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Thread: American Avocet

  1. #1
    BPN Member Jack Backs's Avatar
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    Default American Avocet

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    This image was taken back in late April about a mile from the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. Eastern Missouri is a good ways out of their normal range.
    I've only run across lone individuals in non breeding plumage previously so I was stoked to find a group of four in breeding colors. I found them mid afternoon and took
    quite a few images. I wasn't particularly happy with the harsh light but I wasn't sure how long they would hang around. I left for several hours and returned closer to sunset,
    although I had to leave a little earlier than I would have liked due to a previous commitment. It was quite windy so the water was pretty choppy. I presume this is some type
    of mating behavior. I ran the raw file through DxO PureRAW and then very light Topaz DeNoise.
    Nikon Z9, 500mmF4VRII, TC-14EIII.....currently patiently waiting for a 800mmF6.3
    f6.3, 1/2000s iso800
    Last edited by Jack Backs; 06-25-2022 at 11:00 AM.

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    Hi Jack, a nice image; bird is sharp as is the eye, and despite the wind the water doesnt appear too choppy. While the light may have been a bit harsh it doesn't blow out the bird. Not crazy about the background but not much you can do there as you have the sand and then the grassy field; I kind of like to isolate the shorebirds and water birds either in the water or on the sand as much as possible but just a personal preference. Nicely captured.

  3. #3
    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    I like the composition and the colours, the pose is super. A very attractive image.

    (I cannot understand why you felt the need for Topaz after DxO PureRaw - especially at ISO 800???)

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    Like everything about this Jack. Great pose. Colour matched . Interested in the answer to Jonathons question about the Tapaz DeNoise .

  5. #5
    BPN Member Jack Backs's Avatar
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    Even at iso800 DxO leaves a little noise in the background. I use DxO PureRaw primarily because it seems to do a better job of removing noise from feather/hair detail whereas DeNoiseAI will sometimes actually sharpen the noise.
    I set DeNoise to 5/5 very light....probably not necessary. I turn off DxO's global settings.
    Last edited by Jack Backs; 06-26-2022 at 08:46 AM.

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    Avian Moderator Randy Stout's Avatar
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    Jack:

    The pose and colors make it for me. Made me smile when I opened it.

    The BG doesn't bother me . It is helped by the color harmony and its softness.

    Randy
    MY BPN ALBUMS

    "Tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy" Sir Isaac Newton

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    Hi Jack, nice image of this avocet. You captured a wonderful pose, full extension of the wings and the bill almost touching the water. I am okay with the background. Thank you for sharing.
    Joe Przybyla

    "Sometimes I do get to places just as God is ready to have somebody click the shutter"... Ansel Adams

    www.amazinglight.smugmug.com

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    Lifetime Member Mike Poole's Avatar
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    Beautiful image Jack, got the head and the wings just about perfect. I'd personally just lower the brightest highlights a little, but otherwise spot on

    Mike

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    BPN Member William Dickson's Avatar
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    Really nice......Good POV....the detail on the bird is lovely and I really like the position of the bill....Beautiful colours throughout and very pleasing to the eye....

    Will

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    Avian Moderator Brian Sump's Avatar
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    Jack, always wanted this frame but only ended up with clipped wing tips. You achieve it masterfully and with gorgeous colors to boot!

    Fantastic low vantage and a beautiful angle to the sun. Love that the head descended below the shoreline.

    All is good on the processing front, really nice, though you could consider a touch more selective sharpening around the eye if you like.

    Perhaps just a touch of CW rotation also.

    FWIW, the female is typically the one posing with the head close to water level before mating. She does have a more curved beak as I recall and believe this is a male (Artie can verify). This pose is most typically just a wing stretch as I've seen it.

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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    Oh man, this is super sweet! Perfect peak-pose. Low angle is always a charm. Background looks great to me. Yes, perhaps a touch more details to extract in the brightest whites, but this image has a high "wow factor" from me!

  12. #12
    Story Sequences Moderator and Wildlife Moderator Gabriela Plesea's Avatar
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    I completely agree with Daniel above, a beauty of a frame with so much to look at - just love those background colours! Perfect framing too.

    Besides the need for a tad more detail in the whites I think it's pretty perfect... what an enjoyable image, Jack - very well done !!!

    Kind regards,
    Gabriela Plesea

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