Masked Lapwing: My Choices

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This is image three, the fill flash image, with a bit more color work.
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This is image two, full sun with lots of flash, as presented in the April 25th post, presented here for comparison.

First off, thanks all for playing. Image two and image three were the favorites of the group by a good margin, but image one, the one made in full sun with no flash, did have a few supporters. If I had more time, I would do a formal tally :) I am still in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas with the last two clients and things are quite busy. We are having a great time; I head home on Thursday.

With due respect to to the folks who liked image one best, it is my least favorite by far. It is just too contrasty for me even with my best efforts processing it. I thought that I would like image 3, the fill flash image, best; I was quite surprised that I liked image two a bit more as presented in the April 25th post. In that post, image two had the richest color. I did like the head angle in image 3; it was much nicer than in either image one or image two.

In the image above, I took the posted fill flash image, number three, darkened the color on the brow a bit, and increased the saturation in the rest of the yellows. My final call, by a slim margin over image two, is for image three, the fill flash image, as presented above. I hope that I got my numbers right!

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7 comments to Masked Lapwing: My Choices

  • Artie, the revised image 3 is by far my favorite; original image 3 was also my favorite but this is even better. Colors are richer, it shows more detail in the white ruff, and you eliminated the specular shine above the eye. I’ve learned a lot from these posts and all the comments. Thanks for the exercise!

  • avatar Keith Reeder

    I still prefer the original no. 1!

    ;)

    Image 3 above looks “fake” to me: the enlarged pupil screams “low light”, which is entirely at odds with how well-lit the bird actually is because of the fill flash; and the catchlights simply look unnatural – as someone else said, they look like studio “glamour” lighting.

    Sorry!

  • avatar M. Bruce

    Since I’m one of those out of sync individual that initially preferred image number one I would like to redeem myself by wholeheartedly agreeing that image three, as presented, is my favorite too.

    One thing that I’m sure everyone that visits this site will agree on though is that your work and process is an inspiration to us all. Recently I was in the Yolo Wildlife Area (CA) where I spent some time discussing the craft with another bird photographer and I ended up telling him that if he wanted to see what’s possible look up BIRDS AS ART.

    Agreeing or not on every minutia presented it is simply another way of enjoying the art.

  • avatar Jim Heupel

    Artie,
    My favorite would be #2 with the same amount of color work as you did for #3. Rational:the bright, larger light at the top of the eye in #3 tends to distract me more than the head position. But, as always, YOU are the master!
    Jim

  • Fascinating my excitement waiting for your choice. Great exercise … wonderful learning experience.

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