Judith Lesnaw  

Beaver Dam by Judith Lesnaw

October 2021 - Beaver Dam

October 2021 - Judith Lesnaw


About the Image(s)

Two weeks ago I ventured out to a city park with a lovely pond near me. Within the pond were many fascinating turtles and tiny swarming creatures that I have not yet identified. On the opposite side of the pond was a huge beaver dam upon the edge of which posed a large bird (heron?). In an attempt to get a pic of it I set my Canon 80 D to f 8, and ISO 1600 in order to catch the bird should he fly. The shutter speed was 1/1000. The Tamron 16-300 mm lens was set to 133mm and had a circular polarizer filter attached. The camera was hand held. I was very excited while out at that pond, but when I returned home and downloaded the image I saw that clearly this was all a mistake.
I tried to rescue one of the images. I downloaded it with Lightroom and exported it as a TIFF which I imported into Photoshop. I cropped and ran it through Topaz Denoise. Then I adjusted the brightness/contrast, and vibrance. I next selected and masked the bird . Then I applied Topaz sharpen to the bird. I exported the image for our dialog. Looking at the poor image I saw that there was a large turtle to the left of the bird. This could have been a great image. I would appreciate any advice on camera settings and post processing for I intend to return to this site and try again.

7 comments posted

Pamela Hoaglund   Pamela Hoaglund
Judith, I thought about your image for some time. Looking at your settings I see that you didn't use the full zoom capability of your lens. That would be my first suggestion. I don't know how many mega pixels the Canon 80d has but you did a severe crop and and if you don't have enough mega pixels to work with, say 50mp, when you crop this severely it really degrades the image. It is a great blue heron and a favorite bird of mine to photograph. You might consider carrying a tripod with you on your next visit. Was there a reason you didn't zoom in closer on the heron? In my opinion all the post processing in the world won't rescue an image cropped this severely. I would like to see you try this again. This is how we learn.   Posted: 10/09/2021 11:57:58
Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
So I went back with a tripod and he was still there. I used my previous settings. I imported into LR then opened it from LR in Topaz Sharpen where I selected Standard and tweaked the sliders just a bit. THEN from LR I opened it in Topaz Gigapixel wherein I cropped and set it to 4X. I sent it back to LR and then to PS to remove some offending branches. In PS I sized and exported it.   Posted: 10/11/2021 20:48:27
Comment Image

Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
  Posted: 10/11/2021 20:48:32
Pamela Hoaglund   Pamela Hoaglund
Bingo! Much better Judith. You used the tools you had to make a very nice image of this Great Blue Heron. Your persistence paid off.   Posted: 10/11/2021 21:05:38
Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Many thanks Pamela. SO much to learn---   Posted: 10/11/2021 21:08:17

Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
Good for you for going back! It really paid off. You asked about camera settings. I almost always shoot birds hand held. I start with ISO 800 and adjust up or down after taking a test shot. I am usually at f/8.0 because that is the widest aperture I can get with my 100-400mm lens and a 1.4X teleconverter. If I could get down to 6.3 I would do it, but only works at shorter focal lengths. Since your background was pretty far behind your subject if you couod open the shutter up some it would start to blur the background which would make it less busy. For flying birds I find the lowest possible shutter speed to be 1/1250 sec., but for birds that are perched up you can go much lower. One other thing to think about is that with a polarizer you lose a stop or two of light, so you have either crank up ISO which causes noise, or dial in a slower shutter speed which will mess you oup if the subject moves at all. I ditch the polarizer for for all wildlife.   Posted: 10/18/2021 15:45:58
Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
Sharon, thank you so much for your tips. I had not thought of removing the polarizer as I was trying for good water detail. I shall try all your suggestions. I never give up.   Posted: 10/18/2021 16:56:41


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