Janet DiMattia  


Raccoon Go Away by Janet DiMattia

July 2021 - Raccoon Go Away

About the Image(s)

This was taken on June 16th at 7:10 pm for evidence of Raccoon activity on my garage building chimney. Shouting and banging pots would not work. Finally used a shrill emergency whistle to catch his attention as I wanted him to look straight at me. Has not appeared back since. Need to have the chimney capped!
S 1/2000 sec, F 6.3, ISO 400, natural lighting, hand held - leaning against my house for support. Only post-processing was a slight crop and straightening of chimney area as the lighting was optimal.


This round’s discussion is now closed!
20 comments posted




Georges Dormoy   Georges Dormoy
Interesting picture. I think you may have, in the post processing, added some vignetting to darking the edges of the photo. I can see a variation of the blue color of the sky which led me to make this comment. The focus is very well managed thanks to the high speed. But I am wondering if you used a telephoto lens (300mm?). I have the impression that the photo was taken indoor in a zoo. In overall, this is a very nice picture. The area covered by the chimney versus the animal and the sky is well balanced. Well done.   Posted: 07/03/2021 12:02:08



Janet DiMattia   Janet DiMattia
Yes, Georges, you are right - I did apply a darkening vignetting as I tend to do quite often. After sending in the image in I realized I had neglected to mention that.
Thanks for pointing that out.
I used my 70-300mm lens at 300mm and yes it was taken on my garage. Thankfully the raccoon has not returned.

  Posted: 07/03/2021 16:11:59



Bev Caine   Bev Caine
(Groups 48 & 80)
It's a nice image but to my eye it's a but soft. So I opened it in Topaz Studio 2 - Filter - Stylistic - Smudge - Sharpen and sharpened it a bit. What do you think?   Posted: 07/04/2021 15:05:08
Dick States   Dick States
Please post the changes you made so we can compare the difference.   Posted: 07/04/2021 17:30:41
Bev Caine   Bev Caine
(Groups 48 & 80)
oops forgot to post it. Here it is.   Posted: 07/04/2021 17:50:36
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Charissa Lansing   Charissa Lansing
Hi Janet,
Wish I had such a fabulous and interesting capture! It is good that you may have driven this Raccoon away from your chimney. Your shot also reminds me that observing the intelligent behavior of Raccoons can be fun and interesting (as long as they are not intent on invading my space).

I like the composition as it directs my eye through the image and holds my attention. To me the focus on the eyes and face in your capture is very sharp. Also, I like seeing the suggestion of softness in the fur because I find it to be realistic and attractive. Although Bev has succeeded in creating a sharper image, I think the Raccoon looks a bit unnatural from the perspective that you offer in this shot.

Personally, I find the area of vignetting in this image a bit distracting and would prefer to see it feathered and minimized.

Great shot!



  Posted: 07/05/2021 23:22:57



Dick States   Dick States
You caught the masked bandit in action. I would have to guess there was or will be a nest in the chimney with a larger family.
Great capture. I feel Bev did sharpen the over all image and it works. I feel both images are good. What's the most important question in an image like this? Are the eyes sharp? I feel the answer to that question is yes. If the eyes are sharp the surrounding may not be as sharp as they could be but the image is still successful. To my eye that makes this a successful image for Janet.
I think the composition is right on. Love the little bit of tail being visible along the edge. This is a very important element in this image. It starts a great diagonal. With the racoons head looking back at me, this keeps my eye in the image.
I feel the vignette is a little over powering. To my eye this is a great image.   Posted: 07/06/2021 20:56:59
Janet DiMattia   Janet DiMattia
Thanks for the comments, Dick. I do think I am overusing the vignette tool recently after discovering it. Would you comment on when It is a good idea to use it - and when not so. Any thoughts on that?
Thanks, Janet   Posted: 07/07/2021 07:36:32



Dick States   Dick States
You need to just dry different amounts of vignette and save each one so you can compare them. Now go with the one you like. The vignette needs to be suttle. You just want to use enough so the image still looks natural and not fake. I like to use it when the backgrounds are light in color but you have to be careful you don't over do it. I do use it in lots of my images regardless of the color of the background only you would not recognize it. The vignette helps keep the eye in the image and from wondering out of the frame.
If you saved a copy of the image before the vignette would you please rework the vignette and submit the change for all the members to see?
These kind of things make these groups interesting and educational. I just hope we all become better photographers because of our group.   Posted: 07/07/2021 08:57:25



Janet DiMattia   Janet DiMattia
This is the image with a slight vignette (12% size and 12% opacity).   Posted: 07/07/2021 14:08:32
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Dick States   Dick States
I like this is much better. I might like to see a thin black or white stroke around the edge. Try it, see what everyone thinks.   Posted: 07/07/2021 16:04:59
Janet DiMattia   Janet DiMattia
With a thin black & white border   Posted: 07/07/2021 16:15:46
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Dick States   Dick States
I really like the final image. I really think the thin border puts the finishing touches to a great image. I feel the thin border does a lot to present this image and set it apart. It's your image I want to know how you like it best?   Posted: 07/07/2021 17:17:07



Janet DiMattia   Janet DiMattia
Hi, Dick.
I do like the final image with a thin border the best. Looking back at the first presentation the vignette was really too heavy. That is something I will have to be more careful about in the future.
Thanks, Janet   Posted: 07/07/2021 17:42:16
Dick States   Dick States
This has been a fun journey.   Posted: 07/07/2021 18:30:21
Janet DiMattia   Janet DiMattia
But not as much "fun" as when I was trying out a new bird call app on my cell phone. Set it for catbird calls, stepped inside for a moment, came out and there was a Catbird standing over my cell phone!   Posted: 07/09/2021 07:31:48
Dick States   Dick States
Now that's funny!   Posted: 07/09/2021 07:43:06
Janet DiMattia   Janet DiMattia
Terrible picture but a memory.   Posted: 07/09/2021 09:08:01
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Sandra Irwin   Sandra Irwin
I'm sorry, I'm a sucker for raccoons, and I find this picture adorable. I know the mischief they get into: into trash, eating fish from ponds, irritating dogs. I've never had one in one of our chimneys, that I know of. I agree with the switch of the vignette and border, per Dick's suggestions. My only one would be I would have cropped about a half a brick line higher up to just get all of the tail and then a tiny bit. A fun picture, even if a problem animal!   Posted: 07/07/2021 18:45:20



Tracy Szela   Tracy Szela
(Group 74)
I appreciate the level of detail you captured in the fur, that can be hard to do while getting the eyes in focus. And oftentimes I see images of animals that are a bit overprocessed, I like the detail, but still natural look of the animal. It also tells a nice little story about the naughty raccoon :)   Posted: 07/19/2021 19:12:13