Back Modifications (3)
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Having a cwtch with Mum

By hibbz  
I would like your thoughts on this one, would you crop the right hand side with Dad & the other young grebe as not in focus, or do you think it tells a story having them there. Appreciate any comments. Many thanks Jenny

Tags: Family Lake Young Great crested grebes Wildlife and nature

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mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.9k 2457 United Kingdom
13 May 2019 8:44AM
Hi Jenny, this is delightful! I would definitely keep Dad in the frame. Mum is the centre of attention, all eyes are turned towards her, including Dad's. So he is a part of the story but not the focal point, it's fine for him to be a bit softer than she is.

Where I did immediately want to crop a wee bit is on the left - the vertical reeds in the water give a lovely semi-abstract background, and the stem to the left of Mum provides a nice entry into the frame. But because she is looking to the right I don't think that this much empty space behind her head serves any purpose.

I've added a quick modification. I cropped keeping your ratio. I also warmed colour slightly, reduced contrast, added some brightness, just to give a more sunlit feel.

There are some tiny white dots where light hits dust particles, these dots are exaggerated when the file is resized for uploading - I got rid of a few of the more annoying ones.

A lovely image, that would do well in the main gallery.
paulbroad 14 131 1293 United Kingdom
13 May 2019 9:29AM
Very nice indeed and well seen. I would leave it as it is. I know, very well that it would be near impossible to get all the birds pin sharp due to absolute minimal depth of field. I suffer the same problem. Smaller aperture would help, but such a long lens combination, and thus light requirements tend to preclude this.

I often try for f11 and use ISO400 or 800 providing I can support the camera - a fence pose, seat back or similar, but you still need the fast shutter speed due to subject movement. OIS no help for that.

More than acceptable as is.

pamelajean Plus
15 1.6k 2238 United Kingdom
13 May 2019 7:24PM
I'm voting for Dad to be kept in the frame, too, Jenny, but had to try a modification that just included Mum and her young, just to see what is being lost. Of course, if we didn't know that the original had dad in it as well, it would still be a fine shot.

So, my first modification includes the whole family, with mum in focus and definitely the star of the show.
Dad's tail feathers have been clipped, so I added some canvas to the right side and gave them back to him.
I cropped the left side so that the space either side looked balanced. I also cropped the top, and slightly adjusted contrast.
At the time of shooting, you simply needed to move the camera a bit more to the right.

Yes, I think that having the pair in the frame tells a story.


PS: Having a WHAT with mum?
dudler Plus
18 1.7k 1877 England
14 May 2019 2:58PM
I'm with Moira: Dad is a framing device, and adds to the story. The space on the left does neither.

And a beautiful moment, cropped or not.
dark_lord Plus
17 2.8k 784 England
14 May 2019 8:27PM
Definitely kept in, part of the story as supporting information. Not the focal point or main interest so it doesn't need to be sharp.
hibbz Plus
10 205 Wales
15 May 2019 6:19AM
Can I thank all of you for answering my request on this photo & I have taken it all on board. As for Pamelajean a cwtch is a welsh word for a cuddle. Many thanks once again. Jenny

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