Jim Bodkin  

Clinging Kola by Jim Bodkin

September 2020 - Clinging Kola

September 2020 - Jim Bodkin

Original 1

September 2020 - Jim Bodkin

Original 2

About the Image(s)

Last month I asked for suggestions on locations from which to submit an image. Fellow Group member, Sharron Leppien suggested her home country of Australia, which I agreed to, since we were there in January 2020 just after the wildfires and before the pandemic struck.

While in Sydney, we visited the Taronga Zoo for a day hoping to photograph some of the indigenous Australian species. We were not disappointed! There were many species of mammals and birds, but this one is iconic of Australia for me. Since we are nature photographers, the difficulty in capturing the shot was getting the face and body in focus and not getting any of the manmade structures or cut off limbs in the image. The Kola Bears (but they are really not bears) were relatively slow moving, but not too cooperative, instead mainly facing away from the camera. Of the 20+ images, this was my favorite.

The image was processed in Lightroom with cropping, and normal adjustments. I used some sharpening, and tonal adjustments to bring out the fur with radial filters and the brush, then converted to B&W in Lightroom. After B&W conversion, the leaves above the Kola were way too bright and distracting, so I used the brush tool to reduce the exposure almost 2 stops and reduce sharpness. The finished image displays what I was looking for to illustrate the wonderful Kola.

Captured handheld on a Canon 7D Mk II, with Tamron 16-300mm lens set at 124mm, f/6.3, 1/160 sec and ISO 1000.

5 comments posted

Henry Heerschap   Henry Heerschap
Wonderful capture and I really like your processing on this, Jim. My only complaint is that the animal feels crowded in the frame. I took your original and cropped it more loosely. I converted to monochrome, but didn't do nearly as good a job as you did. I just wanted to show a different crop. I cloned out a few distracting bits and darkened the end of the log to help maintain the illusion that this was in the wild.   Posted: 09/07/2020 15:50:41
Comment Image
Jim Bodkin   Jim Bodkin
Thanks, Henry. I agree that it is a very tight crop, but as a Nature photographer, I can't modify the end of the log as you did, so I could only crop it out. I do like the wider crop that you suggested.

  Posted: 09/16/2020 01:27:54

Jim Hagan   Jim Hagan
A great photo and I agree with the suggestion that more space is needed to the right of the Kola. I would also like to see the background to the top right darkened a little.   Posted: 09/10/2020 15:47:59
Jim Bodkin   Jim Bodkin
Thanks, Jim. I darkened the upper portion a lot, but evidently should have done more. I will try it again.

  Posted: 09/16/2020 01:29:26

Allen Tucker   Allen Tucker
Your mono version brings out the glowing outline of the koala, nice work.   Posted: 09/19/2020 14:08:07


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