View Full Version : The Cormorant

07-27-2013, 05:19 PM
A black water swamp in South Carolina.

1/50, f6.3, iso400, 62mm (18-105 nikkor lens), D7000, Handheld.

DSC_1463bp.jpg (http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=130866&stc=1&d=1374963507)

Don Railton
07-27-2013, 10:38 PM
Hello Dan. A nice tranquil scene, I like the colour and the muted reflection. It's a scene that would have responded well to a longer shutter to make the reflection stronger if that is what you were after. Would need a tripod though, maybe that was not available..? I am undecided about the amount of foreground. There is a white area above the Cormorant and beside the tree that catches the eye too easily. If it was acceptable to you I would fix this. There is also a bridge on the LH side edge that does not bother me too much but it would be easily removed, again if that is acceptable practice for you... thanks for showing DON

Rachel Hollander
07-28-2013, 08:20 PM
Hi Dan - nice scene and I like the placement of the cormorant in the frame. I know you like amped up colors but to me the greens look too bright, bordering on neon and unnatural. I took the image into CS6, applied a luminosity mask, darkened the greens with the eyedropper in a hue/saturation mask and then did a curves adjustment. I think the greens are still a little off but would probably need the RAW file to do a better adjustment. WDYT?


Diane Miller
07-28-2013, 08:25 PM
I think this is going in the right direction, but there's a magenta cast in the mosses and tree trunks, in both the original and RP.

07-28-2013, 09:34 PM
I actually did not do much to this at all.
A bit of rotation and a bit of saturation and contrast.
The Carolina's in March are as green as my state of Oregon.
Your repost looks fine but I don't think my OP was that amped up or unnatural.
Here is the out of camera Raw converted to jpeg with nothing done at all, just to give you some idea of the natural color in the swamp.
I use Neutral color setting, so they come out of the camera pretty bland. It was pretty green at that time.
DSC_1463ooc.jpg (http://www.birdphotographers.net/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=130902&stc=1&d=1375065171)

Diane Miller
07-28-2013, 10:31 PM
Interesting that there is no magenta in the grays here.... (They can be sneaky to see.) I think this is the best rendition.

07-28-2013, 10:43 PM
This is not a rendition, it is the unprocessed Raw, neutral setting photo.
I see a bit of magenta in the processed photo's, but they are more true to the actual scene than the Raw photo.
It is obviously subjective, but if you like the RAW photo better, then PP is a waste of time.
I think the RAW photo needed some OOMph, some contrast, a bit of color, the usual reason we process photo's.
Just my thoughts, thanks for your opinion.

Diane Miller
07-28-2013, 10:58 PM
It is a rendition -- that of the RAW converter's basic settings. But I'm not saying you shouldn't process images beyond that. I certainly do. I'm just saying the neutrals in the basic conversion here don't show the magenta cast of the processed version, and look much more natural. But what we each see depends on our monitors.

I won that argument on another thread and I'm not going to get into it again here.

07-28-2013, 11:13 PM
Most of the good photographers thought you were wrong on the peregrine thread.
I think you are wrong here, but that is your opinion.
I do not think this is over processed but if you do........
You seem very hung up on color, not comp, not IQ, not "feel" or purpose or art, basically just "proving", that you are correct.
It is not about "winning", the argument for most here.

Rachel Hollander
07-29-2013, 06:43 AM
Hi Dan - thanks for posting the ooc raw image. I took another shot at it but just focusing on the contrast and color (no sharpening and no masking of the cormorant). For me, I think the overall image is a bit light for the swampy feel so I went darker/deeper with various adjustments including luminosity mask, hue/saturation (reduced yellows but amped the greens a little), levels and curves. However, as always you were there and I was not.


Cheryl Slechta
07-29-2013, 01:00 PM
I agree with Dan that the greens of newly opened cypress trees are a fairly vivid lime-ish green much like the OP. When I first saw the OP I thought it looked just like a scene from one of the rivers in north Florida and the colors seemed pretty true to me. I'll leave the color cast debate to people who know a lot more about it than I do.:S3:

Steve Kaluski
07-29-2013, 03:09 PM
Hi Dan, FWIW I really like this and the inclusion of the cormorant was a good call, it just adds nicely to the overall image. It has a lovely feel with great character to the image. I'm away so cannot comment on any colour balance issues, if there are any, however the RAW posting really caught my eye, as it contained/capture what I would imagine this location to be like, with the nice variations of vivid greens set against the old decaying silvery tree trunks. Love the almost mirror reflection, gives a lovely calmness compare to above the waterline, if that makes sense? An then you have the cormorant well place in the frame and as I said, just brings that bit of sparkle/interest to the image.

I'm not wishing to compound on the RP's, however it's just based on your last post which I really liked. By adding a Curves & mid tone action I just felt it brought a richness through, but enhanced the clarity you caught within the original capture, just my take.


07-29-2013, 06:47 PM
Thanks, Steve and Rachel,
I am going to redo the PP on this one based on your critiques and taking the time to work on this photo.
I Appreciate it.

Andrew McLachlan
07-29-2013, 08:16 PM
Hi Dan, a very nice scene. Love the spanish moss hanging from the trees and cormorant adds a nice animate touch as well. I think Steve's repost work best for this photo as it is less contrasty than the other posts. THS

Grady Weed
07-30-2013, 09:28 AM
Have you tried a B&W conversion? My version does not have the punch I was looking for. I used you un-edited file you uploaded in the re-post. I do like your colored version, more contrast in tones etc. I love Spanish moss, lived in FL for over 27 years, Tampa! Would you consider re-posting one from the RAW file and then converted. You will probably get more from it than I could from my small file. Just a different post and version from my view. TFS. By the way, the colors looked good to me in you original and Steve's re-post as well.

Steve Kaluski
07-30-2013, 11:20 AM
Hi Dan, you are most welcome, however I was rather hesitate, partly due as I said, to yet another RP, plus I'm away, so it's a bit more of guess. As I mentioned earlier, I feel what you have captured is lovely, reflects well the location, but the Cormorant just takes it to another level for me. I would suggest parking it for two weeks then look at it afresh, good luck and look fwd to seeing the new result. :cheers:

Morkel Erasmus
07-30-2013, 01:43 PM
A bit late to this one, my apologies.
I love the scene here, Dan, and including the cormorant was a great compositional call. The colours can be subjective, yes. I do like the colours in the OP and the "RAW" post, though I feel it's probably best somewhere in between.

FWIW, I don't think calling up other threads and claiming to have "won an argument" and going to and fro on that is achieving anything in this thread, Diane and Dan. By all means, say what strikes you as good or correctable or bad in a photo...but once the other person has taken cognisance of your comment and chooses not to take it on board, then that's that. :w3

Diane Miller
07-30-2013, 02:00 PM
My apologies for being brash and trying to push a point. I would not have if I hadn't felt the image was worth it, but I failed to make that clear and came across as too critical.

07-30-2013, 07:22 PM
I also apologize for being snippy, however I think that you mistake Landscape photography for wildlife or bird photography.
Hues and color caste are completely subjective and are just interpretations of scenes in Landscape photography.
Worrying about hues and such is like critiquing Ansel Adams by telling him the world is not black and white!
Infrared landscapes, B & W landscapes, Sepia landscapes are all just forms of expression, it is not the rule or even the purpose that
colors be "real" or even natural.
That is why I brushed the comment off, I did not see it as acceptable criticism in this forum.

Vivaldo Damilano
07-31-2013, 11:42 AM
Stunning scene Dan, like the warm colours and reflection. Steve repost works best for me. I would be tempted to crop a little off the bottom, nice work.