Back Modifications (4)
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To Pass or Not to Pass

By mikewatson
All critique welcome .
Taken in diffused afternoon light.
Only stood like this for a few moments before returning to feed on the grass.
I was liking the arrogant aspect of the cow, dare you come pass me or not.

Tags: Highland cow Wildlife and nature

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mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.1k 2210 United Kingdom
26 Oct 2017 9:58AM
Classic use of wide-ish angle for gently surreal distortion! And a brave shot, you were pretty close to those horns.

First off, is this cropped from a larger file? If so, could you add it as a modification please?

For large parts of Britain, horizontal is a very elastic concept. The ground obviously sloped quite dramatically, but not, I suspect quite as much as shown here. Rotating a little anticlockwise would I think look more balanced for the background, particularly the trees, and would also emphasise the asymmetrical arrangement of the horns.

The light has served you well, as has the minus exposure compensation, it would be easy to end up with totally blown highlights on the horns in stronger sun. But 1/60 second was a tad risky, particularly if you were not keen to hang around I would prefer to increase ISO for 1/125 or 1/160 for safety.

I like the fact that we cannot see the eyes properly, it adds importance to the bit of grass trailing from the mouth. But as an alternative, there's detail in that eye on the left to us, it could possibly be brought out with a bit of gentle dodging.

I'll have a play with this, but if a larger file is available it would be good to see it.
Edit - Looking more closely, you have done quite a bit of cloning in the trees in the background top left, there are noticeable pattern repeats. So I really would like to see the original!

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mikewatson 14 2 United Kingdom
26 Oct 2017 10:03AM
Thanks for the comment. Yes it was on a very steep slope and that is the file.
mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.1k 2210 United Kingdom
26 Oct 2017 10:14AM
I've added a modification, rotated and skewed a bit. I think this looks better balanced for the background trees, on the right, and also gives a more dramatic effect for the angles of the horns, while keeping a steep slope. I also very slightly boosted highlights.

I added a further note as an edit above - the cloning in the top left of the frame does jump out, mixed foliage is tricky. You need to try to avoid both pattern repeats and that hazy look - a relatively large brush is good because it avoids hard edges, but I think maybe you used too large.
Chris_L 6 5.5k United Kingdom
26 Oct 2017 11:15AM
I think it needs a change to the colour balance, I think it would be fairly easy to achieve. the grass a different shade of green, the colours of the animal warmed up a little. It looks like a bright day but would love it to look 'sunnier'. Hope I'm explaining myself correctly. I'll post a mod, which won't be final but which will hint at what I mean.
banehawi Plus
16 2.2k 4123 Canada
26 Oct 2017 12:00PM
Quite nice. More care needed with cloning as Moira points out.

Warmer white balance will work better.

Mod uploaded.

paulbroad 12 131 1288 United Kingdom
26 Oct 2017 1:49PM
A good image by any standard. Shows the Highland cow well and I am quite happy with the colour - it is the diffused lighting that has given the rich colour but it is plenty warm enough for me and the lighting is ideally suited reducing contrast and thus giving a pleasing balance.

dudler Plus
16 1.1k 1645 England
26 Oct 2017 9:21PM
I'll simply echo Moira's words - a good shot, and a brave one. Square on can be a very flexible concept: and I like hte idea that this creature is so powerful that it messes with where 'up' is!

Once you see it, the cloning is distracting - I wonder what needed covering up in the background? Bare sky seems possible - or artifacts that make the scene less rural?

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