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Red Deer Stag Portrait

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Thought I would have a little play with digital manipulation (my knowledge of this is still very much in its infancy!), therefore have uploaded this Before and After work (Before being V2) for critique and modification. V2 is straight out of the camera, sized for web only. Would be really interested to have your comments, ideas and mods.
In V1 I have purposely left a faint outline of the fencing to provide texture. Please view LARGE if you have a moment.

Settings: F/5.6 1/50sec +0.33 ISO640 AV@500mm tripod

Thank you all so much for your continued support - very much appreciated as always Smile

Camera:Canon EOS 40D
Lens:Canon 500mm F4L IS
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Title:Red Deer Stag Portrait
Username:teocali teocali
Uploaded:29 Oct 2010 - 10:04 AM
Tags:Cervus, Close-up, Close-up / macro, Deer, Digitally manipulated, Elaphus, Portrait, Red, Rut, Stag, Wildlife / nature
Votes:Voting Disabled
Critque wantedCritique Wanted
Has Modifications Modifications Welcome (Upload a Modification)
Variant - Before/AfterVariant - Before and After
Awards have been disabled on this photo

Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
Cormy
Cormy  6 England
29 Oct 2010 - 10:06 AM

This is excellent and beautifully presented.
Cheers
Alan

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Sylviwhalley
Sylviwhalley e2 Member 797 forum postsSylviwhalley vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 10:09 AM

Great shot, I like the manipulation.it has more impact.
Sylvia

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jason_e
jason_e  9 United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 10:11 AM

Unusual composition but it works spot on for me.
Jason

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CarolG
CarolG e2 Member 7128 forum postsCarolG vcard Greece16 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 10:21 AM

Simply superb, Sylvia, a very effective presentation. Carol

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Shroomer
Shroomer  7 England167 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 10:35 AM

I really like what you have done with this Sylvia. Pin sharp detail and great work
Richard

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pluckyfilly
pluckyfilly e2 Member 7282 forum postspluckyfilly vcard United Kingdom33 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 10:35 AM

amazing Sylvia perhaps I could learn from you - did you select the deer then choose introvert and guassian blur or something else I missed, whatever you did I give you credit where its due - love it

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Greyheron
Greyheron e2 Member 12277 forum postsGreyheron vcard England5 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 11:01 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

This works so very well Sylvia.

A brave crop which brings attention to the majesty of the Stag and draws attention to the strength of the creature without all the fuss of the surroundings. Always amazes me how many ways one can photograph a subject and the different emotions those methods evoke.

Superb...

Mike

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Karrol
Karrol  529 forum posts England
29 Oct 2010 - 2:02 PM

You have done a superb job.
The long length and short width really works and gives a great
composition.

The capture itself is fantastic.

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RonnieAG
RonnieAG e2 Member 4139 forum postsRonnieAG vcard Scotland110 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 2:08 PM

I agree with the others here, Sylvia....I think you have done a superb job in processing the shot. When I saw V 1 initially I was wondering if you had cropped a bit too neatly on the right hand side and might have included just a wee bit more of the stag, but on seeing V 2 I realise this was not possible. However I have to say your processing skills are way ahead of mine.
Ronnie.

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Gray_ina
Gray_ina  6
29 Oct 2010 - 2:20 PM

Hi Great pics , now I am back trying to remember what to press on the computer again lol regards gray.

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CathR
CathR  7139 forum posts United Kingdom563 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 3:18 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

The stag sits very comfortably in the frame Sylvia. There is room for including more of the stag if you had been able to get more of his body in the shot.

You have done your processing very well indeed to bring out the best in the animal. There is however a black line around his ear and down his nose. I am not sure where this has come from because it is not there on the original. It is quite straightforward to clone out the line except where it merges with the hairy bit right on the end of the nose. I have uploaded a mod for you.

I agree that it is good to include the background fencing to provide some texture. It works very well.

You have certainly made the most of your original shot and presented it very well indeed.

Best wishes

Catherine

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Daisymaye
Daisymaye e2 Member 5Daisymaye vcard Canada9 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 3:24 PM

Lovely work Sylvia. On first glance I thought why did she crop him like this. But with V2 I see why. Awesome work. In V1 he makes me think he is looking in my window..........Sandy

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arhb
arhb e2 Member 72150 forum postsarhb vcard United Kingdom67 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 3:44 PM

Great work Sylvia - a very creative crop to make an image that really stands out - well done. You should do more work like this.

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8752 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1578 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 3:47 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

This looks great, Sylvia. Considering the amount of the stag that you had to work with, you have presented it beautifully, and I agree that the fence does give some texture to the lower background. As to the dark marks around the head, did you select the head and blur the background? No doubt you were trying to avoid blurring the whiskers too? My question is, was it necessary to blur the background? When selecting, zoom in close and you can then more easily get close to the edges of your subject, but the whiskers and hairs do need a lot of fine work. On PaintshopPro I have a very useful blur brush which I can work/paint in and out of the hairs, no selection needed.
Pamela.

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Niknut
Niknut e2 Member 4523 forum postsNiknut vcard United Kingdom60 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 5:06 PM

It's different...& it's brilliant !!!!!

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teocali
teocali e2 Member 6212 forum poststeocali vcard England18 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 5:07 PM


Quote: There is however a black line around his ear and down his nose. I am not sure where this has come from because it is not there on the original. It is quite straightforward to clone out the line except where it merges with the hairy bit right on the end of the nose. I have uploaded a mod for you.



Many thanks for this Catherine and for the excellent mod. The black line is obviously from a bit of sloppiness in my selection (amazing what one doesn't notice at the time - lol). My method was this using CS5:-
1) Selected and cropped image and tweaked stag's head to the best of my ability and saved it as layer from background
2) Created a layer using Gaussian Blur over total image and dragged it into (1) above.
3) Created a layer mask, lowered the opacity of the Gaussian Blur layer and created a mask of the head using the paintbrush with black selected.
4) Refined mask using Refine Radius tool and decontaminating colours to a layer mask.
5) Reduced opacity of Gaussian Blur layer to reveal part of the fencing.

I am sure I must have overdone the painting in step (3) to reveal too much of the background, hence the black line, which I did not notice.

Thank you so much for your input - very much appreciated and I will be more careful next time. Nothing like another pair of experienced eyes to put one on the right path Smile
Regards
Sylvia

Last Modified By teocali at 29 Oct 2010 - 5:14 PM

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teocali
teocali e2 Member 6212 forum poststeocali vcard England18 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 5:15 PM


Quote: As to the dark marks around the head, did you select the head and blur the background?

Thank you so much Pamela for your critique - I really appreciate your time and trouble Smile
Rather than repeat my method all over again, I have set it out in my answer to Catherine, above.
I use Photoshop CS5 and they have introduced a very useful brush for separating hair from the background, which I imagine would be rather like your very useful tool in Paintshop Pro.

So glad I uploaded this for critique and mod only - super way to learn - must do it more often! Wink
Regards
Sylvia

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timpics
timpics  6 England
29 Oct 2010 - 5:19 PM

beautfully cropped, you can see the powerful elegance in the eye...hope the guy who shot the stag recently on the news has a very difficult time in prison !!

Last Modified By timpics at 29 Oct 2010 - 5:20 PM

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teocali
teocali e2 Member 6212 forum poststeocali vcard England18 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 5:23 PM


Quote: did you select the deer then choose introvert and guassian blur or something else I missed

Hi Ann
My method is above, but I still made mistakes in the processing which I failed to see at the time ..lol - nothing like uploading for critique and modification to benchmark your work Wink great way of improving next time.
Sylvia

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teocali
teocali e2 Member 6212 forum poststeocali vcard England18 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 5:25 PM


Quote: Beautfully cropped, you can see the powerful elegance in the eye...hope the guy who shot the stag recently on the news has a very difficult time in prison !!

So do I Tim - what a mindless moron he must be!!!
Sylvia

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Lillian
Lillian e2 Member 5Lillian vcard United Kingdom16 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 5:34 PM

Sylvia I can only say I would be proud to have this on my wall, I like the very tight crop, it is so sharp and colour perfect, to my untrain eye...love it
Lillian

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Maiwand
Maiwand e2 Member 7Maiwand vcard England69 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 6:19 PM

This lovely picture has really caused people to put pen to paper ( metaphorically ) and could not begin to sensibly comment any further. Wish I understood PS as well as they obviously do.
I will say however that the image pleases my eye and I would hang it on my wall anytime. Well done Sylvia.
Ron

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paulbroad
paulbroad  681 forum posts United Kingdom843 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 8:26 PM

Your processing is excellent, but there are a few artifacts visible around the ear and nose and I'm the odd one out - whilst I see why you had to crop this tight, it's a bit too much for me. Very sharp though and background good.

By the way, I note the comment on shooting earlier. Illegal shooting deserves stiff penalties but they do have to be culled. (No natural enemies.)

Paul

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Mynett
Mynett e2 Member 6137 forum postsMynett vcard United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 8:33 PM

really love the way you have presented this lovely shot

Linda

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teocali
teocali e2 Member 6212 forum poststeocali vcard England18 Constructive Critique Points
29 Oct 2010 - 9:22 PM


Quote: By the way, I note the comment on shooting earlier. Illegal shooting deserves stiff penalties but they do have to be culled. (No natural enemies.)

I do of course agree with the above Paul. Many thanks also for your critique - some very valid points.
Sylvia

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f8
f8  109169 forum posts England22 Constructive Critique Points
30 Oct 2010 - 12:18 AM

Really super Sylvia, I can imagine this as a picture on my wall.

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forestfotos
30 Oct 2010 - 10:29 AM

I didn't think i would like this when i saw the thumbnail. But when opened up the detail just hits you! This would make a great bookmark.

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banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10781 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2801 Constructive Critique Points
30 Oct 2010 - 7:17 PM

Outstanding image Sylvia, will make a wonderful print.



Regards


Willie

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WindowonWildlife
WindowonWildlife e2 Member 4WindowonWildlife vcard United Kingdom4 Constructive Critique Points
30 Oct 2010 - 8:09 PM

Works very well for me Sylvia and I love the comp !! Excellent work.

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teocali
teocali e2 Member 6212 forum poststeocali vcard England18 Constructive Critique Points
30 Oct 2010 - 10:54 PM

Thank you all very much for your constructive comments and kind words - very much appreciated and a lot learned Smile
Sylvia

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chalkhillblue
chalkhillblue e2 Member 5143 forum postschalkhillblue vcard United Kingdom2 Constructive Critique Points
31 Oct 2010 - 9:27 AM

No more to add Sylvia, so much great advice available here, this image (V1), certainly works beautifully for me, excellent work.
David

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