Jim Horn  

catfish to go by Jim Horn

October 2020 - catfish to go

October 2020 - Jim Horn


About the Image(s)

Sony α99ii, Sony 500mm f/4 lens with 1.4 teleconverter (focal length 700mm), f/5.6, 1/4000 sec., ISO 3200, tripod, gimbal.
This Blue Heron caught this catfish right below me at the Conowingo Dam, Susquehanna River, Maryland. The rocky riverbank obscured the heron until it had stabbed the catfish and flew downstream right below me. It is exceedingly rare to photograph a heron in flight from above. As you can see from the original, there was no cropping. The heron was that close to me. In Photoshop I used Camera Raw filter adjustments on exposure. I did some dodge tool brightening on the neck shadow and used the burn tool on the back to bring out more detail on the feathers. I don’t like the color of the water, but that’s what it looked like after the rainstorm. Does anyone have suggestions on how to adjust the color of the water without changing the color of the blue heron?

9 comments posted

Thorro Jones   Thorro Jones
Jim you did a great job bringing out the details in the heron's neck area and feathers in PS. The sharpness of the details in the feathers as well as the eye is amazing. I do agree that the water color is ugly. However, I am not sure how to correct the color unless you used another water photo for the background.   Posted: 10/02/2020 13:27:19

John Tabaczynski   John Tabaczynski
Jim, Good capture!!! I messed with it a bit to give you a flavor of what you could do with the color change question. First watch this video
<<< https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/how-to/change-color-object.html >>

I messed with a raw developer first but that did not go where I wanted so the bird lost some quality. However, you can do anything you want with the color of the water. You can see my feeble attempt in the attached. Watch the video and then play with it. I think your bird is Good w/o the further adjustment I added on my part.


  Posted: 10/06/2020 09:38:32
Comment Image

John Tabaczynski   John Tabaczynski
Here is a better version with the bird back to the original. One would need to refine the edges on the selection to make this first class. Then the water needs to be played with toget it to a more natural tone.   Posted: 10/06/2020 10:17:57
Comment Image
Jim Horn   Jim Horn
Tab, I watched the video - that is a great help. As far as your color selection of aqua/turquoise - that would be good for shallow tropical salt water. This was taken at fresh water, Susquehanna River at the Chesapeake Bay. I'll just look at other photos with water I like, select it in Photoshop and then drop in this photo. You have been very helpful. I think I need to put in a lot of practice on this. Jim   Posted: 10/10/2020 11:13:11

Laura Lee Bartholomew   Laura Lee Bartholomew
I think you managed to catch a brief moment in time quite well.

I agree that the water is kind of dull and muddy looking. But, the bright aqua does not feel natural at all.

My suggestion is that you look into the TK7 adjustment panel for LR and PS by Tony Kuyper. It is inexpensive (I paid less than $50), and it has amazing tools for isolating very specific parts of an image without affecting other parts of the image.   Posted: 10/10/2020 18:32:21

Laura Lee Bartholomew   Laura Lee Bartholomew
Just another thought...this is an excellent nature image that tells a story. It would probably do very well in any PSA nature competition. However, there are strict rules for what can be edited in nature categories. If you think you might ever enter it in competition, you should familiarize yourself with the editing guidelines.   Posted: 10/10/2020 18:35:53
Laura Lee Bartholomew   Laura Lee Bartholomew
Ha, ha, ha...when I wrote that last response, I forgot whose image this was. Jim, of course you know the guidelines for entering images into nature categories.   Posted: 10/10/2020 18:37:38
Jim Horn   Jim Horn
Laura, yes, I do know that I can't enter this in the Nature Division, but there is an option to enter it in PIDC.
Here is the most recent PDF from August 2020 - Guide for Nature Division Judges. Go to
https://psa-photo.org/index.php?nature-division and then click on the PDF download. It shows some great examples of what is accepted. Jim   Posted: 10/11/2020 10:00:27

Sam Fernando   Sam Fernando

This is a great photo. You have caught the bird in action. This is one of the best action shots for me. I don't have any problems with the color of the water. It looks natural and, for me, it is not dull color.

I think it is a good idea to bring up bit more details of the fish, especially the white area, using burning and dodging.   Posted: 10/14/2020 22:45:53


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