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Some very good points made here about the background. I can see subtle changes in the tones and the eye is straight away drawn towards a superb Longy and textured perch. The colours from the perch blend naturally and with the bg the whole image comes together superbly.
On looking at the 3 images, V2 is by far the better of the 3. V1 appears to have stamens floating around at the top, possibly picked up whilst cloning. V3 looks like a type of painting and no definition. V3 looks very natural, but was not taken by you.......interesting....yet this has 52 votes which baffles me why... I see this on here and do not understand it. Surely the votes are for merit or what.
This image grabbed my attention and I was amazed at the amount of votes against lots seen on here and comments as well. Even with a major flaw in processing it has alot of attention and some valid points about cloning/content aware. Then I see that some say 'finnicky and palava' for comments made about bring up the flaws. I am relatively new here and I thought that was what it was about.
It looks as though the noise reduction has softens the breast plumage Dave. What program are you using. Also if using the 7D at ISO 400 you shouldn't have any noise visible at all. Do you have the noise reduction turned on in camera, that helps, also by reducing highlights causes noise to appear as with sharpening etc. Starnge though that you had to in the first place
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