Mike Cohen  

Woodstork Gang Before Dawn by Mike Cohen

April 2021 - Woodstork Gang Before Dawn

April 2021 - Mike Cohen


About the Image(s)

I messed around with this image so much that I can't remember everything I did. I know that I took the lower right half and flipped it around to cover the lower left half to hide the white bird that was distracting from behind, enhanced the colors of the dawn, dodged the birds and particularly the one with it's head down. (There's always one!) I removed some of the distracting sticks and did a bit of dodging and burning. I probably also ran some NIK filters, as I usually do. When everyone's head is down thre's alwasy one outlier. Taken with my Sony a9ii, 200-600mm at 359mm, 1/125 sec, at f/6.3, ISO 80.

4 comments posted

Pamela Hoaglund   Pamela Hoaglund
Well, Mike, I think this is a beautiful image and your post processing is spot on. Thank you for telling us how you hid the background bird on the left. I never would have thought to do that. I like how the nest branches are muted enough to not be distracting but yet you know what it is. I rather like that one bird has his head down as it gives separation. You can't see that birds body so I think if his head was up and the bill intertwined with the others it would leave me guessing. I also love the glow of sunrise in the rim of the birds feathers. I really can't see anything to change. Bravo on a beautiful image.   Posted: 04/12/2021 13:04:34

LC Boros   LC Boros
I like the overall composition, but think the initial exposure was so dark to begin with recovering detail is probably an uphill battle. (Blah blah blah, metering on birds/higher ISO/other stuff you probably know... :) )

In terms of post work though, a gradient mask on the background might be of use and then pushing the exposure on the birds even more.

May have to borrow your technique for removing unwanted subjects in the future... :)
  Posted: 04/14/2021 16:01:49

Lisa Auerbach   Lisa Auerbach
Mike, I am confused by this image. I see 3 heads/bodies and 4 beaks. I keep looking for the 4th head but can't find it.
I like your sky color treatment but feel heads and bottom twigs are too dark. There is enough interest in the foreground to lighten it all.
  Posted: 04/15/2021 07:28:59

Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
Like Lisa, I wanted to look for that extra bird for which only the beak is in evidence. I think I would have been tempted to clone out the top beak to elimnate this cognitive dissonance, but apparently it does not bather some of the others. I like the exposrure and the color you've drawn out on the bodies of the birds. For me, there is too much dark at the bottom and I would consider cropping some of that off if it can be done without losing the birds' feet, which appers to me to be possilbe.   Posted: 04/15/2021 10:11:05


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