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Thread: Marsh Harrier Mantling

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    Default Marsh Harrier Mantling

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    Hi Guys,

    Here is an image from the same sequence as the previous one of a Marsh Harrier. Now he has moved into position and spread his right wing to hide the "prey" bait for himself - "mantling".

    The shot was taken from a hide (behind glass) in central Spain, early in the morning in January this year. The sun was low and the light rich and warm, but the temperature was down at -5C. There were many Harriers and Buzzards competing for the baits as well as an occasional visit from a hungry fox.

    I was using my Sony A9 II with the FE 200-600 mm lens at 329mm. Shutter speed was 1/1600 at f7.1 with ISO 800. The shot was taken and is presented at my preferred 16:9 format.

    The image was processed in LightRoom. Background softened and toned to taste, and on the subject I opened up some of the darker underwing places. Slight vignette added to the background as well as linear gradients top and bottom. Also remembered to reduce exposure on the legs! (Thanks Jon!). I used Topaz DeNoise which provided some sharpening (This is my typical workflow). Then added sharpening in LR to the tiff file around the head/face before exporting to a jpeg.

    Overall, I am much happier with this than my previous image where I was experimenting with some different techniques. But I am used to looking at a 2Mb image that looks really good and find that the 600Kb image is softer. Perhaps there is another stage I need to add to my workflow? That's why I'm here!

    I look forward to your feedback and comments.

    Gerald

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    BPN Member Andreas Liedmann's Avatar
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    Hi Gerald ... this one does look even better for me in terms of content . Love the stretched wings and the defending/hiding posture . Comp does work well with the Harriers posing .

    The image can go again lighter overall , but masking out the bright HL . More sharpening would not hurt and again maybe a bit more green tint ( not a lot though ) ... but this for sure my taste might not meet others taste .

    Wondering why you use ANY noise reduction at Iso 800 ???!!! And specially the old school Topaz Denoise ... as far as I have heard it is no longer further developed from Topaz as all goes into PhotoAi . But I might be wrong .

    For me you should sharpen the downsized output file , not the TIF unless it is for artistic reasons .

    TFS Andreas

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Hi Gerald, this was more 'in-line' with what I was hoping for as I said in your previous posting, great.

    OK, lets take it from the top, however a lot is repetitive, but you haven't been here for a while so last time.

    I have no idea about the camera, however does it have the 'zebra's' for that perfect exposure, or is that just the A1? If not, just shoot manual, preset your SS & DoF and adjust your ISO or use Auto ISO to get that exposure, whilst keep checking your Histogram. If the raw is a bit bright then just lower the Exp in Lr, it's far better than lightening the image to highlight any noise in the darks & shadows, Whist waiting every 10-15 mins just check your Exp and adjust accordingly, then you are always ready.

    Topaz NR
    You really shouldn't be applying any between ISO2000-1600 and below, files should be so clean and it may kill a lot of the finer detail, especially if you leave things in DN Auto. If detail is lost you apply more sharpening and this is when the image looks crunchy. With Enhance in Lr say good bye to DN and definitely Photo AI, the updated version isn't worth the money and it's crap!

    Lr
    If you are using this to process your Raws then you should be using the latest 12.5, or the latest version that your computer can run with the added 'Enhance'. this is your default NR now.

    After you import your image into Lr you scroll down to Sharpening and you will see Enhance, click it, a window opens with a default setting of 50% this is the default. For ISO6400 and below just scale the % down. Once it has processed the file it creates a DNG file, unlike DXO, Lr creates a true DNG file, this is your new Raw, just work on that as you would any other raw, but you MUST do this first, if you apply it at any other stage in your processing it will screw the image up.

    In the Dev module make sure you change the Profile to Adobe Standard, DO NOT leave it in Adobe color, its pants and the worst thing you can ever do to an image, period.

    Image
    You had both light & ISO on your side so 1/2500 or slightly higher IMHO would have been better to ensure crisp sharp image in flight. The exposure can still be pushed more based on the OP, opening up that gorgeous detail, ditto shadows ie +10, a bit more USM and the image is pin sharp, no question, that's all.

    Personally a bit more space all round whilst retaining the original format would help, to give the subject space to breathe.

    Cool capture.

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

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    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    Super shot, I would only be repeating if I offered additional comments but I would especially agree with initial (prior to processing) NR if required and a little more selective sharpening of the subject.

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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    I love the pose and sweet rich light! The glint in the eye is nice. I do wish the perch had been higher, but that was out of your control but still looks OK. The mantling pose really gives it a menacing look!

    As for Topaz NR, odd thing is that I've been using it on ALL of my images for the past year and absolutely love it. All of them have been used with "Low Light" and Remove Noise 15, and Enhance Sharpness 6. Matter of taste I suppose, but the results are excellent for my tastes.

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Dan, if you are also using the latest version of Lr, then Enhance knocks the spots of Topaz, in addition it being applied to the Raw, not a Tiff as it should be.
    Post Production: Itís ALL about what you do with the tools and not, which brand of tool you use.

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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    I'll need to try it indeed, but very happy with Topaz as a PS plugin.

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Dan you must, as I said, as soon as you import the image into Lr it must be the first thing you do, otherwise it will bite you in the butt. Applying NR to the Raw and then it generating a DNG (Raw) is perfect and has always been the correct route to go, as you are applying NR to an unbaked file, compared to a ‘baked’ Tiff.
    Post Production: Itís ALL about what you do with the tools and not, which brand of tool you use.

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Dan, if you are using the latest version of PS checkout the Generate fill, that will really blow your mind!!!!
    Post Production: Itís ALL about what you do with the tools and not, which brand of tool you use.

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    Super Moderator Daniel Cadieux's Avatar
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    Just updated to the latest version last week. Cool stuff. I've been loving the Remove Tool these past few months!

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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Yes, it is good, much better now than when I did start using it at the start of the year on the Beta version. Interestingly that you can back track and it seems to learn, but Generate is just unbelievable, creating three options to choose from, depending on what you need to do. Now you have so many options to choose from to find the best option.
    Post Production: Itís ALL about what you do with the tools and not, which brand of tool you use.

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    I like this one better. Lightening the iris would likely improve it.

    with love, artie
    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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    Steve,

    re:

    Hi Gerald, this was more 'in-line' with what I was hoping for as I said in your previous posting, great.

    OK, lets take it from the top, however a lot is repetitive, but you haven't been here for a while so last time.

    I have no idea about the camera, however does it have the 'zebra's' for that perfect exposure, or is that just the A1?


    The a9 and the a9 II have Zebras, but they are useless unless set up properly with the right strategy.


    If not,

    If not makes no sense to me.

    ... just shoot manual, preset your SS & DoF and adjust your ISO or use Auto ISO to get that exposure, whilst keep checking your Histogram.

    Folks should be working in Manual mode for 99% of their bird photography. Why ever use AUTO ISO? By doing that, you are giving control to the camera body.


    If the raw is a bit bright then just lower the Exp in Lr, it's far better than lightening the image to highlight any noise in the darks & shadows, Whist waiting every 10-15 mins just check your Exp and adjust accordingly, then you are always ready.

    All above is very confusing. You want to expose to the right to reduce noise in the darks and shadows ... And you had better check whenever a cloud covers the sun.

    Topaz NR
    You really shouldn't be applying any between ISO2000-1600 and below, files should be so clean and it may kill a lot of the finer detail, especially if you leave things in DN Auto. If detail is lost you apply more sharpening and this is when the image looks crunchy. With Enhance in Lr say good bye to DN and definitely Photo AI, the updated version isn't worth the money and it's crap!

    Like Dan Cadieux, I disagree on the Topaz DeNoise. I use Low Light on every image that I process.

    Lr
    If you are using this to process your Raws then you should be using the latest 12.5, or the latest version that your computer can run with the added 'Enhance'. this is your default NR now.

    After 24 years of digital, I still eo not understand why anyone uses LR>

    Image
    You had both light & ISO on your side so 1/2500 or slightly higher IMHO would have been better to ensure crisp sharp image in flight. The exposure can still be pushed more based on the OP, opening up that gorgeous detail, ditto shadows ie +10, a bit more USM and the image is pin sharp, no question, that's all.


    The only way to correctly judge the exposure of any image is to examine the raw file in Raw Digger. Period.

    Personally a bit more space all round whilst retaining the original format would help, to give the subject space to breathe.

    Perhaps a bit more.

    with love, artie
    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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    Check out the new SONY e-Guide and videos that I did with Patrick Sparkman here. Ten percent discount for BPN members,

    E-mail me at samandmayasgrandpa@att.net.










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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    After 24 years of digital, I still eo not understand why anyone uses LR>
    Hi Artie, I tried C1, DPP, ACR in the early days of the 2000's but found Lr to suit my needs over the last 14 years plus. Now with Enhance built into the Raw conversion, (Topaz NR), ACR also has this feature, it is just so good, especially as it is applied to the Raw, not to a baked Tiff which is the best route. By applying 'Enhance' first of all, it the generates a DNG which is another raw which you simply process as normal and the outcome is just great IMHO. It all comes down to personal preference, and what works for the individual.

    Although I have been using PS since the early 90's professionally, I still prefer Lr to ACR.

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

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    Many thanks for then information and good discussion.

    With respect to shooting - yes, my A9 II is set up following Artie's recommendations - ISO on the back dial - works great, thank you.

    Yes, shooting to preserve the highlights means shadows can get a bit dark but the A9II allows a lot of opening of the shadows, in general.

    I have been using both Topaz Denoise and Enhance in Lr. I haven't gotten entirely comfortable with Enhance yet, but am giving it more practice. Topaz Denoise is so simple it can make one lazy!

    Really great to be back!

    Thanks, Gerald

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Kaluski View Post
    Hi Artie,

    Although I have been using PS since the early 90's professionally, I still prefer Lr to ACR.

    Steve
    Very confused by the above. As far as I know, ACR is identical in both PS and LR...

    with love, 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.

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    E-mail me at samandmayasgrandpa@att.net.










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    Wildlife Moderator Steve Kaluski's Avatar
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    Very confused by the above. As far as I know, ACR is identical in both PS and LR...
    Hi Artie, no need to be confused, you are correct Lr & ACR do use the same 'engine' it's just the architecture that is different, but also I use the Catalogue/Library within Lr. I also like the fact that when I process the Raw, I have: the raw, now a DNG file (the new Raw) and the Master Tiff all together which makes my life a lot easier because its all under one roof.

    At the end of the day it all comes down to personal preference in what folk use to process their Raw as they ALL have their Pros & Cons, however, there is no one Raw converter that is the 'benchmark/best' albeit Arash would disagree.
    Cheers
    Steve
    Post Production: Itís ALL about what you do with the tools and not, which brand of tool you use.

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