Back Modifications (6)
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From out of the Depths ......

By ctxuk  
I havent shot any deer for a few years, this the first with this body. I decided to crop the image for this frame, I would have preffered a little more in front of him to get exact eye position on a node having to settle for this which isn't quite, to me the hanging oak branches an important aspect of the frame also.
Shot in raw, processed in the latest PS CC 2015. No major editing, no enhancements.

If banehawi happens to drop by and comment I would like to thank him for previous comments on images. If I don't understand I do question, I do look to see what you mean in your critique, and work on it and my processing. This an example of working on/with your comments in my processing. Hopefully I have got right the information interpretation of that critique.

Tags: Stag Wild Red deer Wildlife and nature


dudler Plus
16 970 1533 England
13 Sep 2015 5:48PM
My take on this is that you could do with a fraction more detail in the shadows (easily achieved by opening the file in Adobe Camera Raw, and brightening the shadows, while holding back the highlights.

The oak leaves may be important, but they're an awful long way from the stag - I think others will want to crop them all. I've compromised, and cropped on the right, which puts the stag in a dominant corner position, though not on a third. Precision doesn't matter, though, if it looks right. Question is - in my mod, does it?

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ctxuk 10 7 1 England
13 Sep 2015 6:30PM
Your comment very welcome thank you dudler.

Whilst processing, I did indeed ponder opening the shadows up, I added contrast to lift them from being too flat. I was reluctant to open them, in fact I should have tried it rather than just thinking about it, it being easy to revert if needed, a foolish ommision on my part. Opening them opens up the leaves on the branches to the left of frame and doesn't kill the play between highlights and shadows that I feared in amongst the background, highlights often enhanced by darker abutting areas. The whole aspect of those two branches descending about light, depth and nature, normally I would be keen to exclude objects to frame edge.

As to the crop, I wont comment as of yet, waiting to see if your prediction on your fellow team members is correct. I will however upload the original frame pre crop but post processing. A little unfair on yourself, you may wish to look at the crop again in light of its aspects.
pamelajean Plus
13 1.2k 2094 United Kingdom
13 Sep 2015 7:49PM
You will have to believe what I say. I started doing a modification before dinner, ate dinner, washed up and came back to the modification. I have just finished it, came back here, to find the interesting comments above.
Yes, I cropped the overhanging leaves.

It's interesting to see your original, and you have cropped off quite a bit, yet there is still some very nice detail on the deer.
I wanted to add a bit more of the light grass at the bottom, and see that you already had some more in your original, though I didn't want to keep THAT much.
The reason why I wanted more grass at the bottom - even if an animal's feet are hidden in undergrowth, I feel that you need space in the frame as if they were seen, otherwise there is a feeling of them being cut off even though you cannot SEE that they are.

My crop is in line with John's reasoning, to give more space in the front of the deer, less behind it, space for it to move into.
I brightened the image. I didn't want to brighten too much because the atmosphere of dense woodland and a shy deer might be lost. I lifted the shadows and reduced the highlights, then did a Levels adjustment.
As previously said, my second modification has added grass at the bottom.
I have now done a third modification, with the image mirrored, so that the deer is facing to the right.

I like the dappled light that you have captured here, and the way you have little highlights throughout the frame.

Jestertheclown 11 8.0k 252 England
13 Sep 2015 8:13PM
There's a school of thought; to which I subscribe, which says that it's never a good idea to use a frame or background that mimics the predominant colour in your image.

In other words, that brown surround really doesn't work at all.

You're much better off sticking with black or white.

ctxuk 10 7 1 England
13 Sep 2015 8:22PM
Hi pamelajean thank you for your response also.

Yes, for myself who normally shoots with a view to use the entire frame I cropped a lot, its a hangover from film days for me and, to be honest, why waste that space? It's not so easy with moving subjects, worse when you are unable to predict their movement pattern, worse yet, Animals/Insects/Birds and Babies. I still ofen manage to use entire frames though so the occasional isn't perhaps so bad.

That grass, as he is ascending to the bank, I cropped with a visual aspect, his back on a third, his eye towards centre of the frame from the right third, the best I could manage wishing to retain elements of composition. I also learnt not to crowd an animals rear with the frame edge, to my mind, yours too close, mine further than I wished, if you used his eye on the node it would be correct and between the two. I figured that grass too intense on a light level in comparison to the forested area behind him.

Your third crop interesting, mirroring him, putting him in the "male aspect" and traditionally making the subject more dominant and stronger in identity to the actual female aspect captured, I am not sure if it actually does that though to my mind flicking between them.

As always with the team, room for thought for the poster, thank you.
ctxuk 10 7 1 England
13 Sep 2015 8:31PM
Hi Jestertheclown

Thanks for your judgement.

A new one to myself that school of thought. I looked at several custom colours and pondered an opposite but choosing what you see to compliment my image, I guess for you that dosn't work.

I prefer to add a border often to images based on the image content but several team members are not so keen on those either. Presentation can count for much, if I fail in pleasing all it is hardly surprising, hopefully though there is a middle ground. To you, it fails, and you say black or white, I disagree entirely with that as too with the comment the brown doesn't work at all, what you are saying is it does not work for you!

Note, the default is a pale blue, it isnt something I have changed before (at least I think not) only noticing I could today. The main colour in the image is perhaps not brown by the way.
dark_lord Plus
15 2.4k 598 England
13 Sep 2015 8:38PM
The leaves at the top can act as part of a frame but they are bright areas at the edge of thr image and thus catch the eye so on balance i'd crop them too, so the image realy concentrates on the stag. More oak leaves across the top may be better - I'll try a mod.

I don't mind a brown surround per se, but here there are very dark tones in the image and a pure black frame would lift those darker areas of the image.

The grass, does form a base for the image but it's be worth toning this down. You can do this with a graduated filter in Camera Raw or Lightroom.

ctxuk 10 7 1 England
13 Sep 2015 9:30PM
Hi dark_lord, thanks for your response and the mod.

I certainly take on board the bright comment on leaves and the edge drawing you away from the stag itself.

I appreciate the mod and realise a rough only, I would crop out rather than add more cloned in.

My objection to Jokers comment based on you should only use black or white, a very traditional approach. If i was building a web page for photo display I would either use a duck egg blue, or a grey, the reasoning that neither influence to any degree the image content. Black and White are incredibly strong colours really, very suited to a b/w image where they may be less influential but used with colour, have a bigger impact. Little in life is white, even snow and both get tiring to view for any amount of time influencing your perspective on the subject.

The processing removed a little yellow, and some green, we are talking very small amounts here but the main influence that bright foreground grass as it was on the shadows side flag. Adding some back in, altering the shadows point and perhaps the black clip adjusted may reduce a need for a grad.

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