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accentuate this GBH

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  • accentuate this GBH

    I've got a ton of these Herons in flight with most of them "selected" at the pixel level...just in case I needed it done.

    Problem is that the bird is lost in the foliage and I can't figure out how to PP them in CS6 to accentuate/separate
    the Heron from the foliage. In this particular series there are 11 birds shot in series as he traversed the pond,
    I have in mind to do a metal triplet prints of all eleven birds images.

    PP suggestions would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Re: accentuate this GBH

    Blur the background using a plugin like Topaz Lens Effects.


    • #3
      Re: accentuate this GBH

      Blurring was one of the first things I tried...still looks too busy.


      • #4
        Re: accentuate this GBH

        I played with selections, and it is a few layers ( a bit of everything), but no blurring, and it looks much more bird-centered to me now.

        In the end, I decided to heal a bit.

        What you want to do in cases like this is differentiate the subject form the backdrop by:

        local contrast

        If you do this, it will always pop.

        P.S. Yes, blurring works, but in order to blur it, you first have to replace the subject with what would be behind it, then blur in order not to get the smudgy edges, and that is just way to much work.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by skoobey; 08-08-2013, 01:54 PM.


        • #5
          Re: accentuate this GBH

 is "bird centered" albeit, a little garish.
          My color knowledge is somewhat lacking...let us assume that I wanted to keep the bird it's natural, flat looking, blue/gray color. What color dark tint might I apply to the background to contrast that pale blue/gray?


          • #6
            Re: accentuate this GBH

            the biggest problem with the shot are the bare branches intersecting the bird's neck and beak, destroying any sense of focal point.

            here's a pretty heavy handed approach to darkening, and it still falls short so long as those branches are there. Some careful cloning (not the crap I did) would go a long way toward making this a usable image.
            Attached Files


            • #7
              Re: accentuate this GBH

              We have saturated red branches that are also much lighter and contrastier than the bird, we have contrasty bright green leaves, and in the middle of it all a blue desaturated bird.

              It is never going to be center of attention unless you color contrast it.

              A vignette is a part of the solution, but you have to make everything else more yellow. Simple as that.

              It's like putting a model among the group of people all wearing all sorts of outfits, and asking for her to stand out. Ain't gonna happen unless you affect her color/luminosity.
              Attached Files


              • #8
                Re: accentuate this GBH

                I hear you when you talk about the yellows but, in this rendition, working in LR, I desaturated the
                yellows/greens (-25) and boosted luminance/saturation in the blues. I think it looks better...what say you?



                • #9
                  Re: accentuate this GBH

                  I agree with Flashtones the busy background is distracting. You can try and contrast the blue bird with yellow but for me I would prefer to remove the distractions and also apply a degree of blur to the less interest background.

                  Removing the branches that dissect and surround the bird also to my eye look better - I too did a sloppy job but it may help you decide.

                  There is at least one good mask lurking in your file if you want to take this route - it is in the b channel of Lab and with a minutes work should provide similar to shown in attached. The blur was limited to the back and foreground.

                  Of course if you like the idea then you are going to have a little work on 11 images
                  Attached Files


                  • #10
                    Re: accentuate this GBH

                    Blur definitely works, maybe less of it, but I can see what you we're aiming at.

                    The trick with blur is:

                    Cut out the bird and put it on a new layer

                    Fill in the gap on the background layer (you amy even use that smart fill Shift+f5)

                    And then blur the background layer

                    Never ever ever ever blur with the subject on the layer, as it will result in subject being transferred all over the background.

                    That desaturated verision OP posted, also looks far better than the original.

                    So a little bit of everything is the recipe.

                    P.S. Might I suggest motion blur, as that will emulate panning.


                    • #11
                      Re: accentuate this GBH

                      Originally posted by skoobey View Post

                      The trick with blur is:

                      Cut out the bird and put it on a new layer


                      Never ever ever ever blur with the subject on the layer, as it will result in subject being transferred all over the background.
                      There are no particular 'tricks' to blur. Motion blur may be a better choice but only the originator of the image can decide this and the original shot shows no signs of panning.

                      No need to cut out the bird on a new layer (this is what the mask is for) and no worries about subject being 'transferred' all over the background - that is what the mask is for!
                      Last edited by Tony W; 08-09-2013, 12:37 PM.


                      • #12
                        Re: accentuate this GBH

                        I used a SS of 1000 to insure the bird images were all in focus across the pond...
                        panning and capturing 11 in focus images were/are way beyond my skillset.

                        However, applying a gradient motion blur, running from right to left is something that I will play with...thanks.


                        • #13
                          Re: accentuate this GBH

                          It was pretty obvious from your image that you used a high shutter speed there is little if any observable blur on the birds wings (but you could have caught them at the decisive moment when the motion changes from up to down).

                          The other give away is the fact that you have captured the splash where the bird went for the fish that is a nice touch to the overall image IMHO.

                          Not sure about the blur moving from left to right though as it may not look correct if you want to preserve the water splash? Anyway it will be interesting to see what you come up with, after all this is your image and visualisation of how it should look is up to you


                          • #14
                            Re: accentuate this GBH

                            Topaz Lens Effects lets you tailor the blur, so you don't really have to cut the image of the bird out.


                            • #15
                              Re: accentuate this GBH

                              Here's where I am now...


                              Before I go any farther, could I have some comments on spacing of the bird and balance of colors of the bird.
                              I made the new size 13.5 x 48...kinda an odd size.


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