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Captive young owl at ICBP just down the road to me.
Bright sunny day that gave me problems with the lighting on the light feathers particularly on the back of the head.
Shot in RAW converted in Canon DPP
finished in PSE7
ISO 1600 (birds had been in flight)
These are modifications uploaded by other members of the photo above. Download the photo by right clicking Download Photo and clicking Save As.
A superb capture.well done.
I think you already know what lets this down so all I've done is a crop to place the bird farther from the centre and to lose some of the concrete post.
A tweak in shadows/highlights takes some of the harshness out of it and finally I've sharpened it.
Wonderful capture & Well done with the MOD !!
What a great capture and a lovely look to the owl which almost has a 'down in the dumps' look to it. You seem to have got the owl fairly sharp with a good depth of field, the composition is good but there are a couple of things that could have improved this shot.
The time of day didn't help here and I know you probably have any choice with this but that harsh sunlight is causing some major overexposure on the owls head. The only way to avoid this in this situation is to expose for the bright bits using spot metering and then bring up the dark bits in post production. Obviously taking the shots in less harsh light would also have been preferrable but probably not possible. Also there is no catch light in the owl's eyes and this is probably because the sun is behind the owl and there is no light source in front of the owl. You could add this in post production.
Also I think that the background isn't detracting from the image but it isn't adding either so don't be afraid to get right in close using zoom or cropping in post prod. I also don't think the post is a problem, the bird isn't flying so it would have been preferrable to be a tree branch but the post has texture and colour in it which is good.
I've uploaded a mod to try and apply the points I have made but there isn't any possibility to get detail back in the overexposed bit. That's why it is better to have a dark image exposed correctly rather than as you have here. I cropped the image and added a little light and catch light to the eye. I increased the saturation and removed the yellow from the birds chest feathers. Some sharpening and noise reduction and the image is a bit different.
Hope this helps
The problem is the burnt out area, and could do to be a little larger in the frame. Exposing for the highlights and a burst of flash would have helped but you say you shot in RAW. You should have been able to do something with reclaiming the highlights when converting unless it is so badly burnt out that the detail is simply not there.
If shooting in RAW, you really should expose for highlights, thus retaining detail in the full tonal range and giving you a decent chance of conversion from RAW.
Many thanks for all your advice and mods. What a good thing I only have to nip down the road to the ICPB!
Will try to expose for the highlights and improve my RAW conversion if the sun ever shines again.
There isn't anything that I would like to add to the technicalities of your photograph, but I would like to know which species of owl this is.
I have been discussing this with my son who says that this is possably little owl due to the colouring of the wing feathers, but the eyes do not appear to be right, I thought a barn owl, but the wing feathers are too dark.
Maybe it is not a British owl. Can you tell us what it is please?
What is the ICBP?
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