High Key Seagull

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    • #428793
      Dave Watkins
      Participant

      The back story. We had seen four immature bald eagles on our walk along a nearby dam the day before. I usually bring my camera along but of course I did not that day. Next day set my camera up for BIF pics. Something I rarely go after. We usually see at least a half dozen Blue Herons along the dam. That day nothing. Nada. Nil. Zero. Zilch.

      We’re almost back to the parking lot when this one seagull comes flying toward us. Snapped off five shots. Looked at them on the LCD and they were under exposed. Nothing but dark gray with one darker spot. The gull.

      But back home looking at them on the computer I liked the shape of the gull in this one shot. The shape of the wing in particular. An almost perfect bird in flight pose I thought. After playing with it for a while I liked the high key look best. Added the sun burst and vignette. This final image has a soft, dreamlike quality to it I like. Kind of “heavenly.”

      I wasn’t impressed with it enough to save the RAW file so it is what it is. I kept going back to it and even tweaked the jpeg a bit. The more I looked at it the more I liked it. So I thought I’d drop it into the ST to get other opinions. Sorry for the long intro and thanks for looking.

       

    • #428829
      Petr Nowak
      Participant

      Great seagull position.
      You have brightened image a lot, right? It’s sometimes a big problem to get something good from dark image because of noise etc. It seems to me your sky a little bit suffers from that reason probably. I don’t see original image so I can’t judge.
      White vignette and sun seem a little bit artificial. I’d probably avoid vignetting at all. The sun is in original image or not?

    • #428832
      JasenkaG
      Keymaster

      The colors are beautiful here and the composition works pretty well.

      I have to agree with Petr when it comes to vignetting, I’d probably remove it. It would be useful if we could see the original image.

    • #428844
      Rob Eyers
      Participant

      Hi Dave. The vignette, as it is, is a bit jarring. The background sky has a yellowish hue. Maybe try using that hue for the vignette and soften the transition with a lot more blur, if you decide to keep it.

      I agree that the sun is a bit contrived but there’s an idea there. Maybe try some variations to see if it can be made to look more believable.

    • #428863
      Dave Watkins
      Participant

      Thank you all for the feedback. Just what I was hoping for.  Yep. This photo was lightened A LOT. I guess I did go a bit overboard with the vignette didn’t I? 🙂 Not a big fan of that yellowish hue in the sky either. The first image I saved of this was lighter. Less definition in the sky. Not as yellow. Vignette in lighter shot not as pronounced either.

      The sun was nowhere to be seen that day. Gray, cloudy, windy. The addition of sunburst and vignette was my attempt to give the image the dreamlike, surreal look I wanted. In no way was I trying to produce a realistic looking image of a flying seagull.

      The original RAW file is long gone. Not happy with the results I was getting in post I saved what I had done but as a jpeg thinking I was done working on it. Then reformatted the card. Went back and tweaked the jpeg and liked it a little better. Then decided I wanted a little more definition in the clouds so reworked it again and posted it here.

      I’ll add the original “finished product” and move on. Again, thanks for your comments.

       

    • #428888
      Frank
      Participant

      Hey, I like what you have done here, Dave.  Somehow you have a pleasing pastel sky, and the sea gull is nicely in focus.   Let’s just say I would like to play with this image when I get a chance.  The gull  might be whiter, a bit more color might be added to the sky.  Maybe the sun should have more of an appearance of coming through the clouds.  Here it seems to have been placed on top of them.   The vignette is not too harsh either, it is nicely feathered, but maybe since others have noticed it maybe it needs to be a bit more faded and subtle.   Sorry, you missed the eagle, but go back again!

    • #428949
      Dave Watkins
      Participant

      Hi Frank. Thanks for chiming in. I agree about the sun burst. Should have been more subtle. Some day I should learn about using masks and layers and brushes and blending etc. etc.  Some day soon I hope. 🙂

    • #428978
      Petr Nowak
      Participant

      @Dave: I like the second version much more.

    • #429041
      Frank
      Participant

      Oh boy, Now I got the sun a bit too big, then went yellow, then tried to creep a little bit of your magenta back into your yellow.   Anyway, fun to experiment.

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