The Making of Flamingo Paradise

By PF Staff in Favorite Photos on Jan 3, 2013
The Making of Flamingo Paradise

Flamingos are colourful, stately and graceful birds. Their zoological habitat is usually well designed, offering an interesting and artistically pleasing backdrop for making great photos. In short, they make great models. As well, this particular photo presented a few challenges – to make the birds really stand out, I needed to improve the depth of field by blurring the background. And since the birds are quite detailed, this required careful use of the magnetic selection tool. In short, this photo needed additional modifications.

Equipment and Settings Used

  • Pentax Super Program Film Camera
  • 50mm lens
  • ISO: 200
  • Aperture: F8
  • Shooting Mode: Manual

Post Processing

Upon opening this photo in Photoshop CS6, I cropped it using the rule of thirds,  increased its resolution to 240 dpi; and then resized it. Next, I needed to blur the background so that the flamingos would pop out.


I duplicated the original layer and chose the magnetic selection tool to  select  the main  flamingos and the foreground. I inverted my selection and using the Lens Blur Filter,  I blurred the background , thus making the flamingos stand  out.

Moving over to Lightroom 3,   I opened my photo and turned on the before and after preview. I browsed through the presets  in the Adjustments menu and came up with two General: Auto Tone, and Wow: HLS  Only Green, to  give my photo its unique look. Satisfied with the results, I sent it back to Photoshop   and saved it as a jpeg.

Original photo:
Final result:

- jmick

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