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Sika Stags

By canonfan46  
Hi all, I posted this in the hope that one of you experts would advise on the processing.
Although the finished image looks as good as most of my other efforts I have gotten the idea that its not quite right.
I dont know what it is that I think is wrong, maybe oversharpened, but this is how I processed it :-

Initial exposure adjustment in Lightroom 2.
Further editing in CS4.....
Noiseware applied.
Levels adjustment using AUTO only.
Shadows/Highlight adjustment.
Unsharpe mask applied.

The shot is a RAW and was taken at ISO800, 1/500s, f5.6.

Any advice/tips on how good/bad the processing is would be appreciated.

Tags: Wildlife and nature


saeidNL 11 3 Netherlands
13 Apr 2010 8:05PM
Stunning sharp detailed image,very well taken.
alfie99 12 1 Wales
13 Apr 2010 8:06PM
exselent shot and well caught..aled
OliPackwood 10 5 5 United Kingdom
13 Apr 2010 8:24PM
Great shot, really nice POF.

OAKEY 12 United Kingdom
13 Apr 2010 8:25PM
Great capture, very well done.
banehawi Plus
16 2.3k 4177 Canada
13 Apr 2010 9:20PM
Can you post the original shot as a mod so we can compare and offer more constructive advice? I would also like to know your Unsharp Mask Settings, as well as what youve done with Shadow/Highlight.


Ingleman 13 9 4
13 Apr 2010 9:26PM
It's a beauty. If these are in the wild you did well to get the shot. My comment would be that shooting against a bright sky would give you exposure issues and hence the need to mess with shadows/highlights etc. On my screen it looks good, with nice enough detail and colour. Shot against a landscape bg would produce more even tones, but still, I think its a nice shot. Well done
canonfan46 11 1.1k United Kingdom
13 Apr 2010 9:40PM
Thanks Willie, posted a mod with details for you.
banehawi Plus
16 2.3k 4177 Canada
13 Apr 2010 11:49PM
Thanks for loading the original John.

First off, its a really good, shot, and to get it at all shooting into the sky is an achievement in itself. Two together in a lovely pose.

I think you did quite well in your own mod, but I would caution about using Auto Levels, - it can be a little weird.

With the highlight toning down, I found I had to limit it to the sky and the right deers antlers, otherwise I lost contrast in the bodies.

Otherwise, the only thing I did differently was sharpen at amount = 80%, Radius = 0.8, Threshold = 3, - which should look less sharp, but for some reason it looks sharper in the upload; and I set the blcak and white points using a threshold adjustment, then used Curves for the levels adjustment.

A well done shot, and I dont see a lot of difference in my mod and yours apart from a slightly warmer tone in mine, and Ive cloned out a bit of grass.

Hope this is useful,


canonfan46 11 1.1k United Kingdom
14 Apr 2010 12:18AM
Thanks Willie, for the encouragement and the tips.
Your mod does look better. It seems "cleaner", probably due to the sharpening, I also I notice that you have taken the greens down a bit which makes the subjects stand out better.

Just learning PS at the moment and your comments help me a lot in understanding where I'm going wrong.......or maybe even right sometimes.
A very useful critique, appreciated
Niknut Plus
10 2.7k 82 United Kingdom
14 Apr 2010 9:22PM
What a lovely (lucky ?) shot of these gorgeous deer, they're in a great pose & using the sky as background has eliminated any clutter....I like this a lot. The only niggle is with the burned-out sky, unavoidable at the time, but at least you got the I've created my mod. to try & help the sky along & included a couple of other tweeks also & I think it makes a corking image....regards...Nn.
paulbroad 13 131 1290 United Kingdom
15 Apr 2010 9:43AM
Potentially quite excellent, but the problem is the background it looks - wrong. I assume you have tried to blurr it but the result is not natural - one of the mods is spot on - nice sodft background which doesn't jar or compete.

Animals are super. I think you have tried to be too clever.

canonfan46 11 1.1k United Kingdom
15 Apr 2010 8:59PM
Hi Paul, the last thing I would try to be is too

The shot is exactly as came out of camera except for a little exposure correction in LR and shadows/higlights in PS. Also a little sharpening applied. The background is as shot as you can see in the original file posted. I never work with the backgrounds simply because I wouldent know how as I am a beginner with PS.

But thanks for your encouraging comments.

Niknut, thanks again for your comments and I totally agree about bthe burned out sky. I wish I knew what you did with your mod, its great.


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