Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Before & After: Least Bittern

1/1000 | f/5.6 | ISO 640 | 700 mm
Read on to see the before and the processing to get to the after ...

This is an image of the least bittern just a split second after it landed. Pretty neat to see how quickly it gets ready to start hunting. Although not the most visually appealing image from the trip, it is one of my favorites. Below are the steps I took to get it from the before to the after.
  • The white balance was a bit warm, so I cooled it down just a tad. 
  • The contrast was lacking quite a bit, so in the curves dialog box, I selected the "medium contrast" preset. This gave the image a nice 'punch'.
  • In the brush panel, I selected a custom brush and increased the clarity and sharpness. I painted over the bittern until I got the desired effect. 
  • Since the background is very distracting, I wanted to blur it out a little. To do this, I created a new custom brush and turned the clarity and sharpness all the way down and painted the areas that I wanted to blur a bit. If you try this out, don't go overboard - it's very easy to do. 
  • I then cropped the image for a better composition and sharpened for the web
That's it!

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