Witta Priester  

Going After HIS Fish by Witta Priester

June 2022 - Going After HIS Fish

June 2022 - Witta Priester


June 2022 - Witta Priester

Original 2

About the Image(s)

I recently made the Start photo with my Canon 90D, using a 100-400 mm lens at 400mm and a 1.4 extender. I do spend quite a bit of time out with the birds.
I like the story in this photo, but think the choppy water is a distracting element.

I’ve been wanting to start doing something more imaginative, arty, grungy, or painterly with my thousands of wildlife photos. This month's image is just a first experiment, before starting on Michael Sebastian's on-line compositing course.

In PS the herons were selected using "select subject", followed by some local refining of the selection. This selection was saved, and copied to a new layer, so the herons could be put back — nice and sharp — on top of other layers as needed.

The original image was then processed in Topaz Studio 2 to add lightness and color to the water Then the herons were overlaid, followed by a second TS2 Look to add an “oil paint canvas” effect. (That resulted in the Intermediate, after TS2 image.)

Back in PS I added several of my textures to the background to try to make the background more interesting, while at the same time not distracting.

The honker was added at the last minute for balance and because I am still wanting more interest, more weirdness, and ways to enhance the story.

Your thoughts on how to do more or different with this image or how to make things more interesting are most welcome… Help!

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

Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
Hi Witta. This is an amazing image of those birds! I really like the coloring you added over the birds. The addition of the honker does help to balance the image.

I'm not sure about the colors in the background. If it were mine, I think I'd desaturate the background a bit more. The texture is appealing to me, but somehow the coloring of the background keeps distracting me from the bird subjects.

Nice job though. It's fun to extent out and try different things! My last surgery two weeks ago, left me pain free and walking, so I'm finally getting back to computer work! Even when to the beach to photograph sand patterns yesterday!   Posted: 06/05/2022 12:19:57

Michael Moore   Michael Moore
I like your original image Witta but feel your textures do not sit comfortably here.

Prompted by Linda's image this month I thought that with the flat light in your original it might be a nice candidate for the Lisa Langell treatment. I expanded your crop as I don't like the cut off wings and wanted a more centered composition. I increased the exposure and shadows to blow most of the background out - a mask with a gradient was used to completely eliminate the background in the upper portion of the image and I selectively brought back a bit of water at the bottom to ground the image.   Posted: 06/08/2022 06:15:02
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Witta Priester   Witta Priester
Michael. thanks for your comments and example. It does look a lot better!   Posted: 06/29/2022 18:10:35

Connie Reinhart   Connie Reinhart
The water has the lovely colors of the reflection of a late afternoon blue sky and pink clouds. Probably you just need to soften the water a bit. I reduced clarity then added a diffusion blur with a light touch. I do like Michael's version also.   Posted: 06/08/2022 13:35:19
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Witta Priester   Witta Priester
Connie, thanks so much. I do agree that softening is a definite plus for this colorful background. Also, I like Michael's simplification, down a different path.   Posted: 06/29/2022 18:14:29

Linda M Medine   Linda M Medine
Witta, You have some good ideas. I like Michael's idea of the birds, clean and simple. That is just my taste. I feel like the other bird takes away from the activity of the two birds. I also feel the birds and the background colors may not go together.   Posted: 06/19/2022 14:41:20

Denise McKay   Denise McKay
Great action capture of these two birds. For me, I think you could really add to the drama by making a much more severe crop. The story is in the attempt to steal the meal. I think a crop similar to the sample I've attached would focus on the story and might make you feel differently about the water being a distraction.

However, at what point does this move from documentary to fine art? So similar to what you did, adding some textures or different color that enhances the drama of the scene or stylizing the birds in some way would help. I didn't do that in my example, LOL.   Posted: 06/27/2022 18:52:12
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Witta Priester   Witta Priester

Your crop really makes the story pop. Thanks so much for the input!   Posted: 06/29/2022 18:11:37