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Thread: Northern Cardinal - first run with Topaz

  1. #1
    BPN Member Dorian Anderson's Avatar
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    Default Northern Cardinal - first run with Topaz

    I'm back in California after leading a 9-day birding tour in South Texas. My first time on a plane in a year!

    As the tour was billed as 'Birding with a Camera', we spent some time at local feeder set-ups. I was generally
    focused on helping clients learn basic bird identification and become more familiar with their cameras, but I was
    able to crack off a few of my own frames here and there.

    This one isn't anything terribly special but does represent my first go with Topaz Denoise AI. And all I can say
    is 'Holy sheet!". I cannot believe how well it works and how easy it is. I could spend a week battling with
    sharpening and noise in stand-alone LR and still not achieve these results. I'm looking forward to making this
    a part of my workflow. This inaugural time I did the following:

    - Opened RAW in LR
    - Basic Temp/Tint adjustments
    - Adjusted exposure/highlight/shadows
    - Cloned out dust spots
    - Bounced over to Topaz for NR and sharpening
    - Returned to LR for a few color tweaks
    - Exported with some additional output sharpening (I still don't understand how the sharpening done in Topaz and after the fact are different and/or affect the image)

    Canon 600mm f/4 IS II on EOS 1DX2
    1/500 at f/5.6, ISO 3200
    Tripod (a real rarity for me)
    Name:  northern cardinal female 011921-Edit.jpg
Views: 112
Size:  405.8 KB

  2. #2
    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    I like the simplicity and jaunty HA, but I find the backdrop a little too sterile for my tastes here Dorian, but it does add separation.

    TFS
    Steve
    Post Production: Itís ALL about what you do with the tools and not, which brand of tool you use.

  3. #3
    BPN Member Dorian Anderson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Kaluski View Post
    I like the simplicity and jaunty HA, but I find the backdrop a little too sterile for my tastes here Dorian, but it does add separation.

    TFS
    Steve

    Yeah, I can hear that. The image is a bit boring, but I figured it was a good Topaz introduction at ISO 3200. Cheers!

  4. #4
    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Hi Dorian, I’ve covered off previously Topaz, but what I will say is, it’s for NR (hence, Topaz DeNoise), and it will never, ever replace true Sharpening, leave that always to PS. However, looking at the image I would say minimal NR would be required, if any, and certainly if I used it, I wouldn’t leave it to Auto, but guess I come from old school in PP where I like to be in control, not the programme.
    Post Production: Itís ALL about what you do with the tools and not, which brand of tool you use.

  5. #5
    BPN Member Dorian Anderson's Avatar
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    Yeah, I never leave it to auto. Solid advice.

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    Love it Dorian beautiful on all accounts. I like the clean background and the colors go well with the cardinal. Neat perch too. TFS Question I have and maybe Steve can comment on this. I noticed your size is only 405 Kb. Is it better to push the size to the closer limit of 600 Kb or is it better to have the quality at one hundred percent?

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    BPN Member dankearl's Avatar
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    Looks good, PP is nice, I could tell South Texas from the thumbnail....with the clean BG, I would maybe crop just a tad tighter all around.
    Dan Kearl

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Kevin, everything is cropped from the Master (16 bit) File and downsized to 595kb via LR.
    Post Production: Itís ALL about what you do with the tools and not, which brand of tool you use.

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    BPN Member Brian Sump's Avatar
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    Dorian, stoked you see you leading tours. I bet you're killer at it!

    And congrats on a really nice frame. Regardless of the bkg (which definitely beats a super busy one) I love pretty much everything including an interesting perch, great even light and even the subtle head nod.

    Remember the convo we had about 'texture' with the R5 files? Well, I don't think that was necessarily an R5 file conversation but more a quality of image and PP one. That said, the only thing I might suggest is running topaz on a new layer, masking the bird and brushing down the beak a little to the organic layer. It will add just a touch of texture I think and give a slightly less processed look. You might also do that on broad feathers on larger birds where Topaz makes them look super smooth. I think you want a little texture, but not as much as maybe the raw had.

    Otherwise, really not sure I could tell. And of course, if the beak is exactly how it was in the raw, then please disregard; it just looks a little smooth.

    Great one, TFS!

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    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    Hi Dorian ... nice one . Good to see something different from your side .

    I am fine with the overall " boring " smooth BG , albeit I would prefer some variations in there .
    Perch is what it is .... all fitting very well together , just super clean image .
    Just thinking about the overall colors .... do not want to say I do see a cast , just feel it is very yellowish . Might have been that way during capture ...

    TFS Andreas

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    Gotta go w Brian's observations and suggestions Dorian... When i saw your post it simply wasn't the usual IQ you deliver. Rather, the bird looks slightly crunchy as in over processed with a lack of clean FFD. I like the perch, so Texas!

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