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    Default Which crop do you prefer?

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    This shot, a Toucan Barbet, presented me with a quandary. I really like the OOF flowers in the BG of the lower part of the image. To try to preserve those I cropped in a more horizontal mode. Unfortunately, IMO, that made for an ungainly looking image. I then cropped in a more traditional, rule of thirds, manner but had to add canvas at the top. That gave a better composition (again IMO) but I lost a lot of the BG OOF flowers. It also changed the size of the bird slightly. Any thoughts? Otherwise the original image had the bird slightly brought up and the BG slightly brought down and the re-cropped image had a slight blur applied to the BG. Shot with a Canon R6 and 100-500 at 325mm.
    At the time of the shot I could not raise my POV to get a better BG. Any other suggestions?

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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    I much prefer the top image (the looser crop). The hanging moss has more room to breath below, and the comp feels much more balanced. In the bottom image everything is too low in the frame. Both have the bird's tail a touch too close to the left edge IMO - do you have more room there to add back? I do wish the background would have been physically farther away - you would have had a smoother blend back there, all the while retaining the very appealing colours that are featured. Or maybe a wider aperture - I know this lens is "slow" in that department, but if you stopped down even more then that contributed to the look. Great bird, nice and sharp, and the colours well rendered. Maybe the brighter parts of the bill could be tamed, but overall pretty nice.

    I don't think I've seen this bird posted here before? So cool.

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    I agree with everything Dan said about the top/wider image being better. This is where having a f/4 really helps - faster shutter AND better bokeh!

    The reds on the upper flank/chest look saturated, so take a look at those.

    Was this Ecuador? Maybe Tandayapa Lodge? That's a great place to see/photo this bird.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorian Anderson View Post
    I agree with everything Dan said about the top/wider image being better. This is where having a f/4 really helps - faster shutter AND better bokeh!

    The reds on the upper flank/chest look saturated, so take a look at those.

    Was this Ecuador? Maybe Tandayapa Lodge? That's a great place to see/photo this bird.
    Yes it was in Ecuador but about 10 miles up the road from Tandayapa. Place called Birdwatcher's House. The owner has a very nice photography set up with reflecting ponds, terrific hummingbird set ups (including multi flash if you want it), night lights to attract moths. Charges a very reasonable $20 per day per photographer. Sometimes listed on maps as Santa Rosa Reserve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by James Babbitt View Post
    Yes it was in Ecuador but about 10 miles up the road from Tandayapa. Place called Birdwatcher's House. The owner has a very nice photography set up with reflecting ponds, terrific hummingbird set ups (including multi flash if you want it), night lights to attract moths. Charges a very reasonable $20 per day per photographer. Sometimes listed on maps as Santa Rosa Reserve.
    I know that place and have shot there. It's off The backside of the ridge from Bellavista as one takes the back road to Mindo. I think the dude's name is Vinicio Perez. Very nice guy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dorian Anderson View Post
    I know that place and have shot there. It's off The backside of the ridge from Bellavista as one takes the back road to Mindo. I think the dude's name is Vinicio Perez. Very nice guy.
    Absolutely! He now has a second place near Los Bancos. Slightly l lower elevation so some different birds. Not quite as versatile but still a nice place.

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    The top for me also although the bird looks better in the tighter crop so I would do the looser comp and sharpen the bird a tad.
    Dan Kearl

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    Default Thank you for your thoughts.

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    Thanks to everyone for their thoughts. Sometimes when I read comments made by others, I will think, "They are right! This looks better". This latest version of the image is cropped to 16:9 with a very small amount of canvas added at the top in order to gain a little more room on the L. A Gaussian blur was added to the BG and painted on via a mask. I did bring down the highlights in the bill and did not add any saturation to the bird. I did have a 600, f/4.0 with me mounted on my R5, in the blind that I was using with small Tanagers, but this bird was way too close for that. Hence, the 100-500.
    Last edited by James Babbitt; 01-25-2023 at 09:10 AM. Reason: Forgot something

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    Nice work on the last repost! Easily the best composition of the three. Well done on retouching it.

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