Photoshop Magic/Panama « Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

Photoshop Magic/Panama

On the recent Panama trip that I co-led with Linda Robbins, the Hummingbird Queen, some of the participants created well more than 4,000 images on a single day.   Many of the best of those images featured either the feeder that we used to attract the birds, another hummingbird, or, as in the image below, both.  

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This image of a Long-tailed Hermit was created with the Canon 400mm f/4L IS lens and the EOS-1D MIII. ISO 400. Eight flash set-up. 1/250 sec. at f/22.

As detailed in Digital Basics, I first expanded the canvas and then used the Clone Stamp, the Patch Tool, and a series of Quick Masks to create the optimized image below.  Many folks would consider this cheating; I consider it using the latest technology to create pleasing and saleable images.   (I would never enter such images in a contest in which such practices were forbidden by the rules.)

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I was quite pleased with the results of my Photoshop handiwork. Be sure to click on each image to see a larger version.

Chestnut-mandibled Toucan is a tree-top loving species that is rarely photographed in the wild.  Getting a somewhat clear view of the bird was somewhat miraculous but the background in the original image (see same immediately below) was just too, too busy for me with many of the branches and seed pods merging with the bird’s head and bill.   I worked on the image for about an hour using the tools mentioned above and in addition employed both the “Divide and Conquer” and the “Protect and Defend” techniques that are also detailed in the latest update of Digital Basics.

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Canon 800mm f/5.6L IS lens with the EOS-1D MIII. ISO 800. Evaluative metering +1 1/3 stops: 1/320 sec. at f/7.1. Fill flash with Better Beamer at -2 stops.

I look back with a wry smile on my face remembering that the words “digital” and “Photoshop” filled me with fear and trepidation just seven years ago.  It is quite satisfying to have mastered so many techniques that allow me to create images that put a smile on my face.

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Again, I was quite happy with the final optimized image.

Be sure to check out the interesting BPN thread on this image here:

You can learn more about Digital Basics, APTATS (Advanced Photoshop Tips and Techniques),  and Linda Robbin’s Guide to High Speed Flash Hummingbird Photography by visiting the BAA On-Line Store via the link on the home page or checking out our product pages.   I’ll be back soon. 

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