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.

5 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

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

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

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

John Roach   John Roach
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


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