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06-13-2018, 09:10 PM - 2 Likes   #1
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Sandhill Crane
Lens: A 400/5.6 Camera: K-50 Photo Location: Golden, BC ISO: 1600 Shutter Speed: 1/200s Aperture: F8 

There were a pair of sandhill cranes in a neighbouring field. Took the photo and then, not really knowing what to do, adjusted sharpness, WB, noise, CA, and cropped in darktable. If anyone has any suggestions on what I should be doing, or comments on the image (framing, subject, exposure, etc...) I am more than happy to hear. If you want a stab at the original file to demonstrate to me a little PP skill, I would certainly oblige.




06-14-2018, 09:15 AM - 1 Like   #2
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A proud bird indeed!


I have not used Darktable but another opensource program called RawTherapee has a nice color saturation slider and has a couple of different sharpening techniques that work great. It even has a deconvolution (smart sharpen) option, so you can see which algorithm works best for your photo.

Last edited by Staubach; 06-14-2018 at 09:25 AM.
06-14-2018, 09:28 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Staubach Quote
A proud bird indeed!


I have not used Darktable but another opensource program called RawTherapee has a nice color saturation slider and has a couple of different sharpening techniques that work great. It even has a deconvolution (smart sharpen) option, so you can see which algorithm works best for your photo.
I have both RawTherapee and darktable on my computer but I simply found darktable was easier to use.
Thanks for the comment
06-14-2018, 09:46 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
comments on the image (framing, subject, exposure, etc...) I am more than happy to hear. If you want a stab at the original file to demonstrate to me a little PP skill, I would certainly oblige.
There are many things I like about the picture, it's a sharp, relatively close capture of the crane and the meadow in the woods with the white flowers isn't the sort of setting I would expect to see a Sandhill Crane (it looks nothing like southwestern Saskatchewan, I will tell you that). The Viveza plug-in from the Nik Collection lets you mask off various parts of the image to make the usual alterations (contrast, brightness, hue, etc.), if you like I can try to change the background so the crane and the grass and flowers in the foreground stand out more using Lightroom and Viveza; even if I make your image worse, I'll still post it so you will appreciate your version more.

06-14-2018, 09:50 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by RGlasel Quote
There are many things I like about the picture, it's a sharp, relatively close capture of the crane and the meadow in the woods with the white flowers isn't the sort of setting I would expect to see a Sandhill Crane (it looks nothing like southwestern Saskatchewan, I will tell you that). The Viveza plug-in from the Nik Collection lets you mask off various parts of the image to make the usual alterations (contrast, brightness, hue, etc.), if you like I can try to change the background so the crane and the grass and flowers in the foreground stand out more using Lightroom and Viveza; even if I make your image worse, I'll still post it so you will appreciate your version more.
Thanks for the kind words, we just saw the pair of them in a neighbour's field, they've been there a few days but I had a chance to go down and see if I could approach them to take a photo, they were quite friendly. I've also sent you a PM. Cheers.
06-14-2018, 11:46 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I would say there is too much space which draws the eye away from the main subject. A tighter (most likely vertical) crop would add to the overall presentation of otherwise great capture. Maybe a slight tweak with contrast, selective saturation would also be beneficial.
Overall very nice capture.
06-14-2018, 11:49 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by madphys Quote
I would say there is too much space which draws the eye away from the main subject. A tighter (most likely vertical) crop would add to the overall presentation of otherwise great capture. Maybe a slight tweak with contrast, selective saturation would also be beneficial.
Overall very nice capture.
Thank you for your suggestion and kind words
06-14-2018, 12:25 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Good crane and photo. cheers

06-14-2018, 01:32 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by gmans Quote
Good crane and photo. cheers
Thank you for the comment
06-14-2018, 02:01 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Composition is fine for me but the noise makes the crane look a bit soft. Noise is something I have not learned to deal with in post so I try to avoid it like the plague. Image is also a little flat. A wee bit more contrast may be in order. Also a shutter speed of 1/200 with a 400mm focal length lens may be affecting the sharpness as well. Looks pretty good as is but a faster shutter speed may have made a difference. All in all it's a pretty good shot bertwert.
06-14-2018, 02:04 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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Because of the colour and the background really the only thing that might have been better shooting would have been ƒ5.6, for maybe some background separation, It's tough, you're happy to get a shot, but in situations like this there's not a lot you can do to get a better shot. I'm not sure there's not much you can do in post without completely re-working the image, darkening the background. You seriously need some colour contrast.
06-14-2018, 02:05 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DW58 Quote
Composition is fine for me but the noise makes the crane look a bit soft. Noise is something I have not learned to deal with in post so I try to avoid it like the plague. Image is also a little flat. A wee bit more contrast may be in order. Also a shutter speed of 1/200 with a 400mm focal length lens may be affecting the sharpness as well. Looks pretty good as is but a faster shutter speed may have made a difference. All in all it's a pretty good shot bertwert.
Thanks

It wasn't very bright outside, so that would be why the shutter speed was low. Maybe I'll go back when it's sunny in the middle of the day rather than cloudy at 8:30 at night. See if I can get a sharper and less noisy photo, if they are still there.
06-14-2018, 02:07 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Because of the colour and the background really the only thing that might have been better shooting would have been ƒ5.6, for maybe some background separation, It's tough, you're happy to get a shot, but in situations like this there's not a lot you can do to get a better shot. I'm not sure there's not much you can do in post without completely re-working the image, darkening the background. You seriously need some colour contrast.
Thanks for the input on colours
06-14-2018, 07:24 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Because of the colour and the background really the only thing that might have been better shooting would have been 5.6, for maybe some background separation, It's tough, you're happy to get a shot, but in situations like this there's not a lot you can do to get a better shot. I'm not sure there's not much you can do in post without completely re-working the image, darkening the background. You seriously need some colour contrast.
These animals are designed to blend into their surroundings (*), so this is may be what we're stuck with if they're where they belong


(*) I've been told that at least some animals have a form of color-blindness that makes orange and green look the same, which is why tigers look as they do. Finding an animal like that is a happy time, unless he decides you'd make a good appetizer.
06-14-2018, 08:00 PM - 1 Like   #15
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I took a different tack by lightening the background because the crane is already getting lost in the dark colours. The first two were exported as TIFF files to Viveza (a Nik plug-in) without any extra processing in Lightroom. Viveza has control points which basically create feathered masks based on similar colours within a set distance from the control point. The trick was to set control points that didn't include the crane's neck, I used 5 and 6 control points, but I could have set a couple dozen control points with small ranges and changed settings for each control point instead of a group like I did, to get better control over the final result.

The first copy below has brightness increased for control points in the background trees and the horizontal brown line just in front of the trees. The second copy has just the background trees as control points, but along with increasing brightness, I decreased contrast and warmth (I think warmth is a combination of colour temperature and hue, but I'm not sure). The third copy is only processed in Lightroom, with only clarity adjusted. Once I finished editing in Viveza, I then set clarity in Lightroom to +30 for all three copies and I increased sharpness in Lightroom on the first copy from the standard setting of 25 to 54.

The main problem that I see is that the crane's neck is very close in colour to a lot of things in the background. I tried changing red, green and blue levels, saturation and white balance, but I didn't get anything that looked natural or was an improvement. It is possible to get better masking with photo editing software like Photoshop or Gimp, but that requires a much bigger investment of time. Next time tell the crane to come back when the sun is out and get him (her?) to stand in front of a big patch of dark green bush that is in shadow.
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