I've been after a decent shot of a Magpie for ages, this is the third summer, in fact.
It's not that there are none around because there are plenty of them. Many of them live very close to where I live.
The problem has always been one of never being in the right place, with a camera, at the right time. On many occasions, I've had them stand and watch me walk past. When I didn't have a camera. And when I did, they'd all fly away, or keep their distance, seemingly laughing at me.
Today in the park and for once, without the dog, I waited beneath a particular tree, camera in hand, set up as I hoped would be exactly right for the conditions in anticipation of the arrival of one of the Magpies that I know frequent that particular spot.
My patience paid off and after about ten minutes, two of them landed quite close by, looked at me (with some disdain) and began grubbing.
On moved away as soon as I moved but the other was a real gent and he carried on, with one eye warily watching me but not really concerned. We moved across the park, him in front with me shooting at every opportunity from about ten or twelve feet behind him.
Finally, when he'd had enough, he stretched his wings, almost as if to warn me of his departure and then he was off. His warning worked though because, as he flew away, I followed with the camera and got this. His wings must be at full stretch.
I couldn't have found a better, more willing model if I'd been paying him.
A little work went into producing this.
Shot in RAW.
W/B, adjustments to tone etc., added fill light in Lightroom.
Into CS6 for threshold 'Curves' for contrast, reduction of saturation in the yellow channel only to reduce the greenness of the grass and some of the background. Cropped and USMed (Amount 50% - radius 0.8 - threshold 3).
Re-opened in Lightroom to reduce the noise, increase clarity, then check and reduce noise (very slightly) again.
Exported as Jpeg.
Back to CS5 to resize and check sharpness, Hope it's OK; (I think it is anyway) and finally uploaded to here!
Apart from all of that, it was easy!
I think I'll upload it the CG tomorrow. It looks better, larger.