Bill Clean-up

This Willet was photographed at LaJolla, CA with the handheld Canon 400mm f/4 IS DO lens and the EOS 50D. ISO 200. Evaluative metering +1/3 stop: 1/1600 sec. at f/4 set manually.

Aside from working on the eyes of most of my avian subjects, I often spend considerable time cleaning a bird’s bill.   I work large, often at 500 to 800%.  Tip: hit “Z” for the Zoom Tool and then click-draw a box around the area that you wish to work on.  To eliminate sand, dirt, birts of food (if I opt to do so), specular highlights (I hate bill shine!), and or small areas of discoloration or damage, I usually use the Patch Tool and the Clone Stamp Tool (that often in cases where I wish to divide a larger problem area into two sections before using the Patch Tool.  A times I use a Quick Mask or two and more rarely, the Spot Healing Brush.  Detailed instructions on using these tools can be found in Digital Basics:

This tight crop shows extensive areas with specular highlights.
Ten minutes work most with the Patch Tool yields a nice clean bill.

(As always, you can click on any image to see  a larger version.   I’ll be back soon!

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