More Dauphin Island plus some Photoshop Tips « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

More Dauphin Island plus some Photoshop Tips

I should have mentioned that when we arrived we were greeted by chants of “You should have been here yesterday.”  As it turns out, Thursday–the afternoon of the day that we should have been on Dauphin Island, was a big wave day with a large fallout of neo-tropical migrants.  And we soon learned that the preceding Monday had been an epic day….

In any case, on our first afternoon, there was a single adult male Scarlet Tanager that was very tame.  The problem was that he spent most of his time on the ground.    On occasion, he did pop up for a second or two.

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This is a JPEG that represents the original capture. The image was created with the Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens, one 25mm extension tube (to allow for closer focusing), and the Canon EOS-1D Mark III. ISO 500. Evaluative metering +2/3 stop: 1/60 sec. at f/7.1. The image looks pretty washed out as it should (with the histogram pushed to the right). The perch below the bird is a bit hot with just a few over-exposed pixels, and the several little branchlets are distracting. Though I knew that it would require a fair amount of time (it took me about 45 minutes), I decided to remove all of the offending branchlets.

Below is a JPEG that represents the optimized master file.   I used a variety of techniques including one that I call “Protect and Defend.”   You can learn more about this technique here:  Scroll down to “A FREE DIGITAL BASICS EXCERPT: GETTING RID OF THAT BRANCH!”. The work involves using the Clone Stamp, a series of Quick Masks, and the Patch Tool.

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Getting the rich color was simply a matter of making a Levels adjustment while holding down the Alternate key while moving the highlight slider and the shadow sliders. Lastly, I did a small crop after balancing the color and working on the REDs.

You can learn all of the above techniques plus dozens and dozens more from our Digital Basics file (a PDF sent via e-mail).  Click here to learn more: 

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