Back Modifications (2)
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I Think it's a Crane.

By Foxey
Just trying to get a reasonable picture.

Tags: Crane Wildlife and nature


banehawi Plus
16 2.3k 4177 Canada
20 Jan 2020 8:53PM
And you succeeded.

It will look better if the left side is cropped off, and a little more sharpening is applied. Its likely the Cranes head was moving slightly, so its not as sharp as possible. If you used multi point focusing, its best to use a single point, and in this case, focus on the birds eye.

I was a bit confused by the Cranes beak, - but its simply merged with the darker colour duck behind there, so Ive cloned out part of the duck so you can see the beak in profile.


Foxey 3 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2020 9:18PM
Thank you for your kind advice. I actually don't have photo editing software. I'm thinking about that one, I think I will need a new PC or laptop to run the software, any advice on that would be helpful. Yes so the picture is straight from the camera. And you're right about the single point focusing, I don't know what Iwas thinking. How much should I have cropped?

Kind regards Foxey
pamelajean Plus
14 1.4k 2168 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2020 9:32PM
This is a Grey Crowned Crane, Mark, which you can see HERE.

As Willie says, you achieved your goal, to get a reasonable picture. But when photographing a bird like this at another time, remember to use a single focus point and to focus on the bird's eye/s. Use a fast enough shutter speed in order to get a sharp image should the bird move.

If you are photographing at a wildlife sanctuary, the bird will be used to people and probably won't be spooked by your presence, so it would be worth your while to move around in order to get a cleaner background. A few other birds in the background is acceptable, though best if they don't mingle with your crane and spoil its outline. I like Willie's modification which removes part of the bird that is directly behind the head of your crane, and makes it easier to see the head outline. The head of the crane is the most important part, it's where the viewer will begin to look, then explore the rest of the scene. Wait for the other birds to move, or change your own viewpoint.

Watch out for the angle of light when shooting any creature with white plumage or fir because it can so easily get burnt out, resulting in a complete loss of detail. Here you have mid-afternoon sunshine which has caused a few detrimental white areas, but not too bad, and the white front of your crane hasn't suffered because the light wasn't directly upon it at this time.

Compositionally, it's a good idea to have more space in front of your subject and less space behind, which Willie has demonstrated in his modification.


Foxey 3 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2020 9:54PM
Thankyou for your kind advice Pamela. I can see I have alot to learn.
I was in a hide at the time with the wrong lens. I didn't have many choices.
But yes this advice has taught me alot, hopefully next time I can pull it off.

capto Plus
8 6.4k 21 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2020 11:00PM
Straight from the camera and no post processing you have done well. Most images do improve with post processing and a chance to correct the annoying things we didn't spot at the time.
In my mod I have added to the canvas on the right and cropped the left. The background grass and other birds I reduced the colour a little, and sharpened the crane a bit and increased the colour, and added a vignette. There are plenty of free or inexpensive softwares which would add to your enjoyment of the hobby.
Foxey 3 United Kingdom
20 Jan 2020 11:12PM
Thank you Ivor for your kind words, could you advise on the software.
And as I'm fairly new to this hobby, im still learning, how do most photographers store their images, what's the best way .
capto Plus
8 6.4k 21 United Kingdom
21 Jan 2020 7:55AM

Quote:Thank you Ivor for your kind words, could you advise on the software.
And as I'm fairly new to this hobby, im still learning, how do most photographers store their images, what's the best way .

I can only advise on the programmes that I use which are Photoshop and Affinity Photo. PS being the best, but a tenner p.m. Affinity is less than 50 one off cost and a bargain. Consider the Canon software also. Best advice is to get used to shooting in RAW, it's gives much more scope in post processing. The sound advice for backing up images is to have two separate drives for peace of mind.
Good luck and enjoy the hobby.
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.4k 2295 United Kingdom
21 Jan 2020 8:38AM
You have had a lot of good advice. My first advice would be - take your time, be patient, try to get the bird with a clean background.

I'll just add that the photo was taken in strong mid-afternoon sunlight, with the light behind the bird, so what we see is in shadow. In a hide you cannot move around, but generally it's worth looking for light coming from behind your shoulder, a bit to one side, which will define detail better. Though as Pamela says bright light will always be tricky on white plumage.

Software - we subscribe to Photoshop, which is great but it's a steep learning curve. For minor adjustments I still stick to Photoshop Elements, which I find much more user-friendly. Either way there are plenty of tutorials on YouTube. You have a good camera, it's worth putting yourself into a position where you can make the most of your photographs. Digital files, even just jpegs, contain a lot of potential for enhancement.
Foxey 3 United Kingdom
21 Jan 2020 9:49AM
Thank you Moira for your advice.

21 Jan 2020 6:00PM
I only ever use Photoshop Elements. It's a one-off charge ( no monthly subscription ) with the program on a disc that you can permanently install on up to two computers... Mac or PC, either or both. As Moira says, it's more user friendly and cheaper in the long run by far than the full Photoshop subscription, and contains at least 90% of the photography-related stuff that's in Photoshop, including the Camera Raw Editor.
And you can certainly do far more with it than just basic editing... the main limiting factor is your imagination.

dark_lord Plus
16 2.7k 710 England
21 Jan 2020 8:37PM
I'm a bit late to this one.
You've done reasobnably well. It looks good for straight out of camera. Your lens was used midway through iots range so you had plenty of flexibility in composition. Certainly not the 'wrong' lens.

Composition is important and has been covered.
Timing is also important. The crane has moved its head down and away and it's mergimng in with tjhe background. Carefully observing the creature nd waiting for a moment when you can engage withnit, just like any portrait is needed. anticip[ation and subject knowledge are important skills, so it's not just the photographic aspects to consider.
By moving its head to tyhe side is likley to move it out of the plane of focus (the eye is the key thing to get sharp) so you need to be careful of that too.
I know, a lot of things to consider.

Software. You have a Canon so you should either have a disc with Canopn's Digital Phot Professional on or a link in the bumpf that came with the camera to download it (all you need is your camera's serial number'
That'll allow you to do all the adjustments you're likely to need.
If you want more I can recommend Affinity Photo, every bit as good as Adobe's offerings, though Elements is a fine package at a good price too.
paulbroad 13 131 1290 United Kingdom
22 Jan 2020 9:30AM
As above. Photoshop Elements is what you need and you do need software. Most images can be improved out of the camera. Ideally you need a desktop for any real processing. Or a decent laptop with an external screen. A laptop must have a mouse or tablet attached or you have no control. The touch pad is not good enough.

You (ideally) need a fast machine with at least 8GB of user memory and a screen of about 21". I find a tablet indispensable as a pen is much easier to manipulate than a mouse. I use a quite basic WACOM tablet - GOOGLE it - about 70.

dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1741 England
22 Jan 2020 1:03PM
Outright purchase makes sense, and both Elements and Affinity are sometimes available at a discount. Affinity is hte new kid on the block, and very keenly priced.

But don't get precious about it - the key thing is to get decent software, and learn how ot use it. A well-driven Rover 25 outpaces a poorly-steered Ferrari, especially on narrow lanes.

Computerwise, consider buying a secondhand machine - many companies change computers every three years, and a desktop from a reputable reseller, with a reasonably powerful processor, can have extra memory put in pretty easily and cheaply. You can get a laptop - but more power and a bigger screen mean I prefer soemthing that takes up a good deal of space.
dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1741 England
22 Jan 2020 1:04PM
Nothing to add this time.

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