Pamela Hoaglund  

Short-billed Dowitcher by Pamela Hoaglund

May 2023 - Short-billed Dowitcher

May 2023 - Pamela Hoaglund


About the Image(s)

The shorebirds are starting to migrate north through the Pacific flyway. A favorite place to photograph them is along the south shore of Grays Harbor near Westport, WA. One of the challenges is trying to isolate a bird. As you can see from my original I had to do a significant crop to isolate this Short-billed Dowitcher. We go when the tide is coming in as the tide pushes the birds feeding along the water line toward us as we wait patiently on the shore. Taken with my Sony 7R5, Sony 200-600mm lens at 600mm. ISO 1000, at 1/2000 sec and f/6.3 with +1.3 compensation, hand held. Post processed in ON1 RAW 2023. Cropped, masked the bird and added dynamic contrast and sharpening. I’m thinking I should have cleaned up a few dark spots under the bird.

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

Judith Lesnaw   Judith Lesnaw
You did a fine job of isolating that fellow. He looks like he is dancing, or whispering a secret. The reddish brown feathers look very pleasing against the bluish background. The catch light in his eye and the detail in the feathers add interest. I might experiment with increasing the negative space. Their beaks are remarkably long and thin, in spite of their name. On what do they feed? A shot of a cluster of them would also be lovely, especially if they tend to go in crowds.   Posted: 05/09/2023 19:34:51

Mike Cohen   Mike Cohen
I like this one a lot. Nice pose and background and great detail. Pixel peeping, I think I see a slight halo around the subject. I get that sometimes when I apply some adjustments to the subject and/or background and the selection isn't accurate or too extreme. If that's not the case, I think I would, in one way or another, apply some blur to the background and feather it into the bird. The specular highlights in the background look softer to me in the original and I prefer them that way. Subjective of course.   Posted: 05/10/2023 15:58:42

Ann Brixey   Ann Brixey
A nice subject, and I do like the way you have cropped it, the color of the bird is so natural. Having been caught doing this so often, I tend to notice it now, but it looks as though maybe you have over sharpened, resulting in a slight halo on the bird's back. Nice light and bokeh, making for a very pleasing image.   Posted: 05/11/2023 14:32:57

Sharon Prislipsky   Sharon Prislipsky
I am amused by the quirky pose of this bird. The focus looks sharp to me with lots of detail as well as catch light in the eye. It looks like you shot from a very low or possbly even the ground level which proves a perspective that I think is good. I too see a halo effect around the head and back, the lower part of the bill and in the raised leg. You can probably get rid of it by using the PS clone tool with a soft brush on "darken"mode. Personally, I believe the image would be more visually appealing if the background were softened. I do not care for specular highlights and always try to tone them down or clone them out.   Posted: 05/16/2023 19:28:15

Tammie Simon   Tammie Simon
I like the pose on this bird, but I am distracted by the halo around it- especially the beak. I like the background because it looks textured to me. I know it was difficult to get a shot of one bird in this bunch. They love to frustrate photographers by bunching up!   Posted: 05/17/2023 09:25:51

Pamela Hoaglund   Pamela Hoaglund
Thank you for all the comments. I sometimes miss seeing halos and have been learning that if I feather the edit I have done it will eliminate the halo.   Posted: 05/18/2023 14:19:30