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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 26 Oct 2018 (Friday) 20:50
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Good Crop?

 
Isaac ­ Maxwell
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Oct 26, 2018 20:50 |  #1

Here is an early attempt at cropping a photo to get decent framing of a bird. I know the camera and the lens are, shall we say, not great, so I know the image quality leaves something to be desired. Leaving that aside, (unless there's a Photoshop trick I can actually use to clean it up further) how does the framing of the bird look? Is she in the right spot? Are the tree branches crazy enough? Too crazy? I don't know.

I used the rule of thirds to set the hawks eye at a 'power point' with the bird looking into the open part of the picture. I had her higher up, but I didn't like the look of the tree below. I had cropped it in further, but it got really (really) grainy. I sharpened and lightened the image up a bit, and turned the contrast way down to bring out more details in the bird. I included the original picture for reference.

Thanks in advance. :-)

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1901/30633032217_c261628abc_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/NEWi​eT  (external link) Hawk Trial (external link) by Isaac Maxwell (external link), on Flickr

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1902/31701694868_ef320f7f28_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/Qint​q1  (external link) IMG_0160 (external link) by Isaac Maxwell (external link), on Flickr

Total rookie here, so constructive criticism is always appreciated.

  
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TeamSpeed
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Oct 26, 2018 21:07 |  #2

Rule of thirds doesn't always work with wildlife, IMO. I would rather see more of the surroundings, so put the bird in the upper left third maybe?


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Isaac ­ Maxwell
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Oct 26, 2018 21:37 as a reply to  @ TeamSpeed's post |  #3

Thanks for the feedback. My major issue with the crop including the tree was that there was just a little at the bottom. Perhaps with more of the foliage in the frame, it won't look so out of place. I'll have to see if I can make the leaves pop, too.


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Isaac ­ Maxwell
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Oct 26, 2018 22:17 |  #4

How does this look? I certainly see the merit of having more going on in the frame. I almost feel like this is a picture of a tree with a hawk in it, though, rather than a picture of a hawk in a tree. Is there a way I can make the tree in the foreground less prominent? I'm doing a lot of reading and experimenting on Photoshop, but there is still a lot I don't know.

IMAGE: https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1978/44661266795_26cc715c33_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/2b3y​EDi  (external link) Hawk Trial II (external link) by Isaac Maxwell (external link), on Flickr

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Post edited 4 months ago by TeamSpeed. (2 edits in all)
     
Oct 26, 2018 22:52 |  #5

Without more reach to get more pixels on target, sometimes that might be what you have to do. Cropping too much to get more of the bird, depending on gear and post processing technique, might yield less than desirable results. Can you share the raw to see what others might come up with?

If that isn't the STM version of the kit lens, I suggest finding one, also the 55 250 STM is good, and gives that needed reach.


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Oct 26, 2018 23:04 |  #6

Isaac Maxwell wrote in post #18737431 (external link)
How does this look? I certainly see the merit of having more going on in the frame. I almost feel like this is a picture of a tree with a hawk in it, though, rather than a picture of a hawk in a tree. Is there a way I can make the tree in the foreground less prominent? I'm doing a lot of reading and experimenting on Photoshop, but there is still a lot I don't know.

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IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/2b3y​EDi  (external link) Hawk Trial II (external link) by Isaac Maxwell (external link), on Flickr

It's looking down, so I want to give it room to "look into". Wish there was even more room at the bottom, & I'd crop the right 40% off this one.


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bob_r
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Post edited 4 months ago by bob_r. (2 edits in all)
     
Oct 27, 2018 06:32 |  #7

You might want to change it to Portrait orientation and then put the bird in the upper right third using a 4X6 crop. This would allow you to keep just a portion of the tree trunk for an anchor, bun not so much that it's overpowering and still give the hawk plenty of room to "look into". ** I edited my post - see update below **

After realizing that you had a link to your file on Flickr, I downloaded it and tried my suggestion and it made the bird too small in the frame. I still like the portrait orientation since it allows more of the tree to show, but changed it to 8X10 and allowed the bird to be near center on the top 1/3 line. I also used the "Dodge tool" to lighten the bird. Here's the result (let me know if you want me to remove my edit):


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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Oct 27, 2018 07:15 |  #8

Phone screen capture of the larger image.

Since the bird is up high, putting it up higher in the frame seems more natural, also allowing a bit more tree "supporting" the bird.



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Oct 27, 2018 18:48 |  #9

^ This is what I would do if it were mine although I might tighten it up a little more. It's a Red-shouldered Hawk if you didn't have an id on it.


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Oct 27, 2018 19:00 |  #10

I would go somewhat more like what bob_r posted above; rotate the crop and move the bird up to the top, right so it's facing down and into the frame. Make it's line of sight your leading line through the frame.


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Isaac ­ Maxwell
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Oct 27, 2018 20:16 as a reply to  @ bob_r's post |  #11

Bob, this crop is excellent! I didn't even think to change it to portrait orientation. This is like the best of everything I was trying to do with this shot. The main tree is present but it doesn't overtake the frame. You got enough of the background tree to show that this isn't the only tree around for miles. You gave the hawk some space to look in too.

I notice you used "" on the term "dodge tool". Does this tool have a different official name? As I stated earlier in the thread, I'm still exploring the software.


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Oct 27, 2018 21:31 |  #12

If you shot it in raw, you could raise the shadows and get a little more detail in the bird. As far as the crop, the one you posted is close to what I'd do. I'd change it just to have the bird a little higher up in the frame, that would put more of the tree into the frame, close to the center vertically, and slightly left of center horizontally. Lots of empty space on the left side of the photo, so cropping it so it's more centered would get rid of a little of that.


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Isaac ­ Maxwell
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Oct 27, 2018 21:48 as a reply to  @ patrick j's post |  #13

I do have the raw, but my version of Photoshop (Elements) won't open it. I have the Canon Digital Photo Professional software that came with my camera, which can open my raw files, but I'm even less familiar with that software than I am with Photoshop. Upgrades to camera hardware and development software are in the budget, but alas, not coming any time soon. As such, I'm just trying to learn as much as I can with the equipment I have now, so that when I get the nice stuff, I might actually know how to use it.


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Oct 27, 2018 21:51 |  #14

Isaac Maxwell wrote in post #18737974 (external link)
Bob, this crop is excellent! I didn't even think to change it to portrait orientation. This is like the best of everything I was trying to do with this shot. The main tree is present but it doesn't overtake the frame. You got enough of the background tree to show that this isn't the only tree around for miles. You gave the hawk some space to look in too.

I notice you used "" on the term "dodge tool". Does this tool have a different official name? As I stated earlier in the thread, I'm still exploring the software.

Issac, thanks for the kind words and the official name is the "dodge tool" - see the image for it's location in Photoshop CS6. I'm not familiar with Photoshop Elements so can't offer any help with that software. If you have Adobe Camera Raw, you can "dodge" and/or "burn" with the adjustment brush (see below - it's the brush in blue):


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Post edited 4 months ago by Left Handed Brisket.
     
Oct 28, 2018 04:17 |  #15

Scroll down to "Improve Shadow and Highlight Detail": https://helpx.adobe.co​m …usting-shadows-light.html (external link)


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Good Crop?
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