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Thread: Red Stag

  1. #1
    Lifetime Member Mike Poole's Avatar
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    Default Red Stag

    Name:  keylightstag.jpg
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    I like to try and get an entry in for the theme, so here's one from 2 years ago. The stag was rounding up his harem in low but harsh sun. I noticed how the breath was showing nicely and was hoping for a full on head back roar. Sadly he didn't play ball on this occasion, but the red nostrils never fail to amuse me when they breathe heavily.

    This is pre BPN membership, no no telling me off for using too low an ISO!

    canon 1d3
    400mm f5.6
    ISO 400
    1/800th f5.6

    Mike

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    Life Time Member Rachel Hollander's Avatar
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    Hi Mike - I think he would make a good stand in for Rudolph at this time of year with that red nose. Light nicely handled with beautiful tones and color. Only thing for me is that it feels like it needs a little more room below for the virtual legs. Nice one overall.

    TFS,
    Rachel

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    BPN Member haseeb badar's Avatar
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    Hi Mike -- This is a beautiful image !! very well done in terms of colors and quality . i too find that FG a bit distracting but it has provided a great low angle .

    TFS !

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    Lifetime Member Marc Mol's Avatar
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    Nicely seen here Mike, love the red flared nostrils and not having much experience shooting elk, I can't say I've ever noticed this before, it reminds me of jet engine exhaust!

    Great use of lighting the antlers & chest here, agree on a tad more lower room, but find that your ISO and subsequent S/S of 800 is fine for a 400 lens.

    TFS


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    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    Hi Mike , oops i thought i had hot pixel issue when opening up the image .
    Lovely shot and a overall great look& feel of this frame .
    Love the play with shadow and light in this one , and great you brought out the steam coming from the nostrils . Funny when opening up in PS way more detail is showing up in the stag .
    Agree with the others regarding a bit more virtual legs would not have hurt , but no deal breaker . I just might reduce the magentas/ blues a fair bit in the stag .

    Nice one Mike

    TFS Andreas

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    Great the way you have caught the light Mike, think the amount of vegetation gives the image a nice natural look.

    Keith.

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    BPN Member Mark Needham's Avatar
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    Great image here, Mike. I love the light nicely hitting the face and antlers. Like Andreas, I too thought there was a pixel issue when I first looked at the image, until I read your description below (I had no idea about the red nostril trait). I agree that a tad more room below would be good, but not a deal-breaker for me. I might also consider toning down some of the highlights on the trees in the background just a tad more, especially those on the right and above the antlers, as they keep pulling my eye away from the subject.
    Mark Needham

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Killer good on all counts. It is plenty sharp so no need for more ISO for me. And I am fine with the framing as the virtual legs are behind the hill anyway :)

    One question: is the red inside one of the nostrils backlight???? Thanks BTW for your membership support.

    The only thing that hurts this one is the big dark area on the ridge right in the middle of the animal. You could lost most of that with a single large Quick Mask refined with the addition of a Regular Layer Mask. LMK if you would like help with that. a

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Hi Mike, I like the light of the early morning, looks like a cold one, with frost on the ground which has helped highlight the exhaling breath. With hindsight perhaps a fraction more to the left so the darker clump isn't over the front leg may be better, but this is in an ideal world. I quite like the slight head turn and that beady eye, the highlight nostril is a cool touch. Personally I'm OK with the tree highlights to the right of the subject as I feel it creates a bit more 'layering' but the one jutting out from the hind leg I feel needs to be addressed.

    MK3, never really liked to push the ISO too much on that, but the more recent bodies, yes I would be pushing that ISO no question .

    TFS
    Steve

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  16. #10
    Lifetime Member Mike Poole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rachel Hollander View Post
    Hi Mike - I think he would make a good stand in for Rudolph at this time of year with that red nose. Light nicely handled with beautiful tones and color. Only thing for me is that it feels like it needs a little more room below for the virtual legs. Nice one overall.

    TFS,
    Rachel
    Can't believe I missed the chance to get a cheesy 'Rudolph' into the title - very shabby!

    The full legs would have been nice, but unfortunately this is quite a hilly area and not to be on this occasion.

    Thanks for commenting.

    Mike

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    Lifetime Member Mike Poole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Morris View Post
    Killer good on all counts. It is plenty sharp so no need for more ISO for me. And I am fine with the framing as the virtual legs are behind the hill anyway :)

    One question: is the red inside one of the nostrils backlight???? Thanks BTW for your membership support.

    The only thing that hurts this one is the big dark area on the ridge right in the middle of the animal. You could lost most of that with a single large Quick Mask refined with the addition of a Regular Layer Mask. LMK if you would like help with that. a

    a
    Hi Artie, thanks for stopping by. Im not 100% on why the nostrils show the reds, but I've seen it on plenty of stags, so it's obviously a character trait - I'll do a little research.

    I come here to learn so if you want to show me your techniques for losing the ridge I'd be more than happy to listen.

    Mike

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Attached Images Attached Images
     
    Here you go. A used a warped, transformed Quick Mask refined with a Regular Layer Mask to cover the big ugly lump. Used the Spot Healing Brush on some of the light grasses and light tree trunks in the BKGR. And then some more grass clean with the Clone Stamp (divide and conquer) and the Patch Tool. Five minutes in all, most of that for the clean-up.

    Everything that I did above is covered in detail in my Digital Basics File which includes my complete digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips, details on using all of my image clean-up tools, the use of Contrast Masks, several different ways of expanding and filling in canvas, all of my time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts, Quick Masking, Layer Masking, and NIK Color Efex Pro basics, Contrast Masks, Digital Eye Doctor techniques, using Gaussian Blurs, Tim Grey Dodge and Burn, a variety of ways to make selections, how to create time-saving actions, the Surface Blur (background noise reduction) settings that I use to smooth background noise, and tons more.

    In addition you can learn the details of advanced Quick Masking techniques in APTATS I. Learn Advanced Layer Masking Techniques in APTATS II. Buy both here.
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
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    Wildlife / Landscape Moderator Morkel Erasmus's Avatar
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    Some good points and suggestions raised already.
    I love the darker mood here with the rim-lit exposure. Could work well in mono too with that minimalist feel!
    Would have liked to see this with an even wider framing - more empty space all around to emphasise the mood.
    Morkel Erasmus

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  20. #14
    Lifetime Member Mike Poole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Morris View Post
    Here you go. A used a warped, transformed Quick Mask refined with a Regular Layer Mask to cover the big ugly lump. Used the Spot Healing Brush on some of the light grasses and light tree trunks in the BKGR. And then some more grass clean with the Clone Stamp (divide and conquer) and the Patch Tool. Five minutes in all, most of that for the clean-up.

    Everything that I did above is covered in detail in my Digital Basics File which includes my complete digital workflow, dozens of great Photoshop tips, details on using all of my image clean-up tools, the use of Contrast Masks, several different ways of expanding and filling in canvas, all of my time-saving Keyboard Shortcuts, Quick Masking, Layer Masking, and NIK Color Efex Pro basics, Contrast Masks, Digital Eye Doctor techniques, using Gaussian Blurs, Tim Grey Dodge and Burn, a variety of ways to make selections, how to create time-saving actions, the Surface Blur (background noise reduction) settings that I use to smooth background noise, and tons more.

    In addition you can learn the details of advanced Quick Masking techniques in APTATS I. Learn Advanced Layer Masking Techniques in APTATS II. Buy both here.
    Thanks Artie - I've got that tutorial, so I'll take another look at it.

    Thanks for taking the time

    Mike

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    Lifetime Member Mike Poole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morkel Erasmus View Post
    Some good points and suggestions raised already.
    I love the darker mood here with the rim-lit exposure. Could work well in mono too with that minimalist feel!
    Would have liked to see this with an even wider framing - more empty space all around to emphasise the mood.
    Cheers Morkel,

    I'll have a play with a mono version - hadn't considered that. I agree it would be nice as one of those animals capes you seem to specialise in, but this is almost full frame. Something to think about on the future.

    Mike

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Poole View Post
    Thanks Artie - I've got that tutorial, so I'll take another look at it.

    Thanks for taking the time

    Mike
    Good plan; your purchase is much appreciated. a
    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 35 years of long lens experience. Please e-mail with gear questions.

    BIRDS AS ART Instructional Photo Tours (IPTs): Fort DeSoto, SEPT 2018. Bosque, DEC 2018. San Diego, JAN 2019

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