

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Old Apr 15, 2003, 10:53 AM   #5
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Yep, I think it's much better.

Here's a challenge for you. Carefully select around the bird and inverse the selection and apply a little gaussian blur and darken a bit and see how it looks
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Old Apr 15, 2003, 3:46 PM   #6
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steve6,

I'm interested in how you think this will improve it. To me the picture is already a little less than sharp, so what effect are you trying for?
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Old Apr 16, 2003, 11:07 AM   #7
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I'm interested in how you think this will improve it
By blurring and darkening the background and leaving the subject in focus will hi-light the bird even more - it's just normal portrait procedure to have an out-of-focus BG to concentrate attention to the subject.

I'm only saying it's worth a try and it's all subjective.
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Old May 18, 2003, 7:23 AM   #8
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Ward,

Those suckers are hard to get, for me at least, because they're so fast and skittish. Nice shot. I agree with the above opinion on cropping. Don't be afraid to make major crops, because the 10D images have plenty of detail and the very slight trade off is often way overridden by the better composition. Those Redwinged Blackbirds always perch too far to fill the frame, so you gotta do some surgery.

As far as the contrast range, there is a Photoshop trick that I sometimes use that saves the day. If you shoot RAW you can do it:

1) Expose for the highlights, so that they are not blown. You'll be able to bring out the shadow detail anyway.

2) a) If you are shooting stuff that stands still, use a tripod and shoot another image, this time exposing for the shadow detail, and the heck with the highlights. b) If it's a shot like this, you won't get a second shot, so just do #1, as above.

3) Convert the image twice (the most wonderful program for this is Capture 1 LE, which you can get for $89). One conversion should be as shot, or even with negative exposure comp, -.5 to - 1, to retain highlight detail. Don't worry if that overdoes it since you can always do another conversion.

The second conversion should be to bring out the shadow detail, and can be +1 to +2 stops overexposed. Don't worry about the highlights.

4) Convert the mode of each to 8-bit if they were converted as 16-bit pix.

5)On the darker image, select All, then Edit> Copy, andEdit> Paste it into the lighter image, where it will now be the top layer.

6) Layers>LayerMask>Reveal All

7) Go to Channels, and click on the new LayerMask channel at the bottom. Click on the left side where the little eye is, then unclick the eye in the RGB and individual color channels above.

8: With the Layer Mask channel selected, the image should go white. The do Edit>Paste. You should get a B&W copy of the image now.

9) Click on the RGB channel.

10) Do Select>Load Selection.

6)Go to Layers>Merge Visible.

7) Go to Select> Deselect.

You should now have your image with highlights and detail, not much increase of noise, if any, and you can touch up the tone with levels or curves for a bit more contrast.

It doesn't always do a perfect job, but if you play around with the amounts of over/under exposure compensation when converting to the two images, you'll find the best settings to use.

This technique has samved many images, but, again, you have to do your original shot by exposing for the highlight detail.

I think my steps are accurate, so try it and be amazed...(not my technique, I'm just passing it along.)
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