Challenge: Birds (Advanced Editing IV)
Camera: Canon EOS-20D
Lens: Canon EF 28-135mm F/3.5-5.6 IS USM
Location: St Ives, Cornwall, UK
Date: Jun 8, 2005
Galleries: Nature, Animals
Date Uploaded: Jun 12, 2005
|When you watch gulls flying, especially when they are gliding, it looks as if it would be easy to capture them in flight. Even with auto focus and focus tracking it is a challenge to get shots in focus and in frame - the rate at which they move across the viewfinder has to be seen to be believed. This shot is in focus but the image of the bird is near the top edge of the frame, producing a letter box crop which provides in my opinion, an unusual but poor composition.
To improve the composition and increase the actual size of the bird in the final frame, I wanted a diagonal composition (limit of 640 pixel width). However, the position near the top edge made that challenging. So I used an increase in canvas size, cloning and healing to recover a natural looking sky in the top right hand corner, after I had cropped and rotated the image to create the required composition. I could have achieved the same effect by selecting the bird and moving it into the vacant sky below but that breaks the DPC rules. What I have done, in my opinion, meets the spirit of the rules - nothing was added that wasn't really there, nor has it changed the appearance of the image.
The image was "developed" using Capture One Pro and processed in CS PS; increased canvas size, rotated crop, cloned and healed, levels, increased saturation, decreased brightness, increased contrast, burned the eye, cloned out a mark (which was really there, improving on nature. . . . ) on one wing, USM, resized and USM again.
Some may suggest oversharpening - it isn't, the halo around the white outline is the sun shining through the plumage and it is there in the unsharpened original.
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