Blog

Wed 30th September 2009

Posted on September 30, 2009 at 4:35 PM

birds : Well it is the end of September and there are officially no birds around - not a single Swallow, Wheatear or Chiffchaff seen on my local headlands today. It was bright sunshine all day and I was wandering around in a t-shirt which may go some way to explain it. If the birds can see France so clearly, why bother making landfall on an overpopulated island.

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I have been making further progress using photoshop to improve my photos and have been trying to teach myself new tricks. Once you get the hang of it, it makes such a massive difference and means that you don't have to waste too much much time in the field trying to get perfect shots. I just try and get as many shots as I can with the bird in sharp focus and let the computer do the buffing-up later that evening. Here is an example from earlier in the year.

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Snowy Owl - original                                       Snowy Owl - photoshopped

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Digiscoping rather than proper camera-work produces a greyish cast across the whole photo, so it is important to brighten it up a bit and improve the contrast (probably I did a bit too much here!). Of course, the sharpening and cropping is a given, but I also decided to make the shot more dramatic by darkening the background to almost black making it look like it was in front of a cave or something with the sunlight just hitting it.

I went one step further with some of the recent Sibe Stonechat shots and have started to try and remove ugly or distracting objects using the 'clone' tool.

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original shot from camera                                                                        photoshopped pic

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In the above photo, as well as cropping, 'curving' and sharpening the pic, I managed to remove the unnecessary sticks and leaves to the left and right of the bird. If the bird is against the sky, this is so easy to do.

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original shot from camera                                                     photoshopped pic

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Here, I thought the three pale objects around the bird were distracting and ugly so I removed them using 'clone' and was very pleased that you could not tell at all. If I had more time, I would have probably removed all the sticks from above the bird.

Categories: 2009 Autumn