Stuart Ord  

Egrets in the Reads by Stuart Ord

January 2022 - Egrets in the Reads

January 2022 - Stuart Ord


About the Image(s)

I took this picture at an area of the river Dee estuary where there once used to be sand, but now it’s overgrown by plants. You often see birds there, and whilst I’m no wildlife photographer, I’ll have a pop at anything. So this egret was a fair distance off, and I only had my “go-everywhere” 14-150mm lens with me, but I liked the striking lines of the reeds, so had to take one. At home, the image was less striking than I remembered, so I set about emphasising the lines of the reeds to contrast the curves of the bird. As an experiment, I did it once in Affinity alone, and once going via NIK Silver EFEX (version 2). I’ve sent both versions. You can regard the Main Image as the Affinity version and the Second image as the Nik version “ which do you prefer?

The image had to be cropped about 50% linear to make the egret a reasonable size and to exclude unwanted scenery, and but it still needed further reduction to meet the DD size constraint, so whilst it’s a bit too much cropped for a print, it should be OK for a PDI.

Olympus OM-D E-M1ii, Olympus 14-150mm lens at 150mm (=300mm full frame), 1/400sec f6.3, ISO 400.

11 comments posted

Stan Bormann   Stan Bormann
You mastered the turning a wildlife shot into a landscape shot with wildlife in it. When you don't have a longer lens this often works. Normally I am concerned about turning a lot of vegetation like this into a monochrome. It can get like an excessive load of details, but your processing to bring up the high contrast seems to of resolved that. I think you could crop from the top some. The bird becomes more centered top to bottom, but still well located left to right. I think it can work.   Posted: 01/07/2022 21:49:22
Stuart Ord   Stuart Ord
Thanks Stan. I liked the recession in my original which is why I left it, plus the cropped image was becoming small, so I held back a bit! But I see your point, just taking off the darket bands.   Posted: 01/08/2022 03:03:04
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Stuart Ord   Stuart Ord
Here's the original FYI. Not very exciting!   Posted: 01/08/2022 03:03:43
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Don York   Don York
Great picture of the bird. I would crop the top 1/3 of the image and a bit off the left to really make the bird stand out as the subject of the picture.   Posted: 01/08/2022 12:40:22

Helen Sweet   Helen Sweet
The main difference I see between the two images is the whiter water in the NIK, distracting from the handsome bird. The contrast of you've brought out on the diagonal reeds and the backlighting on the bird make this effective as a monochrome.   Posted: 01/08/2022 18:14:20

Jerry Snyder   Jerry Snyder
I very much like the details in the form of the bird in profile. The backlit feathers on the breast add contrast to the water and reeds behind the bird. There is a lot of environmental detail in the top and left that does not add significantly to the image and could be cropped, in my opinion.   Posted: 01/12/2022 01:20:08

Stuart Ord   Stuart Ord
Yes, I agree with all your suggestions for cropping. I suppose we can consign the idea of printing it to the dustbin, but it's still in with a shout if a PDI. Here I've reduced it to 1600x1200. Better?   Posted: 01/12/2022 03:52:10
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John Roach   John Roach
I like the original version, personally, for the sense of story it provides and the related tonal control to see beyond the bird. For me there are two images here that can speak differently to the viewer. One that is cropped and focused on the bird and another that shows the bird in its habitat. In the end, it only matters what the photographer is attempting to present and to what purpose and well that is done. I like all your variations accordingly.   Posted: 01/12/2022 08:00:32
Stuart Ord   Stuart Ord
I preferred the original, too. Although the comments and my trying to follow them has been a useful exercise, I think. It's a normal procedure to scale down an image to PDI proportions; cropping it to the same is a valid way to do it that I'd not needed before. But the original, perhaps given a bit or artificial depth of field as Jerry suggests, would be my favourite. Perhaps with a little cropping....   Posted: 01/14/2022 05:38:10

Jerry Funk   Jerry Funk
My suggestion for conveying the progression you mentioned is to blur rather than darken the top section.
Your image has great detail and contrast while being well composed. Personally, I would also prefer it cropped.   Posted: 01/14/2022 03:17:31
Stuart Ord   Stuart Ord
That's a good idea. This lens is f6.3 max at 150mm, and it was a long way off anyway, so I couldn't do it by controlling depth of field, but I could do it in post processing.   Posted: 01/14/2022 05:34:36


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