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squareeyez wrote: Very cool, Brian - thanks for your compliments. Thank you also for taking time to help me and showing me by your example. ...I see that in instances like this I need to mask and go back.
You're very welcome.
With a beautiful shot like that, and considering the rare (I'm guessing) meeting of the turtle and the egret at the right time and place, it's definitely worth it, IMO, to spend the extra time to really bring it up to the best it can be.
There are automatic noise reducers out there that do a very good job, but I like doing it by hand. It reminds me of when I used to do my own printing in the wet lab, and dodging and burning and all that stuff. Some people found it tedious and boring, but I liked it.
BTW, here's a screen shot of the mask I did on your shot. The top layer is a copy of the original with Gaussian blur applied, and below that is the mask that selectively allows the blurred image to show only where wanted. (I also did some dodging and burning near the bird's neck, and liquified the upper right side of the picture off the right edge of the frame just for kicks.)