My Thoughts on the Young Bald Eagle Image
First off, I hope that all of you are enjoying the holiday season with friends and family. I enjoyed a rare dessert after lunch today: my 88 year old Mom made an ice box cake from scratch at my request and I had a 3.5 ounce slice. Mmmmm good. I could have eaten the whole thing!
Taking a close look at the animated GIF above reveals the most obvious before and after changes. The two most important for me were the removal of the single blade of out-of-focus grass that overlapped the two broad feathers on the right wing just above the tail. If anyone knows for sure which feather tract they belong to I would appreciate knowing. I suspect that they are great coverts….
In any case, we learned here that out-of-focus foreground elements tend to be quite distracting whether they intersect with the subject or not. First I used Divide and Conquer Cloning; this allowed me to use the Patch Tool to eliminate most of that big blade of grass. Then I needed a few small Quick Masks in the area where the blade of grass intersected the white feather edging. Working very large I used the Patch Tool to eliminate a white speck on a nearby feather. Even Joerg Rockenberger who did an excellent job with his comments missed that one
That brings up an important point: with the ever-increasing inter-activity here if you do not either check out the comments regularly or subscribe to new comments you will often be missing a ton of good stuff.
Next I eliminated the o-o-f yellow grass blade on the bottom frame edge just to the right of where I had been working. I should have also eliminated a similar blade of grass near the lower right corner. Most folks picked up on the removal of the significant black speck lower right center. I used a small Quick Mask to cover that.
Next I used the Quick Selection Tool (thanks to Denise Ippolito for the how-to lesson on that one) to select the light areas of the lores and the lower mandible. Before putting the selection on its own layer I ran Refine Edge (Alt/Ctrl/R) with my soften-the-edge settings: Smooth: 4; Feather: 2.0 px; Contrast: 0; Shift Edge: 0. Then I ran a 15% Linear Burn on the selection and increased the YELLOW saturation (Ctrl U for Hue-Saturation on a layer).
Next I added two points of BLACK to the BLACKs and the NEUTRALS via my Selective Color action (the f/9 key for me). I do that to probably 95% of my images to yield a slight contrast boost. Lastly I hit my f/4 key to apply the Linear Contrast (RGB) Curves preset to the whole image and reduced the Opacity on that to 25% as it looked overdone.
I am fairly sure that but for the Quick Selection Tool every single Photoshop technique that I mentioned above along with my complete digital workflow is detailed in our Digital Basics File (a PDF that we send by e-mail.) Simply put it is the cheapest high quality Photoshop instruction on the planet and includes free updates for as long as I am pushing the shutter button. Instructions on how to use the Quick Selection Tool will be part of the next update. The last update included a complete rewrite and reorganization.
Lastly I was surprised that several folks suggested getting rid of blade of grass with the seed heads to the left of the young eagle’s head; I chose to leave that one as it balanced nicely with the seed heads on the right side of the image.
BIRDS AS ART NOTES/December 22, 2010
The BIRDS AS ART NOTES OF December 22, 2010 are on-line and can be viewed here.
Here are the features:
- BARNEGAT JETTY INSTRUCTION
- THE BARNEGAT JETTY SITE GUIDE
- Japan in Winter “Only One Trip in a Lifetime Needed IPT.”
- SHOPPER’S GUIDE
- IPT UPDATES