Back Versions (2)
Modifications (1)
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Pied Wagtail

By canonfan46  
Another attempt at a bird close up.
I think I have got the subject a little better this time but the background is not great.
Any suggestions about how to improve the background, or any other aspect of this shot.
Any tips or pointers would be appreciated.

Tags: Wildlife and nature

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TonyDy Plus
11 52 3 United Kingdom
6 Jan 2010 3:11PM
Not much to improve with this one - nice picture of a pied wagtail, well done.
Brian65 11 2 United Kingdom
6 Jan 2010 3:14PM
Great capture. Brian
mickjoy 13 United Kingdom
6 Jan 2010 3:26PM
Great capture, my advice for what it is worth. It looks a bit flat if you could have waited for the bird to turn towards you it would not look like a cut out pasted on. I am not one for to much compuer work on photo's but you could clone in the leaves to take out the mottled look. Saying that the exposure is spot on. Hope this may help, Regards Mick
bricurtis Plus
15 2.4k 50 England
6 Jan 2010 3:42PM
As a bird watcher I think you do need to address the colour of the Wagtail - it has a blue tinge to it.
Re correcting this image you need to use colour balance or curves to reduce the Blue channel.
Re b/g - I would not worry to much about that - you could adj brightness of the image.
I have done a quick mod to show what I mean - the Wagtail now has a more natural colour.
Hope that helps.
6 Jan 2010 3:45PM
Thats the thing with wildlife photography, unless you manufacture the shot as in set perches that give pleasing backgrounds you have to take what is put in front of you. As Mickjoy has already mentioned you could use software if you have it to change or modify the image. I like this image the subject itself is sharp. Maybe in future take a look at the background before taking a shot to see if a different angle will give a more pleasing background.
accipiter 11 61 England
6 Jan 2010 5:05PM
Your v1 capture is great. For a 'wild' shot I think irregular background is well tolerated (it is often out of focus) and I don't mind bokeh either. A
pluckyfilly 14 351 33 United Kingdom
6 Jan 2010 5:35PM
well done not an easy bird to get on cam - accipiter is right the irregular b/g is forgiveable as with wildlife you take what you can get
canonfan46 11 1.1k United Kingdom
6 Jan 2010 6:19PM
Thanks for your comments folks, all very helpful.
I have loaded a third version that has a much better background.
Can anyone explain why the backgrounds are different?
Thanks again
NEWMANP 12 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
6 Jan 2010 6:58PM
couple of interesting things,
if you are uploading natural history subjects its usually best to do a bit of a check and find the name of the species, the same would go for a camera club competition.

for screen viewing you have the bird around the right size within frame, if you want to make large prints you will need more space around the composition because at A3 the bird would look larger than life and out of proportion.

the back ground can be toned down a little by cloning the plainer darker areas over some of the highlights.

the further you stop down the aperature, the smaller and more defined the out of focus highlights will be, so obviously the aperature selected will have the greatest effect on the out of focus areas in the background, the use of longer focal length and wider aperature will blur the whole background down much better but it can be a balance to get the best sharpness and required depth of field out of the lens. this balance is often not achieved until stopped down by at least 2 stops from wide open. this is where wide aperature primes win out every time.

hope this helps
canonfan46 11 1.1k United Kingdom
6 Jan 2010 8:28PM
thanks Phil, some very good pointers there.
Geofferz 12 1 United Kingdom
6 Jan 2010 8:45PM
Great capture.
paulbroad 13 131 1290 United Kingdom
7 Jan 2010 12:41PM
i like it. wagtails are not easy to record other than at my old place of work where many hundreds roosted on our warm gas mains at night - you could almost pick them up. This is good, possibly a little colour correction and a little darker, but admirable.


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