Mike Cohen  

King Cormorant by Mike Cohen

January 2020 - King Cormorant

January 2020 - Mike Cohen


About the Image(s)

Here is my submission for January. It's a King Cormorant, also known
locally as a "Shag" taken as it was coming into the cliffs for a landing. I
ran Topaz Denoise AI and Nik's Tonal Contrast. I'm not quite sure what else
I did beside the crop that is shown. This was taken with a Sony a9ii, Sony
400mm at f/4.5, 1/3200 second at an ISO of 3200.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
9 comments posted

Pamela Hoaglund   Pamela Hoaglund
A nice action shot of the Cormorant. It looks very sharp from wing tip to wing tip. Your selection of a small f stop made for a pleasing background. I like that we can see at least one eye as he looks down to find his landing spot.   Posted: 01/09/2020 13:30:27

Lisa Auerbach   Lisa Auerbach
The first time I looked at the image I could not detect the head. It is at an odd angle and color wise blends into the wing. Otherwise this is another great shot. Every part of your bird is tack sharp. I like the feet, the way they are positioned, the clarity, the color. The head feathers are silky smooth. Whatever path you took to treat your background works, and I would take it that way a bit more to make the background a bit less prominent.   Posted: 01/11/2020 18:14:10

Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
I think the title of this image should be "Showoff." You have dfinitely captured this bird in a unique position. Whatever you did in post processing softened the water nicely in my opinion. The depth of field works well for me and the bird appears to be quite sharp. I would be curious to know how you think the de-noise program in Topaz compares to Define in NIK. I recently heard someone say that the Topaz was better, but I have not had an opportunity to try it.   Posted: 01/14/2020 09:43:26
Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
Thanks Sharon. I love Topaz. I think it's added a stop or more to my ISO it does such a good job. That said, I only use it on my high ISO images. I don't use Define so I can't really make a comparison. But I generally use Noiseware which I think it terrific but Topaz blows it away. They offer a trial version. On key, turn off automatic updates of the preview so you can move the image around without it having to re-render the preview. It was very slow at first but, at least on my computer, it takes about 15 seconds to render. Still slow but worth it.   Posted: 01/15/2020 15:10:03

John Roach   John Roach
(Group 64)
Excellent. The angle of view, behavior, light, color harmony are wonderful. I can offer no suggestions. Well done.   Posted: 01/15/2020 13:32:41

Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Amazing image. I did have to study the bird a bit before I realized that you had frozen a movement in the bird's landing choreography. The position of the bird's body, the graceful upward of the wing tip feathers, the downward-pointing head, the landing gear feet, and the overall detail are wonderful. The crop is perfect and provides negative space below the bird for the descent. The blurred and mottled blue/brown water provide an interesting background against which the orange in the beak and the pink feet attract my eyes. Where were you standing when you captured this image?   Posted: 01/22/2020 20:30:51
Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
Thanks Judith. Knowing the subject sometimes makes it harder to see it objectively, so it really helps to have pointed out that the head is hard to see. I have some others where that is not the case making that feedback very helpful. Thanks to you and Lisa for pointing that out, as well as the other feedback.

I was standing on a cliff, behind where they were landing. Sometimes they would fly by but I liked the shots as they were coming in to land. Their head was down as they were braking looking for a spot to squeeze into between the other birds.   Posted: 01/23/2020 09:51:13

Another great image. My only concern is that your processing has washed out the bird a bit too much. I like the pop in the original of the bird but the processed water in the processed image. It really looks like you had some fantastic trips in the last couple of months.   Posted: 01/23/2020 11:00:27
Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
Thanks Tom. I'm going to get back into the original with your comment in mind and see what I think. Good stuff. And, yes, 2019 was a banner year for me. I've already apologized to my son for diminishing his inheritance.   Posted: 01/23/2020 14:21:41