Sharon Prislipsky, PPSA  

Silent Observer by Sharon Prislipsky, PPSA

February 2021 - Silent Observer

February 2021 - Sharon Prislipsky, PPSA


About the Image(s)

I was actually watching another bird when this guy flew up and landed quite close in a tree beind me. He must have just finished breakfast because he stayed right there and let me get surprisingly close. I was just lucky he kept his eyes open!
So, you see, it was not a difficult shot to capture, but cleaning him up was more challenging. This was captured with my Canon 5DMIV and Canon 100-400mm lens with a 1.4 teleconverter.
After setting white and black points and bumping up the exposure a bit, the first thing I had to do was remove all the dirt from his feathers. In Viveza I did some targeted adjustments, including adding contrast and structure especially to the eye and beak. In Color Efex Pro I used White Neutralizer, Polarizer, Pro Contrast and Reflextor Effects, Silver. I decided that a square crop worked best with the diagonal line of the beak pointing right to the eye.

10 comments posted

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
I love your crop. It makes the bill the star of the show and emphasizes it's length. Great job. I suggest slightly lightening up the eye and face area. The feathers on the crown of the head look blown but I brought your original into LR and was able to at least draw some attention away from that area and with the raw you may be able to do even better. My last nitpick is the feathers peaking out from the top of the head. I would either remove them or make your crop slightly larger so they have more of a source. These are all nitpicks to this very nice image.   Posted: 02/02/2021 12:07:56
Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
I seeyour points. Hereis a dfferent edit of the same image. Your thoughts?   Posted: 02/06/2021 16:01:34
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LC Boros   LC Boros
my comments are pretty much in line with Mike's.   Posted: 02/19/2021 21:40:01

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
Nice work. I like the revised version better.   Posted: 02/07/2021 14:34:36

Pamela Hoaglund   Pamela Hoaglund
A beautiful image from the original through the two edits. I think the square crop works well as he is sort of hunkered down (probably ready for a nap) and the ankle of the bill leads up to the eye. I really like the detail in the feathers. I think you have captured a beautiful image of a majestic bird.   Posted: 02/10/2021 17:43:30
Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
Thanks, Pam. It's funny how pristine he looks in the image. He was quite dirty in reality.   Posted: 02/13/2021 10:22:47

Lisa Auerbach   Lisa Auerbach
Your crop is grand. It does lead you from beak to eye, back to beak then all around. It omits parts that are unnecessary. I very much like the detail of the feathers surrounding the eye. It keeps me in the picture making me want to look even more. I like your second treatment. The feathers are a bit warmer reducing the over exposed top part of the original.   Posted: 02/13/2021 11:47:58

Ally Green   Ally Green
A beautiful capture of this bird and you have done a great job 'cleaning' up his feathers. His eye is so vivid it i can't imagine it closed! I love the square crop (something i do often) and it works well here. Prefer the revised version. Really nice image.   Posted: 02/13/2021 17:17:34

Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Wonderful image. The square crop is perfect. Excellent detail in the feathers. He cleaned up very well! The beak stands out against the white, and leads right to that intense eye. That intensity is somewhat reduced in your revised version. I like the first edit better.   Posted: 02/17/2021 17:03:59

LC Boros   LC Boros
Overall I like this image. I think you captured the subject well. The loss of focus towards the tip of the bird's bill is a bit distracting as is the tiny bit of feathers at the very top. A mask to try to recover some focus detail on the bill and perhaps cropping closer or alternatively cloning out that bit of fluff might be a ways to address these bits.

For long beaked birds a good trick is to set focus on the nostrils.

Here's what I mean: cloned out the fluff, increased sharpness and detail on the beak with a mask but could only recover the midsection.

Also I think the image is improved and thus reads more strongly if flipped.   Posted: 02/19/2021 01:50:32
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