Back Modifications (6)
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By ctxuk  
After a day of awful light, came, not out of the blue, but the grey ...... an hour or so of total changes, thunder, rain, rainbows and beautiful golden light later. I noticed a light change sat at the pc, looked out and rushed out to take some shots of the wonderful cloud formations that had appeared, this one of them. I wish the bird was on a third, or that finger of whispy black, but nature said not, the sky above different again.
I have eased the blue back on this after pulling at both end stops, in fact I never pulled the black back too much due to it changing the image hugely. Normal processing and some sensor spot removal only.
Any thoughts on how I could have improved it, or on it generally please.

Tags: Sky Dark Blue White Black Clouds Bird of prey Whispy Tendrils Wildlife and nature


dudler Plus
16 973 1534 England
23 May 2016 5:09PM
It would be interesting to see the unprocessed original, if yo ucould add it as a mod, Martyn.

I can definitely see what you were doing here: it's the single tiny bird that makes this. I'd want to put it more in a corner, making the composition really unbalanced, because it is an uneasy, stressful moment for the bird.

The black cloud is the heart of it, and the blue sky at top right slightly undercuts it... Maybe a more extreme crop than I've tried already... Or some clever processing...

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ctxuk 10 7 1 England
23 May 2016 8:05PM
Hi dudler.

Third Mod - Original SOOC jpeg added, no crop

Fourth Mod - I processed as my upload original, and then duplicated, moved slider to set black point more left than it was, this makes it bluer and the tendril darker, which wasn't reality but is perhaps more desirable. If it wasn't for wishing to keep the tendril a much darker contrast than rest of frame I would perhaps try dodging and burning n areas to add atmosphere. A part of me likes the look though as it came originally, which is why mod 4 wasn't my uploaded version for critique, but another part says dodge those clouds and make them shine in places, and darken others.

I have not cropped but considered it. To my eye you have the bird too far down to the corner perhaps and I will add mod 5 as a suggested crop based on mod 4 colouring.

Yes, the tendril and the Bird make the shot, the tendril as the contrast to the light chasing the storm away.

I will work on another version too to add some atmosphere based on my comments.

Thanks for your thoughts, appreciated.
paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
23 May 2016 8:12PM
I had to look twice to see it was a bird. It lacks impact. The bird needs to be somewhat bigger and the sky is, to my eyes, quite 'normal'. Nothing to stop you and make you lok. Needs dramatic lighting, a sunset, sunrise, real storm clouds, smething to give strength.

ctxuk 10 7 1 England
23 May 2016 8:26PM
Ignore modification 5, some upload glitch, wrong frame.

Mod 6 is the one to view
ctxuk 10 7 1 England
23 May 2016 8:27PM
That could be what I have just done, the bird though was an integral part of the shot Paul, not added so unable to enlarge it really perhaps.
dudler Plus
16 973 1534 England
23 May 2016 10:13PM
Thanks for the feedback, the original image, and the dialogue.

I like extreme crops - the other way to put it is a lot of negative space... And it's partly a matter of taste.

You clearly edit a great deal more than I do: layers are almost completely beyond my experience.

I understand the idea of the tendril as a contrast - we were looking to do different things, and emphasise different aspects of the picture (which is, first and last, yours, not mine!) Options, not right and wrong.

I wonder about white balance and the blueness - Willie (banehawi) is the expert on this, and he may have soemthign to add, and ideas for avoiding excessive blue where you don't want it.
ctxuk 10 7 1 England
23 May 2016 10:59PM
A White Balance was shot, I pretty much always take one for light at time of capture. I figure because of the nature of the shot that is why it is limited on the histogram to only part, my forcing the stops helps maybe.

The blue has concerned me from the word go, increasing either contrast or moving the Black end point affects that.

I live and learn and explore dudler, without input from others I only have my idea and view on an image< yourself, Paul, Tanya and Willie have all taught me things on this site, and made me examine things ... especially Willie!

Layers are simple, to not use them is strange.

What did you think to the 16.9 version crop and colour?
paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
24 May 2016 8:00AM
You can alter the size of the bird, even when it is integral to the shot. Select, copy, enlarge, paste back over the original.

dudler Plus
16 973 1534 England
24 May 2016 10:43AM
I think the 16:9 version works well.

All of us work in different ways: and have different specialisms: I'm still a film user, and that sets my approach, most of the time. It begins with aiming to shoot exactly what I want in the end, and a love of in-camera optical effects (and I also love prime lenses, only using zooms when there's no choice).

So layers don't seem very important to me, while an 85mm f/1.4 lens is essential (actually, I could do 75% of everything I do with it, I reckon).
ctxuk 10 7 1 England
24 May 2016 6:03PM
Paul - yes I can do that but then it is no longer a photograph, but a contrived image. In fact I have a lot of Raptor images I could insert over it but I am not sure it is right to do so. For me it goes beyond the scope of image processing, which I do believe in doing, after all Ansell Adams worked on all of his to get what he wished from them, (not that I consider myself anywhere close to him in ability, just an example).

dudler - I agree, I strive to not crop images but attempt to shoot to use the entire frame just as if it was holiday snaps as a 6 year old.

I too prefer primes, but do have zooms also, one I use often. It seems though so often I use this 300 f4, but in reality use it far less now than before. You know what you want and have bought for your needs, I do want a lens, just money holding me back ... and yes, it's a prime.

I play with images a lot due to an avatar based chat site history where I used PSP. Whilst I own about 7 versions of PSP I in fact ceased using it long ago, although it does have some very useful features. The beauty of it as a program is that its a cheap PS style program, that works almost identically in the past, transitioning to PS a doddle. Anyhow, anything you did you added as a new layer rather than attempting it all on the one, it means you can try out things, and swap the layer out if it doesn't work as you wanted. I have owned PS since CS5 Extended, and also have the latest CC Photography Plan. I can assure you layers allow you more freedom and enable some things.

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