Sharon Prislipsky, PPSA  

Painted Bunting by Sharon Prislipsky, PPSA

May 2020 - Painted Bunting

May 2020 - Sharon Prislipsky, PPSA


About the Image(s)

Like Tom, I have been trying for a picture of a Painted Bunting for years. Their summer nesting ground is in the Arkansas River Valley not far from my home, but the canopy is high and dense, and if they show themselves at all good shots are nearly impossible. So, I ended up getting my image at the same place Tom got his, Corkscrew Swamp boardwalk, although we were there at different times. The foliage here is also dense, but lower, so good light is hard to find. To make it even more difficult, this was an overcast day with periodic rain.
This was made with my Canon 5DMIV and Canon 100-400mm lens with a 1.4 teleconverter. Settings were ISO 4000; f/8; 1/1000 sec. You can see the extent of the crop. I post processed in PS to clean up spots on the leaves then into Viveza for some selective adjustments to the bird and the branch. I applied Tonal contrst and polarizer in Color Efex Pro and I am pretty sure I used the Reflector Effects preset as well. I finished with Topaz AI DeNoise and then back in LR I tweaked the luminance of red and blue to get a more natural look.
I have already had this accepted in a PIDC exhibition, but have not yet made a print. Suggestons for improvement will be welcomed.

9 comments posted

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
I think you did a fantastic job. It looks great. I like your crop which i don't think is that extreme as shown by the feather detail. My only suggestion would be to go lighter on the vignette. My taste is that a vignette should not be noticeable. I think in this case it may have darkened around the tail feathers that are a little bit lost in the darkness. I might even dodge a bit there to bring them out. Also, the vertical leaves have uneven lighting as a result of what I assume is a vignette. I found that a bit distracting. Congrats.   Posted: 05/07/2020 15:27:12
Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
After reading yours as well as Lisa's, Pam's and John's comments I increased the exposure in the bottom left, and brushed some additional light onto the tail. Then I darkened the bottom right corner so it seemed balanced to me. I also reduced the exposure on the green leaves to the right of the bird. Here is my edited version.   Posted: 05/16/2020 12:23:21
Comment Image
Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
It looks great to me Sharon. This one's a killer.   Posted: 05/16/2020 13:17:42

Lisa Auerbach   Lisa Auerbach
Your Panted Bunting is stunning. The angle of the shot is as if you are on an equal plane looking right at the bird. The feathers are sharp, the colors beautiful. You cropped to include what is good. What a grand capture. The eyes have wonderful catch light. My suggestion is so nit picky that I add it only because you asked. I look at the bunting and my eye is then drawn to the dark green area in the bottom left corner up to the wing. It seems disproportionate to the rest of the dark areas of the image. If it could be lightened a bit, I think it would smooth the final look.   Posted: 05/07/2020 15:45:55
Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
Thanks for your suggestions, Lisa. See my edit above under Mike's comment.   Posted: 05/16/2020 12:25:00

Pamela Hoaglund   Pamela Hoaglund
You are so fortunate to photograph this stunning bird. I think your crop works really well. I might suggest either giving the leaves on the right side a little room so they are not touching the edge or crop a little tighter on the right to cut the leaves off without pushing the other leaves to the edge. I would pull the crop out a little to give the leaves room. I agree with the others about the darkness in the bottom left corner. It feels like a black hole to me and I would like to see the tail a little more clearly. Wonderful image. Good luck in the exhibition.   Posted: 05/08/2020 18:39:27
Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
Thanks for your suggestions, Pam. See my edit above under Mike's comments.   Posted: 05/16/2020 12:25:38

John Roach   John Roach
Wonderful image, Sharon. I have no suggestions because it works so well for me. The color harmony, detail, composition, balance, depth of field, focus, etc. is on target. Well done.   Posted: 05/14/2020 13:08:09

Tom Brott   Tom Brott
Wonderful image. I can make no suggestions that haven't already been made. Your revised version is perfect. Great job on this wonderful bird and congratulations on your acceptance.   Posted: 05/20/2020 10:03:00


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