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11-12-2020, 07:00 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
That's probably going to be a challenge no matter what you do because the bird is sitting in the background. There's no physical separation. Short of brightening just the bird, which would look strange, I'm not sure you can. But there are likely ways to crop that puts the bird off-centre that will make the background less apparent.

Iím working on that style now, along with a couple of other reworks, I get so much from my eyes, then my brothers and sisters chime in so I can see......Their visions..... then I find mine


Hang up and DRIVE!

11-13-2020, 12:17 AM - 1 Like   #17
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The cropped is not the crop of the uncropped image though. The uncropped image has a better pose for the bird, with it's face closer to parallel of the image plane. The eye is not as apparent in the cropped version so I prefer the uncropped.
11-14-2020, 04:35 PM - 1 Like   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikeMcE Quote
I’m working on that style now, along with a couple of other reworks, I get so much from my eyes, then my brothers and sisters chime in so I can see......Their visions..... then I find mine
Sounds like a good plan. I was thinking about this image today and I wondered whether if you cropped to put the bird mostly towards the top right or left corners so there wasn't much foliage to one side it would provide a partial isolation of the bird.
11-14-2020, 07:36 PM - 1 Like   #19
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Sorry I initially thought we were starting a Boomtown Rats singalong....

My 2c worth, and this is purely my opinion and not meant to dismiss and of the previous excellent comments. I will always try to take the image the way I want it to turn out, so framing is taken into consideration when I press the shutter. Not saying that I get it right every time, but it is always my initial thought. Saying that, if I spot something I didn't see or want to make a correction I will crop, or if I spot one particular part of the image I want to emphasise (such as the head shot) then I may well crop in PP.

I like the first image, it shows the natural habitat. I like the second one because it puts the emphasis on the bird. With reference to the comment on the rule of thirds while the common perception may be to place space to the left of the bird for it to look into, I would have a shot at putting space to the right, i.e. behind the bird, to see the result. Why? Because it may not give the impression of the bird sitting in a sulk in a corner, keeping out of the way (I don't expect it would work but it would be worth a look).

11-14-2020, 10:50 PM - 1 Like   #20
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I personally donít prefer the second version. But I would love to see the first a bit cropped bottom and right. The look of the bird pretty much suggests the composition and I donít think the details of the bottom right part contribute to the photo. Of course itís art , so any angle is acceptable.
11-15-2020, 03:28 PM   #21
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This has been more fun for me than anyone else! I love the reasoning and thoughts put out. So with all of that in mind, Heres the way I pitch....Curveball!!!

11-15-2020, 05:46 PM - 1 Like   #22
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I like it. Bright and the bird has the focus. Well done.
11-15-2020, 05:48 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSL Quote
I like it. Bright and the bird has the focus. Well done.
Thanks!, This accomplished the separation part, I also dropped a vignette on it.

11-15-2020, 11:32 PM   #24
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Like someone else said above, it's difficult to get the right framing in-camera most of the time (for me anyway.) so I just crop
11-22-2020, 01:05 PM - 1 Like   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikeMcE Quote
I’ve recropped this bird close to twenty five times, still not happy
QuoteOriginally posted by MikeMcE Quote
This has been more fun for me than anyone else! I love the reasoning and thoughts put out. So with all of that in mind, Heres the way I pitch....Curveball!!!
To me it doesn't matter whether the bird is looking left or right. So flipping doesn't change it IMO. I like the increased light on the heron - it definitely improves it - although I think the whites are a little overexposed.

Personally, I don't think the vignetting works here because the heron is looking into the dark. I would prefer to darken the area where it isn't looking. The dark part at the bottom doesn't help - I would just crop that out, changing the aspect ratio if necessary. I have found with a lot of bird portraits that 3:2 often doesn't work when you are trying to leave negative space where the bird is looking - especially with a thick-set bird like this. I often find that 4:3, 5:4 or 1:1 works better. Here's an illustration of a 5:4 crop.


I made a rather crude attempt to darken the foliage on the left, and reduce the hightlights, just to give you the idea. I think the whites on the bird are still just a little over-exposed.

It's a very nice capture and worth playing around with to get it just right.
11-23-2020, 01:35 PM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Des Quote
To me it doesn't matter whether the bird is looking left or right. So flipping doesn't change it IMO. I like the increased light on the heron - it definitely improves it - although I think the whites are a little overexposed.

Personally, I don't think the vignetting works here because the heron is looking into the dark. I would prefer to darken the area where it isn't looking. The dark part at the bottom doesn't help - I would just crop that out, changing the aspect ratio if necessary. I have found with a lot of bird portraits that 3:2 often doesn't work when you are trying to leave negative space where the bird is looking - especially with a thick-set bird like this. I often find that 4:3, 5:4 or 1:1 works better. Here's an illustration of a 5:4 crop.


I made a rather crude attempt to darken the foliage on the left, and reduce the hightlights, just to give you the idea. I think the whites on the bird are still just a little over-exposed.

It's a very nice capture and worth playing around with to get it just right.
More great thoughts, so more playtime for me!
11-24-2020, 01:31 AM   #27
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I prefer the cropped version as it is the main subject and so much detail to see. The eye is what I'm drawn to.

Edited: Just seen the other photos, I was talking about the OPs original photos.
11-24-2020, 05:37 AM   #28
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I like the cropped best.
11-24-2020, 05:38 AM   #29
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The rule of thirds (or is it the Law Of Thirds?) doesn’t seem appropriate for these images. I’d suggest placing the original two birds’ eyes on the vertical centre line, which places them in a dominant position and also conveys the impression the birds are looking into the frame, not distracted by something outside the frame. Your third image with the bird looking from left into the frame is nearly right, perhaps add a little vignetting to left top and bottom corners to focus attention on the bird.

Putting the dominant eye, or the only visible eye, on the centre line is often used in Old Master paintings.
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