Back Modifications (3)
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Once upon a midnight dreary

By crawford1206
The Raven is my favourite poem, and the main achievement of this photo was to find a tame raven near to where I live.

I would really appreciate a critique on this photograph.



Tags: Close-up and macro 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.


Jestertheclown 9 7.6k 252 England
19 Apr 2011 10:39PM
Hi Sue,

I like this.
Birds are quite on my list of things that I like to photograph and I don't have one of these yet!
It's well focused and his eye is spot on. You've also caught the reflections and shadows in his plumage nicely.
The image is a little "flat" though. In other words, I think it could do with a bit more contrast and the colours (of the bird) could be a bit stronger.
Also, the composition could be improved. I know that more often than not, you don't have much say in that aspect of bird photography but your friend here would benefit from some more space above his head and to the left to give him something to "look into".
I've uploaded a mod. in which I've made a slight adjustment to the contrast (using levels), I've, very badly, added some background above and to the left and finally sharpened it.
If I was to go to town on this properly I think I would select and slightly desaturate the whole of the background. Thus causing the raven to really stand out.
Hope this helps.


Edit. There's a school of thought that says that because we read from left to right our brains prefer to see photographs that "read" from left to right. If you believe that, then your raven is looking the wrong way.
So I've turned him around!

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19 Apr 2011 10:49PM
Thanks Bren

You've given me a fair bit to think about there. Watch this space for my own improvements based on your advice.


(on a HUGE Photoshop learning curve)
Jestertheclown 9 7.6k 252 England
19 Apr 2011 11:02PM

Quote:(on a HUGE Photoshop learning curve)

It is, isn't it . . . ! ?

Which version are you using? I only ask because the newer ones are more capable.

Most of what I've done to this is pretty basic stuff and just things that you'll soon be doing as a matter of course.

The trickiest thing I've done here is to extend the canvas. If you do it properly, it doesn't show at all but it can be time consuming. There are various ways to do it and I know that there's a tutorial somewhere on here. It's not something I do very often but occasionally it comes in handy. It's a trick worth knowing.

Something I do is to collect the "tip of the day" tutorials that are published at the top RHS of the gallery page each day. All I do is click on it to open it, then save the page as a Pdf. I've got loads of them in a folder, each renamed with a short title which is easily readable.

Just a thought.

20 Apr 2011 12:32AM
Hi Bren

I am using Photoshop Elements 9.

A friend from the photo club has just shown me some really handy shortcuts in Bridge.

Don't get me wrong I can quite easily move ALL the sliders. Thats easy to do. i need to train my eyes to see what they need to see to make a good strong image. Then I can quite happily move sliders up, then down and back up to where they need to be.

I'll make more use of the tips within this forum. I'll book some time in the future to at the very least start considering layers !!


paulbroad 10 123 1181 United Kingdom
20 Apr 2011 6:50PM
A good image. Black birds are notoriously difficult to shoot and reain detail and you have done very well. Possibly boost the contrast a bit to give slightly better blacks, but otherwise good. Could place the head a little nearer the right, or reverse the image so the bird looks left.

Virtually all the controls a keen photographer needs are available in Elements or Paintshop Pro - I use full blown CS3, but it is very rare to find a need for the more complex tools available in the pro versions. Elements 9 will do all you could wish.


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