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Thread: Common Merganser in Flight

  1. #1
    BPN Member Melissa Groo's Avatar
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    Default Common Merganser in Flight

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    1D4
    500mm +1.4
    Handheld

    ISO 800
    1/5000 sec
    f/5.6

    Took this this morning at a local park here in upstate NY. I've been going in the mornings the last few days, to photograph the common mergansers that are in courtship mode. They sure fly fast though, and I've been struggling with capturing them in flight, when light angle is right, and bird angle is right, etc. I was kneeling with the tripod for a while, but having a hard time moving the lens on the tripod fast enough for these birds, even with my Wimberley, so took it off the tripod and handheld.
    About a 30% crop. Sharpening, NR, and I desaturated the feet quite a bit, though may need more on that.
    Thanks so much for looking, all C & C most appreciated.

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Wow! Wow! Wow! Fantastic composition. Love the wing position with just the right amount of REFL. The water looks lovely but the bird looks just a tad too saturated, too contrasty, and possibly a tad over-sharpened. None-the-less I love this one. It might be worth re-processing this one with a slightly lighter touch....
    later and love, artie......... Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

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  3. #3
    BPN Member Melissa Groo's Avatar
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    Thanks a lot Artie. Ok, went back with a softer touch. Less sharpening and dropped the saturation and contrast some. Hope this is an improvement.

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    Publisher Arthur Morris's Avatar
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    Repost is better. You might want to go for an even slightly softer look. IAC, I am envious of this one :).
    later and love, artie......... Arthur Morris/BIRDS AS ART

    BIRDS AS ART Blog: great info and lessons, lots of images with our legendary BAA educational Captions.
    BIRDS AS ART Online Store: we will not sell you junk. 30+ years of long lens experience/e-mail with gear questions.
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    Avian Moderator Marina Scarr's Avatar
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    Everything Artie says and the repost is an improvement on an already wonderful capture. I would add that I would consider a tad more room on the right. You really nailed this one, Melissa!!
    Marina Scarr
    Florida Master Naturalist
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    Forum Participant Ofer Levy's Avatar
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    WOW is right!! I do see some noise on the bird. I actually prefer the original - doesn't look over saturated, over-sharpened or too contrasty to me. Agree with Marina regarding moving the bird a bit more to the left as composition is not balance as presented IMHO. The bird is flying to the left but it is coming from the right so there should be enough room on the right too....
    Here is a repost with a slight CCW rotation, some more canvas on the right and a tiny bit off the left.
    Last edited by Ofer Levy; 03-18-2012 at 07:58 PM.

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    BPN Member gail bisson's Avatar
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    Well done Melissa. I like the full downward stroke and the water reflection under the wing. And only 30% crop. Arash best watch his back!! I feel the reds are still quite saturated in the feet. Artie advises to add cyan +50 to the reds in selective coloring ( see woodpecker post about 10 images below) instead of lowering the reds.
    Gail

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    BPN Member Melissa Groo's Avatar
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    Thanks a bunch for your expert eyes and suggestions. Ofer, youre right,I do have more room on the right; I like your comp with this added. And yes, I thought maybe I still saw some noise too, so need to apply some more NR to the bird. Gail (and Artie), great tip on adding to the cyans, will give that a go. Thanks again!

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    Family, Friends and Fun Moderator Cheryl Arena Molennor's Avatar
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    Super cool shot. Love the light on the bird and the under wing reflection. Really nice.
    Comments and Critiques greatly appreciated. Thank You!
    Cheryl Arena Molennor www.cherylmolennorphotography.com

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    BPN Member Gary Esman's Avatar
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    Melissa you nailed it, I simply have no suggestions. Congrats!

    Gary.
    Last edited by Gary Esman; 03-18-2012 at 08:34 PM.

  11. #11
    BPN Member Karl Egressy's Avatar
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    Dirrerent people, different taste. I like the second one the best, Melissa. It is nice that you can pick and choose among three versions.
    Striking BIF shot.

  12. #12
    Forum Participant Rod Warnock's Avatar
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    Magic image, Melissa ! Think Ofer's version a slight improvement on an already great image.
    Best regards
    Rod Warnock

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    Avian Moderator arash_hazeghi's Avatar
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    awesome shot Melissa, love the pose and details everything is excellent I prefer the one in pane 3
    New! Canon EOS AF Guide for avian in flight photography
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    Killer flight shot Melissa of a great species. Easy fixes suggested to a great image!

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    Macro and Flora Moderator Jonathan Ashton's Avatar
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    Great shot Melissa, if you get round to the other mods I would really like to see it!

  16. #16
    BPN Member Kaustubh Deshpande's Avatar
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    Melissa, loved this...awesome shot. the wing almost touching the water...and the light reflected off the water....those are the two things that I like the most. perfect subject angle and SS. good call on the techs. I am a big fan of sharp wing tips like in this shot.

  17. #17
    BPN Member Jim Crosswell's Avatar
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    Excellent image Melissa! I like the wing position, details and Ofers repost.

  18. #18
    Forum Participant Robert Holguin's Avatar
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    WOW!!! Excellent flight. I really like how low its flying, sharp, real nice light, and I really like your repost.
    Very well done.

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