Show your Bird Portraits

ISv

"The equipment that matters, is you"
Apr 30, 2017
855
965
This beautiful female Bufflehead duck was smiling when swimming away!
They have migrated to Calgary for winter. They are medium-distance migrants spending winter in south Alberta and northern US.
EOS-R + Sigma 60-600mm
View attachment 187197
"They are medium-distance migrants spending winter in south Alberta and northern US."
Hmm... by the way they are coming to Hawaii too - could be the influence of some events (like high wind systems). This year still no report - despite in the previous few years they were regular visitors (just few - but every year!).
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,798
3,275
Still good Alan: the light in that scene is rather tricky. I have no idea how much time did you get to takes the photos (sometimes it is miserable - if not most of the time:)). If I had enough time I wold exposure for the highlights and in PP will lift the rest... Sometimes there is no time and back in the time there was not enough knowledge (or most probably lack of experience) for me to make fast adjustments.
Any way - I still have to see that bird - you are lucky!
It was pretty difficult to photo. Here it is with the highlights darkened and the midtones and shadows lifted PP as alternative to achieve your suggestions. The sky is certainly more blue!
3Q7A5596-DxO_Great_Horned_Owl-1.jpg
 

bhf3737

---
Sep 9, 2015
479
518
Calgary, Canada
www.flickr.com
Bhf3737 - Really nice one!!!
It looks like she knows you have a rush for her:) (I would have too - I still have to take a photo of that one!)!
Actually the male Bufflehead duck is more colorful with green and purple head and a large white patch on the back of its head. Its color pattern is too contrasty. Exposing for white, the head will be total black and exposing for the head will blow the highlights. In this one I tried the latter to record the glossy green purple head.
48932488237_bda7b4331a_o.jpg
 

AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,798
3,275
Actually the male Bufflehead duck is more colorful with green and purple head and a large white patch on the back of its head. Its color pattern is too contrasty. Exposing for white, the head will be total black and exposing for the head will blow the highlights. In this one I tried the latter to record the glossy green purple head.
View attachment 187208
Lovely colours, and there is a real dilemma on what to expose for. Have you tried lowering the highlights and fiddling with the exposure in post?
 

Keith_Reeder

No apologies for not suffering fools gladly...
Feb 8, 2014
823
273
59
Blyth, NE England
Actually the male Bufflehead duck is more colorful with green and purple head and a large white patch on the back of its head. Its color pattern is too contrasty. Exposing for white, the head will be total black and exposing for the head will blow the highlights. In this one I tried the latter to record the glossy green purple head.
View attachment 187208
As Alan suggests, you might be better off exposing for the highlights (you're at +1 EC here - the highlights didn't stand a chance) and lift the head in PP?

It's much easier to get some detail back from "Shadows" than blown highlights, and I suspect that there would be detail to recover from the head, at 0 EC, using Evaluative metering.

Can I ask which Raw converter you're using? They're not all created equal, where highlight/shadow recovery is concerned.
 

bhf3737

---
Sep 9, 2015
479
518
Calgary, Canada
www.flickr.com
Lovely colours, and there is a real dilemma on what to expose for. Have you tried lowering the highlights and fiddling with the exposure in post?
As Alan suggests, you might be better off exposing for the highlights (you're at +1 EC here - the highlights didn't stand a chance) and lift the head in PP?
It's much easier to get some detail back from "Shadows" than blown highlights, and I suspect that there would be detail to recover from the head, at 0 EC, using Evaluative metering.
Can I ask which Raw converter you're using? They're not all created equal, where highlight/shadow recovery is concerned.
Thanks Alan and keith for comments. I use Lightroom CC to import and auto-convert all RAW to DNG. It takes a little time to convert them all, but convenient for safe keeping afterwards. I took a couple of shots exposing for the highlights, as you suggested, but the noise in the recovered shadows were high and colos were washed out, so it defeated the intention of capturing the colorful head. I should have had the speed/ISO down at the first place, 1/1000sec was too low here. I should work more on the setting and technique, definitely.
 

ISv

"The equipment that matters, is you"
Apr 30, 2017
855
965
Isv makes gentle hints that are useful. Feedback is welcome when it makes positive suggestions of how to improve an image.
I have no idea how gentle my suggestions (it will differ from person to person I think) are but if they work - I would keep that language:)!
BTW Alan, with you it's easier - you rarely post ready for critique photos and to critique you should not be that destructive. In some other cases I'm strongly "pass" (despite I really would like to give some useful, at least from my point of view advise - and BTW not to show up, if I want to show up I prefer to post some photos... well, not all of them are... hmmm... let say good advise:LOL:)!
 

ISv

"The equipment that matters, is you"
Apr 30, 2017
855
965
Actually the male Bufflehead duck is more colorful with green and purple head and a large white patch on the back of its head. Its color pattern is too contrasty. Exposing for white, the head will be total black and exposing for the head will blow the highlights. In this one I tried the latter to record the glossy green purple head.
View attachment 187208
Well, if you like that colors, lack of details in highlights (because you choose pure white = no recoverable detail) and eventually high saturation and may be contrast (not sure you have added the last two in PP:) - than it's just your "artistic" expression, and I think it's OK! Not my style but you shouldn't care about my style - any way it's mine:)!
Any way, what I would like to say is that I have hard time to ID the bird (not big deal if you are not in the birding) but it shouldn't be necessary problem for you!
 
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AlanF

Canon 5DSR II
Aug 16, 2012
5,798
3,275

ISv

"The equipment that matters, is you"
Apr 30, 2017
855
965
Great shot ISv !
Thanks! I hope you don't mean the second photo where I changed the colors - I did it for my daughter who sad "yeah, but they are so boringly white":)!
 
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