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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Visual Enjoyment Birds 
Thread started 15 Dec 2013 (Sunday) 23:53
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Downy Woodpecker - Post Processing Practice

 
Birdwatcher86
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Dec 15, 2013 23:53 |  #1

Trying to get better at post processing, in particular I am trying to to create photos with a smooth background and a subject that pops.

I found this old photo from a year or so ago and it had a lot of noise in the background, so I cleaned it up. I feel like it turned out pretty good. Critiques welcome! thanks for looking :)

IMAGE: http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3747/11397391723_8ae9e6ab4c_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/58782637@N07/1​1397391723  (external link)

Michael
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Peter2516
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Dec 15, 2013 23:57 |  #2

Looks great awesome shot.


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Birdwatcher86
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Dec 16, 2013 00:01 |  #3

Thanks Peter!


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BigSkyKen
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Dec 16, 2013 00:20 |  #4

Looks to me like you nailed the shot and did a nice job of PP. Only negative may be cutting off the tip of the tail...but then, maybe it is all there.


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Birdwatcher86
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Dec 16, 2013 00:25 |  #5

Yeah, I'm not sure if it's all there either. I cut it off with the camera and not the crop, so there is no way around that :) ... I do wish it had been a little more even on the bottom as it is on the top. But it does bring focus to his head, so that is a plus I guess.


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Birdwatcher86
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Dec 16, 2013 00:32 |  #6

Here is the original, No PP or crop

IMAGE: http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5545/11397897015_5e29965769_h.jpg
IMAGE LINK: http://www.flickr.com …/58782637@N07/1​1397897015  (external link)

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Oldjackssparrows
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Dec 16, 2013 05:00 |  #7

What are you using for your pp work? The only problems I see is the upper chest and the foot. One trick I use in PS5 is to go to selective color, select neutrals, neutrals only and slide back anywhere between -5 and -15. I keep three presets, -5, -10 and -15, rarely use -15 and most commonly use -5 It does darken and bring out more contrast but it makes the bird pop like you are looking for. Black and white birds can be very hard to expose on. Many disagree with me but I always shoot one full stop underexposing to control those hot whites, unless it is very cloudy with no sun, you can almost always bring back the brightness and compensate for the contrast from the neutral adjustment with brightness and contrast. Give it a go and see what you can do. It may bring back the real hot white chest and darkens the background to kind of separate the background from the subject. A smooth background, they love to laugh at you with lots of sticks in the area, helps them stay away from the Hawks too.. well, that is up to the bird to allow you such a pretty background unless you have it setup in the yard. Good Luck


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SJC ­ from ­ VT
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Dec 16, 2013 05:52 |  #8

Good idea to show the finished image first. I think you did an amazing job after seeing what you started out with.


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Birdwatcher86
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Dec 16, 2013 09:20 |  #9

oldjackssparrows:

Thanks for the critique! That information is really helpful. I agree, I lost some detail in the upper chest area... It didn't get blown out completely, but the contrast did leave some feather detail behind considering the original was already slightly blown in that area. The post processing for this photo was mostly all done in DPP alone, including the stamping out of the background. After converting the file in DPP I used gimp for an Unsharp mask, in which I only sharpen the "value" after decomposing the photo to HSV. I also slightly adjusted the curve for a bit more pop in GIMP.

SJC:

Thank you! I really appreciate it. This took quite some time to make a smooth background and keep the edges of the bird intact. It was fun getting to see the final product though.

-Michael


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2n10
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Dec 16, 2013 09:51 |  #10

Great job on the PP. I have been doing the same with Photoshop CC. I don't know what PP software you are using. You can recover the blown highlights if they are not too far gone by lower your exposure and/or the highlights. You did a great job removing the background branches.


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Downy Woodpecker - Post Processing Practice
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