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Elegant Swan

By HelenT4
Looking for comment on processing using photoshop, I already had some great advice given which has improved the quality when saving RAW data.

Tags: Wildlife and nature

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


banehawi 13 1.7k 3747 Canada
2 Jun 2012 9:57PM
The white of the Swans neck is quite bright, and you cant see any detail in the feathers.

This is due to overexposure, so using a negative exposure compensation of perhaps -2/3 would have helped. It can be quite difficult to get the Swans white feathers right, and needs a bit of practice.

The composition is tight, and looks better if theres a little more space in front.

Using the highlight recovery tool in CS I was able to get the neck looking better with more detail, and Ive added a little space to the left.

Hope this helps,



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Trev_B 10 151 68 England
3 Jun 2012 12:46AM
Hi Helen, Nice sharp focus on the eye, however Willie is right you have got the whites to bright.

Swans are notorious for getting the white feathers over exposed, but there are things you can do to overcome the problem. First shoot in Raw that will give you a couple of aperture stops lea way reducing the risk of slight overexposure. Do as Willie suggest and apply some negative EV, as you can always lighten the image later whilst retaining the plumage detail. Swans tend to be inquisitive and tend to come to you, so you should have plenty of time to try different exposure settings and lots of shots.

You obviously have a steady hand as the focus is spot on, don't be afraid to up the ISO so that you can uses faster shutter speeds and smaller apertures.

paulbroad 10 123 1181 United Kingdom
3 Jun 2012 9:27AM
At first sight a strong well composed image, but before relying on Photoshop or any software, you need to get the initial image as near correct as possible. Two things here. You are a little over exposed causing detail loss. If necessary, a tiny bit of under exposure helps when shooting. I have all my Canon DSLR's set for minus 1/3 stop as standard - which allows me to correct in software if necessary with detail almost always there.

There is a slight lack of sharpness and the blur on the water from the beak suggests movement of camera - shake. If you were hand holding, 1/250 sec is not fast enough as you were actually at 300mm. It is almost impossible to fully correct camera shake blur fully in software.

3 Jun 2012 12:45PM
This is billiant lots of feedback, and some great advise which I am sure will help to improve my photography, thanks to all.

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