Sharon Prislipsky, APSA, EPSA  

GBH Portrait by Sharon Prislipsky, APSA, EPSA

March 2023 - GBH Portrait

March 2023 - Sharon Prislipsky, APSA, EPSA


About the Image(s)

I have so many images of Great Blues in my catalogue that I resolved not to shoot another one for a long time. However, on trip to Hagerman NWR in north Texas a week or so ago I saw this guy fishing in shallow water, and I really liked the lighting conditions and the surface of the water. I wanted to make it a high key image so
I exposed to the right. ISO 3200; f/7.1 and Shutter speed 1/2500 sec. Canon R5 and Canon 100-500mm lens. Camera was handheld - I was shooting from my car.
The image was cropped and white and black points set, tone curve adjusted, contrast and clarity set in LR.
I used Polarizaton, Detail extraction (on the subject only) and Pro Contrast filters in Color Efex Pro. I used Output Sharpener Pro at 20 percent.
In addition to the high key look the other thing about this image that I like is the background texture, which is natural. I had to remove just a little bit of weed on the left. Obiously this will make the image ineligible for Nature competition in PSA; however, it is my experience that this type of image (portrait, no obvious action) usually does not receive a very high score in those competitions anyhow, so nothing lost by editing. Maybe it will make a nice notecard or eventually end up in an Audubon slide show. What do you think?

11 comments posted

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
I think it would make a great notecard or print for any use. It's beautiful. It would be a perfect image to experiment with the concept that our brain prefers looking from left to right. Why not flip it and see which one you like better? My only suggestion pertains to the feathers on the back of the head. They look to me to be slightly soft or possibly your detail application on the subject did not catch those feathers. I'd compare it to the raw and see if you might be able to get a bit more from that area. If not, no big deal. Nice work.   Posted: 03/07/2023 12:55:14
Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
Thanks, Mike. When I was processing this image I gave serious consideration to flipping it. I kept this orientation because it seemed to me that my eye went first to the beak then moved left to right which felt natural. How do you think this image would fare in CPID?   Posted: 03/07/2023 16:39:49

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
I not familiar with that contest, rules, past winners and history, so unfortunately I'm not in a position to say.   Posted: 03/07/2023 19:02:33
Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
Hmmm…I thought you were judging the color projected image section of the PCAA exhibition. (If you are, don't worry, this image is not entered there.)   Posted: 03/07/2023 19:25:12

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
I not familiar with that contest, rules, past winners and history, so unfortunately I'm not in a position to say.   Posted: 03/09/2023 03:18:02

Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Lovely portrait. The water texture and the shadow enhance the image. I like the high key concept. My brain wants to flip the image horizontally so that the bird is looking to the right. My eye keeps being pulled up into the blue hue and texture of the sky. This does not happen as much in the original where the texture in the sky is much less, and the color just a bit warmer. I would try editing the sky by cropping out half of it, selectively reducing its texture (while keeping the water and bird textures), and warming the blue a bit. I would also try a very slight white vignette - feathered to keep the eye on the subject. This image would look great on a wall, and indeed would make a great card.   Posted: 03/10/2023 09:20:14
Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
I agree with you about the crop. For a notecard I like to use a "Torn Paper" border in OnOne that creates that feathered look you are talking about. As for flipping, see my reply to Mike. I gave that serious consideration, but I feel my eye moves more smoothly thorugh the image in the current orientation.   Posted: 03/15/2023 15:12:37

Pamela Hoaglund   Pamela Hoaglund
I can never pass up a great blue heron. I think they are so majestic. The heron looks sharp throughout. I like that he is starting to lift his leg to indicate motion. As far as flipping the image, I don't feel it necessarily makes the image more "readable." I often like to leave the position the way I saw it but that is a personal choice. I would suggest eliminating more of the sky. If you are going for a high key look I would suggest making the background totally white without any detail and maybe adding a white vignette. I think this would make a beautiful card or wall hanging.   Posted: 03/13/2023 11:44:27
Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
Thanks for your feedback. I think you are correct about the crop. I am not sure about the totally white background but I will certainly try it and see how it looks.   Posted: 03/15/2023 15:13:49

LC Boros   LC Boros
Nice sharp focus on the bird: I do think the background water could be pulled down in brightness though as it swamps out the bird's head. You might want to also try flipping the image so it and the viewer are walking the same line.   Posted: 03/16/2023 09:30:04

Ally Green   Ally Green
The heron looks alert emphasized by the movement in the leg..nice capture. I like the high key and the water ripples have just enough movement to add contrast. I also don't feel it necessary to flip the image i like the way it is. Might crop down on the sky a bit. Great for a note card or on the wall.   Posted: 03/16/2023 11:44:41


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