Marge Barham  

Tail Feathers by Marge Barham

May 2022 - Tail Feathers

About the Image(s)

Sandhill Crane getting a little ruffled and just looking pretty. Happy Spring everyone.
My camera was the Canon 80D with a Canon 100-400mm lens. Settings were f 5.6, 1/1600 sec, 340mm and ISO 400.

5 comments posted

Kurtis Sutley   Kurtis Sutley
Marge, I think you have a nice image of the great Sandhill Crane. To my eye your focus is good and depth of focus is appropriate. I think this image makes a good case for patience. Your effective focal length is up to 640mm with this lens/camera combination. It's usually a good idea to avoid the proverbial "butt-shot" with wildlife unless there is a compelling reason. I like that you waited for the head to turn to see its eye. Again, most will tell you if you don't get the eye you missed the shot. One last thing: I know the feet are out of view because of the grass but you denied the viewer that observation when you cropped out the feet. In my opinion you need to keep the feet in for no other reason than to balance the composition. For my suggested process I used only Lightroom Classic. I used the "Select Subject" in the Add New Mask. I first increased exposure and highlights to expose the beautiful Sandhill plumage. I'm guessing you used spot metering and the camera found the lighter feathers to set an under-exposure. I have found "evaluative" or "Partial" metering works better in this situation. I used an adjustment brush to slightly reduce exposure and shadow around the eye. Using another adjustment brush, I slightly decrease exposure and increased saturation to redefine the darker plumage. The grass saturation was increased and brightness reduced to isolate the bird. I eliminated the distracting dark something in front of the bird, added a vignette. I used a custom non-standard crop ratio to move the subject (bird) off of center.   Posted: 05/10/2022 09:12:40
Comment Image

Marge Barham   Marge Barham
Thank you Kurtis for all your great suggestions.
  Posted: 05/10/2022 12:40:03

Art Jacoby   Art Jacoby
I agree with the suggestions that kurtis made. Since it his turned head that is the story, you could emphasize that with a tighter crop and flipping it horizontally.   Posted: 05/14/2022 07:15:13
Comment Image

Sylvia Bacon   Sylvia Bacon
Marge, I believe Kurtis made some very good editing points and like how he brought out more contrast in the feathers. Then, I saw Art's interpretation - Wow! The catch light in the eye is wonderful and flipping it so the bird is looking to the right makes this a stunning shot in my opinion. Your patience was key and you took a terrific picture! I have only seen a few Sandhill Cranes in Florida and was struck by their beauty; I think you certainly did justice to these birds. Happy Spring to you also!   Posted: 05/14/2022 12:50:50

Regine Guillemin
Marge , It is a very interesting and daring composition. I think it is a successful one . I cannot do better than Kurtis and Art. Congrats!   Posted: 05/18/2022 18:36:55


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