Southern Crested Caracaras
/forum/topic/1174084/0



gneto
Registered: Nov 22, 2012
Total Posts: 197
Country: Brazil

Hello everyone,

Southern Crested Caracaras are really shy and hard to approach. Even using your car as a blind, they'll often fly away before you are able to come close enough to shoot, especially adults. I once had two juveniles curious and dumb enough to approach me while I was crawling, guess I made an interesting sight for them ... but that only happened once. The norm is for them to go away as soon as a human or a car approaches. The bird in these 2 photos allowed me to come closer than usual using my car, but I couldn't figure out why.

I really like these 2 images, especially the second one with the nice texture provided by the grass, and would appreciate to hear other people's opinions on them. Critique obviously very welcome, and feel free to edit them as you please


420mm f/5.6, ISO 140, 1/1000s


420mm f/5.6, ISO 180, 1/1000s



ben egbert
Registered: Jan 31, 2005
Total Posts: 5463
Country: United States

The first is my favorite.I might soften up or clone out the broad line above its head. Nicely done.



sbeme
Registered: Dec 23, 2003
Total Posts: 16746
Country: United States

Fine images. A bird I hope to see on a future Florida trip.
As Ben said, image improves with the OOF line above the head cloned out.
My PS skills are not good enough and perhaps yours are or others would share their strategy. I would also fix the OOF colored area at the bottom of the stump. My thinking is some combo of healing brush at normal mixed with healing brush at color, but I am not sure.

Scott



Bob Jarman
Registered: Feb 04, 2007
Total Posts: 5788
Country: United States

Never having tried birding, but having dabbled with sports, I can appreciate the skills required - lovely images.

Regards,

Bob



ben egbert
Registered: Jan 31, 2005
Total Posts: 5463
Country: United States

Question. After looking at this, I am thinking the first image has a blade of grass in front of the bird, that extends top to bottom (the feature I mentioned). If true it is so out of focus as to be nearly invisible.

I have had this happen to me and it is very hard to fix 100%. This was done so well I nearly missed it.



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 11975
Country: United States

Took a stab at the blades of grass (stump, breast, bg) ... likely not ideal, but it might be a mild improvement, possibly minimizing some of the distraction they were providing.



gneto
Registered: Nov 22, 2012
Total Posts: 197
Country: Brazil

Thank you Ben, Scott, Bob and Kent for the feedback.

ben egbert wrote:
Question. After looking at this, I am thinking the first image has a blade of grass in front of the bird, that extends top to bottom (the feature I mentioned). If true it is so out of focus as to be nearly invisible.

I have had this happen to me and it is very hard to fix 100%. This was done so well I nearly missed it.


Yup, there is a blade - or maybe more than one. And yes, pretty hard to fix.

Here's my attempt to incorporate all suggestions received:




sbeme
Registered: Dec 23, 2003
Total Posts: 16746
Country: United States

Fix looks great!
The stump was the challenge.
What was your workflow/strategy?
Scott



gneto
Registered: Nov 22, 2012
Total Posts: 197
Country: Brazil

Thanks Scott!

In Lightroom, I used a local adjustment on the whole stump with -100 saturation so I would lose the color, and then +100 contrast, +55 clarity, +94 sharpness, +38 noise reduction, all of these to try and re-introduce the stolen contrast/sharpness to the stump. I'm kinda lucky it's a gray stump... made things easier



RustyBug
Registered: Feb 02, 2009
Total Posts: 11975
Country: United States

+1 @ very nice work on the stump.



sbeme
Registered: Dec 23, 2003
Total Posts: 16746
Country: United States

gneto wrote:
Thanks Scott!

In Lightroom, I used a local adjustment on the whole stump with -100 saturation so I would lose the color, and then +100 contrast, +55 clarity, +94 sharpness, +38 noise reduction, all of these to try and re-introduce the stolen contrast/sharpness to the stump. I'm kinda lucky it's a gray stump... made things easier


Wow, I wouldnt have thought of using LR for this!
And, as a plus, reduced saturation of the trunk adds to the focus on the bird and enjoyment of the background colors.
Scott



gneto
Registered: Nov 22, 2012
Total Posts: 197
Country: Brazil

sbeme wrote:

Wow, I wouldnt have thought of using LR for this!


Well perhaps someday you'll be as lazy as I was when I thought "I'm just gonna try this in LR, I don't feel like opening photoshop right now"... some of mankind's greatest breakthroughs come from pure laziness, like cars, e-commerce with next-day delivery, and obviously the remote control



sbeme
Registered: Dec 23, 2003
Total Posts: 16746
Country: United States

Hey, I got the laziness thing under good control. I do 90+% in LR currently. I generally turn to PS when significant cloning is required, or if I use a Nik filter that I want added as a layer rather than as a permanent modification of a LR exported file.

Scott