Back Versions (2)
Modifications (3)
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Resident Drake

By strokebloke  
The resident drake, with an eye this time Pamela. Certainly the light was better and he decided to 'face-me-down'. I think the term 'resident' has gone to his head a little. Grin Grin

Tags: General Mallard 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.


saeidNL 8 3 Netherlands
16 May 2011 6:13PM
Lovely capture,in good light,

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Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
16 May 2011 10:56PM
Hi Jack,
I rather like this.
I've uploaded a mod. in which I've desaturated it a bit, well quite a bit actually, using just the yellow channel as I thought that the grass was a bit erm, green!
There's loads of really vibrant colour in the rest of the shot but I thought the green was a bit overpowering.
I always think that with shots of ducks or most wild birds for that matter, it's possible to get quite carried away with adjusting colours in software until it looks nothing like the original, yet no-one notices. I've got a few on my website and I've found that the best policy, in my opinion anyway, is to keep the tweaking to the minimum.
I also sharpened it but that was because I was uploading it as a mod. and as you know, they always seem to suffer a little. At least, mine do!
Anyway, it's good to see you still posting.


strokebloke 9 493 17 England
16 May 2011 11:40PM
My word, that does make a difference, doesn't it? I honestly didn't realise I'd saturated it that much Tongue

You've done that by balancing the yellow channel?

I can see what you mean. It's toned down the whole image slightly, but most noticeably and significantly, the grass.
There was a lot of sunlight, to the left & behind the drake, but your mod looks a lot more natural, particularly when the two are available to be compared with one another.

I'll go back to the original and see if I can replicate your mod Grin

Thanks Bren

PS: I'll keep on posting [for critique], simply because I'm learning so much
strokebloke 9 493 17 England
17 May 2011 12:00AM
Well it's certainly not identical to your mod Ben, but is arguably more in keeping with it.
If you look at the description for V3, you'll see how I processed it.
It would be helpful to know how you processed your mod Smile

Now I'm wondering whether I fell into the same error with the duck (V2) Grin
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
17 May 2011 12:23AM

Quote:It would be helpful to know how you processed your mod Smile

No problem Jack.

It was actually very straightforward. I used CS5 but any half way decent editor will have the tools.
Open your original image. Click on "image," then "adjustments" and "hue/saturation." Whatever software you use, I'm sure there will be a version of that. Then using the box containing the word "Master," click on the arrow and using the drop down, select "Yellow." Then just use the de-saturation slider as if you were de-saturating the whole thing. Just move it until the grass (or whatever you're adjusting) looks OK.
For some reason, "Yellow" works better than "Green" for desaturating grass. I think it must be to do with the fact that yellow is a factoring colour in making green.
There doesn't seem to have been much excessive green or yelow in the drake himself so he's come out pretty unscathed. If he had been affected, I'd have isolated him and dealt selectively with the background.

I can't really see anything obviously wrong with V2. I think it's one of those images where you could play with the channel mixers/levels/curves etc. for ages and only end up with an image that's different but no better, as I pointed out earlier.
As it is, it's got plenty of nastural looking colour, it's as sharp as a tack andthere's nothing wrong with the composition so I'd leave it alone!

Hope all of that helps!

Best wishes,

strokebloke 9 493 17 England
17 May 2011 12:24AM
my Mod ~ yellow channel-desat (-50) ~ no adjustment to hue

It looks as if you went even further than that with your desat (-55/60) Gulp.......
Jestertheclown 9 7.7k 252 England
17 May 2011 12:26AM

Quote:It looks as if you went even further than that with your desat (-55/60) Gulp.......

I didn't look at the figures Jack.
I just stopped when it looked OK.
strokebloke 9 493 17 England
17 May 2011 12:35AM

Quote:Hope all of that helps

Bren, it certainly does. Splendidly ~ another constructive step forward Grin
Very much appreciated

pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2023 United Kingdom
17 May 2011 3:46PM
Well, that was all interesting, Jack. So glad you are such a model pupil. You have some very obliging models here, who seem very happy to stay with you for a while. You have lovely detail on the male's head, especially the eye and bill (yes, you have an eye!). It's amazing how the male mallard's head colours change, depending on the light. Just a few tips for wildfowl photography - always get down low, try to have eye contact, and leave space in the area into which the bird is looking/moving, all of which you have achieved here. Watch those whites, the back of the bird and the tail feathers are suffering a little. You will already know the problem you are faced with here, very dark and very light plumage. The female in V2 is fine, but she would stand out a lot better with a background that didn't echo her own colour so much.
You might now like to think about some closer shots, perhaps just of their heads?
strokebloke 9 493 17 England
17 May 2011 5:00PM
Thank you Pamela.
The drake's tail feathers and the burned-out areas on his back & rump were the first thing I spotted, as soon as I put the image up on PS.
I don't yet know how to isolate specific parts of an image and work on them, in PS.
And I certainly don't know if anything could be done.

I've thought a couple of times of just head shots.
Maybe I'm just being evasive, but thought I would be benefit most when the light is not so stark [a little overcast, but not too much ~ enough to get what I call 'the diesel oil colours' from the drakes head plumage.
I have a lot more of the summer to go yet [& for sure, it's not going to stay sunny until October]

Thanks also for your encouragement & patience Grin

pamelajean Plus
12 1.1k 2023 United Kingdom
20 May 2011 2:13PM
I use PaintshopPro, Jack, but the principles should be the same. Ways of dealing with burn-out in editing:-
1. If you shoot RAW, the whites are more recoverable.
2. If you underexpose, you can get detail in the whites and deal with the darker areas in editing.
3. You can use the Burn Tool, but it often looks obvious. Use it on quite low opacity.
4. Use highlights/shadows and reduce the highlights. I often find this is the most satisfactory way, and some detail can usually be recovered with this method. I always adjust levels after doing this, but care is then needed not to re-blow the highlights again.
5. You could select the area with the lasso selection tool and try different methods of correcting it such as curves, darken or otherwise.
6. If you are good at cloning, you can take detail from another area where the whites have detail and fill in the burnt-out area. If I do this, I will use a low opacity brush so that it isn't too obvious. I have done it on swans where everything is fine except for one small area that was affected by strong light.
7. Shoot when the light is less intense.

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