Back Versions (1)
Modifications (1)
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Red Deer Stag Portrait

By teocali
Thought I would have a little play with digital manipulation (my knowledge of this is still very much in its infancy!), therefore have uploaded this Before and After work (Before being V2) for critique and modification. V2 is straight out of the camera, sized for web only. Would be really interested to have your comments, ideas and mods.
In V1 I have purposely left a faint outline of the fencing to provide texture. Please view LARGE if you have a moment.

Settings: F/5.6 1/50sec +0.33 ISO640 AV@500mm tripod

Thank you all so much for your continued support - very much appreciated as always Smile

Tags: Portrait Red Stag Close-up Deer Close-up and macro Digitally manipulated Rut Wildlife and nature Cervus Elaphus

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.

Comments


Cormy 8 3 England
29 Oct 2010 10:06AM
This is excellent and beautifully presented.
Cheers
Alan

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29 Oct 2010 10:09AM
Great shot, I like the manipulation.it has more impact.
Sylvia
jason_e 11 15 1 United Kingdom
29 Oct 2010 10:11AM
Unusual composition but it works spot on for me.
Jason
CarolG Plus
9 195 18 Greece
29 Oct 2010 10:21AM
Simply superb, Sylvia, a very effective presentation. Carol
Shroomer 9 14 167 England
29 Oct 2010 10:35AM
I really like what you have done with this Sylvia. Pin sharp detail and great work
Richard
pluckyfilly Plus
9 350 33 United Kingdom
29 Oct 2010 10:35AM
amazing Sylvia perhaps I could learn from you - did you select the deer then choose introvert and guassian blur or something else I missed, whatever you did I give you credit where its due - love it
Greyheron Plus
14 282 7 England
29 Oct 2010 11:01AM
This works so very well Sylvia.

A brave crop which brings attention to the majesty of the Stag and draws attention to the strength of the creature without all the fuss of the surroundings. Always amazes me how many ways one can photograph a subject and the different emotions those methods evoke.

Superb...

Mike
Karrol 7 29 England
29 Oct 2010 2:02PM
You have done a superb job.
The long length and short width really works and gives a great
composition.

The capture itself is fantastic.
RonnieAG Plus
6 153 116 Scotland
29 Oct 2010 2:08PM
I agree with the others here, Sylvia....I think you have done a superb job in processing the shot. When I saw V 1 initially I was wondering if you had cropped a bit too neatly on the right hand side and might have included just a wee bit more of the stag, but on seeing V 2 I realise this was not possible. However I have to say your processing skills are way ahead of mine.
Ronnie.
29 Oct 2010 2:20PM
Hi Great pics , now I am back trying to remember what to press on the computer again lol regards gray.
CathR 9 151 564 United Kingdom
29 Oct 2010 3:18PM
The stag sits very comfortably in the frame Sylvia. There is room for including more of the stag if you had been able to get more of his body in the shot.

You have done your processing very well indeed to bring out the best in the animal. There is however a black line around his ear and down his nose. I am not sure where this has come from because it is not there on the original. It is quite straightforward to clone out the line except where it merges with the hairy bit right on the end of the nose. I have uploaded a mod for you.

I agree that it is good to include the background fencing to provide some texture. It works very well.

You have certainly made the most of your original shot and presented it very well indeed.

Best wishes

Catherine
29 Oct 2010 3:24PM
Lovely work Sylvia. On first glance I thought why did she crop him like this. But with V2 I see why. Awesome work. In V1 he makes me think he is looking in my window..........Sandy
arhb Plus
9 3.0k 68 United Kingdom
29 Oct 2010 3:44PM
Great work Sylvia - a very creative crop to make an image that really stands out - well done. You should do more work like this.
pamelajean Plus
10 959 1818 United Kingdom
29 Oct 2010 3:47PM
This looks great, Sylvia. Considering the amount of the stag that you had to work with, you have presented it beautifully, and I agree that the fence does give some texture to the lower background. As to the dark marks around the head, did you select the head and blur the background? No doubt you were trying to avoid blurring the whiskers too? My question is, was it necessary to blur the background? When selecting, zoom in close and you can then more easily get close to the edges of your subject, but the whiskers and hairs do need a lot of fine work. On PaintshopPro I have a very useful blur brush which I can work/paint in and out of the hairs, no selection needed.
Pamela.
Niknut Plus
6 1.2k 68 United Kingdom
29 Oct 2010 5:06PM
It's different...& it's brilliant !!!!!
teocali Plus
8 441 18 England
29 Oct 2010 5:07PM

Quote:There is however a black line around his ear and down his nose. I am not sure where this has come from because it is not there on the original. It is quite straightforward to clone out the line except where it merges with the hairy bit right on the end of the nose. I have uploaded a mod for you.


Many thanks for this Catherine and for the excellent mod. The black line is obviously from a bit of sloppiness in my selection (amazing what one doesn't notice at the time - lol). My method was this using CS5:-
1) Selected and cropped image and tweaked stag's head to the best of my ability and saved it as layer from background
2) Created a layer using Gaussian Blur over total image and dragged it into (1) above.
3) Created a layer mask, lowered the opacity of the Gaussian Blur layer and created a mask of the head using the paintbrush with black selected.
4) Refined mask using Refine Radius tool and decontaminating colours to a layer mask.
5) Reduced opacity of Gaussian Blur layer to reveal part of the fencing.

I am sure I must have overdone the painting in step (3) to reveal too much of the background, hence the black line, which I did not notice.

Thank you so much for your input - very much appreciated and I will be more careful next time. Nothing like another pair of experienced eyes to put one on the right path Smile
Regards
Sylvia
teocali Plus
8 441 18 England
29 Oct 2010 5:15PM

Quote:As to the dark marks around the head, did you select the head and blur the background?


Thank you so much Pamela for your critique - I really appreciate your time and trouble Smile
Rather than repeat my method all over again, I have set it out in my answer to Catherine, above.
I use Photoshop CS5 and they have introduced a very useful brush for separating hair from the background, which I imagine would be rather like your very useful tool in Paintshop Pro.

So glad I uploaded this for critique and mod only - super way to learn - must do it more often! Wink
Regards
Sylvia
timpics 8 4 England
29 Oct 2010 5:19PM
beautfully cropped, you can see the powerful elegance in the eye...hope the guy who shot the stag recently on the news has a very difficult time in prison !!
teocali Plus
8 441 18 England
29 Oct 2010 5:23PM

Quote:did you select the deer then choose introvert and guassian blur or something else I missed


Hi Ann
My method is above, but I still made mistakes in the processing which I failed to see at the time ..lol - nothing like uploading for critique and modification to benchmark your work Wink great way of improving next time.
Sylvia
teocali Plus
8 441 18 England
29 Oct 2010 5:25PM

Quote:Beautfully cropped, you can see the powerful elegance in the eye...hope the guy who shot the stag recently on the news has a very difficult time in prison !!


So do I Tim - what a mindless moron he must be!!!
Sylvia
Lillian Plus
7 21 17 United Kingdom
29 Oct 2010 5:34PM
Sylvia I can only say I would be proud to have this on my wall, I like the very tight crop, it is so sharp and colour perfect, to my untrain eye...love it
Lillian
Maiwand Plus
9 3 71 England
29 Oct 2010 6:19PM
This lovely picture has really caused people to put pen to paper ( metaphorically ) and could not begin to sensibly comment any further. Wish I understood PS as well as they obviously do.
I will say however that the image pleases my eye and I would hang it on my wall anytime. Well done Sylvia.
Ron
paulbroad 8 114 1034 United Kingdom
29 Oct 2010 8:26PM
Your processing is excellent, but there are a few artifacts visible around the ear and nose and I'm the odd one out - whilst I see why you had to crop this tight, it's a bit too much for me. Very sharp though and background good.

By the way, I note the comment on shooting earlier. Illegal shooting deserves stiff penalties but they do have to be culled. (No natural enemies.)

Paul
Mynett 8 142 6 United Kingdom
29 Oct 2010 8:33PM
really love the way you have presented this lovely shot

Linda
teocali Plus
8 441 18 England
29 Oct 2010 9:22PM

Quote:By the way, I note the comment on shooting earlier. Illegal shooting deserves stiff penalties but they do have to be culled. (No natural enemies.)


I do of course agree with the above Paul. Many thanks also for your critique - some very valid points.
Sylvia
f8 12 9.2k 22 England
30 Oct 2010 12:18AM
Really super Sylvia, I can imagine this as a picture on my wall.
forestfotos 6 4 3 United Kingdom
30 Oct 2010 10:29AM
I didn't think i would like this when i saw the thumbnail. But when opened up the detail just hits you! This would make a great bookmark.
banehawi Plus
12 1.4k 3465 Canada
30 Oct 2010 7:17PM
Outstanding image Sylvia, will make a wonderful print.



Regards


Willie
30 Oct 2010 8:09PM
Works very well for me Sylvia and I love the comp !! Excellent work.
teocali Plus
8 441 18 England
30 Oct 2010 10:54PM
Thank you all very much for your constructive comments and kind words - very much appreciated and a lot learned Smile
Sylvia
31 Oct 2010 9:27AM
No more to add Sylvia, so much great advice available here, this image (V1), certainly works beautifully for me, excellent work.
David

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