Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Before & After: Female Red-winged Blackbird

1/640 | f/6.3 | ISO 1600 | 700 mm
Read on to see the before and the processing to get to the after ...

I went to Newnan's Lake with one thing in mind - to get a photo of a female blackbird perched on a tree. Well, as you can see, none of them decided to perch up. So instead, I got down low (see this blog post) and waited until she moved so that the background was clean. Here is what I did to get to the after:
  • I liked the white balance, but the Blackbird was a bit underexposed. Instead of raising the overall exposure, I used the 'Shadows' and 'Blacks' slider in Lightroom 4 to only brighten those areas, leaving the highlights untouched. 
  • I raised the vibrance a little bit to give the feathers a little more punch.
  • One of the final steps was to reduce the noise in the image. I used the built in noise reduction features in Lightroom to remove as much noise as possible without losing too much detail in the feathers. 
  • I then cropped the image for a better composition and sharpened for the web.
That's it!

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