Judith Lesnaw  

Blah, Blah, Blah by Judith Lesnaw

January 2020 - Blah, Blah, Blah

January 2020 - Judith Lesnaw


About the Image(s)

Last weekend I visited Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge in Delaware. My goal was to capture an image of one of the flocks of Snow Geese reported to be in the area. I arrived to late in the evening to see the flock, but earlier, on the way to the Refuge I spied a large flock of sea gulls in a parking lot along the water. I stopped to practice taking photos of birds. The one-legged gull with his beak wide open in squawking and telling me off as his buddy looks on approvingly.
Canon 80D, Tamron 16-300mm lens at 3oomm, f8, 1/3200sec, ISO 800.
In Lightroom I cropped, and adjusted highlights, shadows, texture, vibrancy, and in Photoshop I attempted to remove an out of focus gull in back of the onlooker.

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

Pamela Hoaglund   Pamela Hoaglund
I like the two subjects you chose to keep in your image. For me this is a difficult image to try to remove distracting elements without it causing artifacts. There are obvious shadows still there but no subject causing the shadow. I think with a lot technical post processing the background could be made to look natural. I don't try to remove large elements in an image but instead try to capture the initial image with the subject more isolated with few distractions around it.   Posted: 01/09/2020 13:41:58
Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Many thanks for your comments. Please see my reply to Mike for my attempt to address the comments.   Posted: 01/27/2020 14:08:33

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
I love the subjects. Makes me smile. I also like the concept of removing the distracting objects. As Pamela pointed out, however, the artifacts left by the removal I think ruins the image. That said, I think you can fix this in PS. The area where the birds were removed are in focus relative to the sand immediately adjacent. I would make a new layer and clone in some of the adjacent area into the area in focus. I might also paint in some blur attempting to make the areas that replaced the birds look like all the other background near them. I would also crop in on the left as there are some tail feather sticking into the image. Even a tight crop might work here, concentrating on the fun expressions of the birds.   Posted: 01/10/2020 13:45:33
Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Thanks for the suggestions. I did attempt to learn some tools in photoshop, and apply them to my image. I still have MUCH to learn, but I am thrilled that I finally bit the bullet and dove into photoshop.

In the image below: 1) I selected large objects of distraction and then applied fill-content aware. Then 2) I attempted to clean it up with the clone stamp. I did all this with the pad on my laptop. I now realize that I must get one of those Wacom drawing pads to achieve more detailed results. Any advice would be welcome--and taken.

  Posted: 01/27/2020 14:07:06
Comment Image
Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
Great job Judith. I might crop in a bit to emphasize the bird's great expression.   Posted: 01/27/2020 14:14:51

Lisa Auerbach   Lisa Auerbach
The open mouth adds to the interest and gives me a smile. The way you chose to present it adds humor because one bird is chirping while the other looks on. The viewer can only guess what the second one thinks. A fun nature story. Mike has added ideas for removing the distractions. Another idea would be to leave in the third bird just above and a bit left of the right-hand bird. Threes are interesting.   Posted: 01/11/2020 18:13:12
Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Many thanks for your comments. Please see my reply to Mike for my attempt to address the comments.   Posted: 01/27/2020 14:08:51

Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
I see what compelled you to capture this image. Gulls have a way of appearing to be mocking us sometimes. In my opinion, this is a complicated image and it will involve a lot of work to get it right. I agree with most of the suggestions others have made, so will not repeat them. One question I had though was whether or not you were burst shooting. When shooting birds in action I always set my auto focus to AI Servo and multiple shots. If you capture more frames there is a good chance you will get one where the compositon works just right.   Posted: 01/14/2020 09:37:05
Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Many thanks for your comments. Please see my reply to Mike for my attempt to address the comments.   Posted: 01/27/2020 14:09:05
Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Thanks for the suggestion to employ the servo setting on my camera. I finally figured out that the reason it wasnt working was that I had the camera set to shoot raw. For servo on my Canon only JPEG will work. I now feel empowered. Of course I had to get a larger smart card.   Posted: 01/27/2020 14:11:42

John Roach   John Roach
(Group 64)
Judith, I applaud your effort. However, the cloning action left artifacts that distract from the story. The foreground bird definitely is proving some really nice behavior and is well worth the capture, however, it works in a different composition and when you can isolate the bird and his side kick better from the rest. The comments of other are on target. The background is the culprit here because there is no way to make very compelling crop and clean out distractions. Sharon's suggestions are right on target. Keep at, do many successive frames, shift angle of view and create even shallower depth of field in order to begin to see alternatives that will work when you have the chance next time.   Posted: 01/15/2020 13:30:25
Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Many thanks for your comments. Please see my reply to Mike for my attempt to address the comments.   Posted: 01/27/2020 14:11:57

I think the others have pretty much covered how to enhance this image. One of the first checks I do when taking an image is BACKGROUND. Are their distracting factors behind the image? The two birds that were chosen were great with detail and color but the handling of removals and finished background is not pleasing to the image.(Yours leave shadows of other birds and also the texture of the road/pebbles is a mixture of blur and well defined detail but they are not on the same planes and mixed.   Posted: 01/23/2020 10:51:30
Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Many thanks for your comments. Please see my reply to Mike for my attempt to address the comments.   Posted: 01/27/2020 14:12:21
Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
You are a fast learner! I think the way you have edited that image makes it much more visually appealing.   Posted: 01/27/2020 15:13:35