Sunday, February 26, 2012

Nature Photography 104: Part 6: wake up makeup

To make a very long story short, I keep finding myself annoyed with nature photography. I was very worked up a few days ago, when I became quite confident that the winner of a fairly large photo contest must have edited/doctored the photo... I then look at said persons website, and found some very blatant editing along with large amounts of shameless self-promotion as a truly expert photographer.

This really wasn't anything new, but I learned something from it: People can do whatever the heck they want, and I shouldn't care about it. If it bothers me, I can just focus on how I conduct myself and my photography! And with that said, I had the idea to reveal some of the work done on my own photos on my personal website. 

Are you ready for a look at everything you may or may not already know about nature photography? I'll post the website version first, followed by the totally un-edited original.


Part 6: wakeup makeup

Time to break out the big guns. Everyone loves owls, and they’re a lightning rod for controversy in the Ontario birding/photography scene. Up first is a few images from my Short-eared Owl collection:

One of my favourite owl images for a long time, my Dad and I were driving back-roads (starting at dawn) looking for owls and raptors, when we found this bird perched in a very unexpected location (not any “known” owl spot) --- perched in a tree in someone’s front yard! Only 5-6 feet off the ground. !!!

The first thing you may note about the two shots above is the sticks I’ve removed. I busted out the digital chainsaw,  but also wanted to not totally change the scene (you can see where I ended up drawing the line in the final image)...

But there is something you may not notice right away...... The “original” has the bird with a sleepy look in the eyes, where the final product is wide-awake with bright yellow eyes. The eyes are everything for an Owl pic, and I actually used photoshop to remove the shadows from the top of the eyes, then brought out the yellow a bit more. Not something that is noticeable right away, but it makes a world of difference in the pic (in my opinion)...

Up next:

Now we have the SEOW image I present front and centre on my SEOW page. Taken after sunset while driving some back country roads, the bird was simply perched on a roadside fencepost, and allowed me to drive right up and take some shots.

The late “golden hour” light is ultra-saturated and I hardly changed a thing!

I’ll probably stick to the SEOW theme for the next instalment of NP 104, and it’s a good one. 

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