Acorn Woodpecker #265 + RP

A RP to try to bring out more detail in the white patch:

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After drooling over David Schoen’s lovely BGs for years, I finally realized we had a tree that might come close and put up a new feeder there. Not as convenient and not completely optimized yet but this was a trial run, done in haste before heading out on the night photography trip. I was just sitting in the open – will set up a blind if it ever cools off enough to go back outside again.

Specific Feedback

All comments welcome! I wonder if the BG is a little too saturated? (I didn’t increase it beyond what a very slight contrast increase did.)

Technical Details

Screenshot 2024-07-10 at 10.06.12 AM

The SS is hard to read – it was 1/90 sec, on a sturdy tripod. Only slight global tonal tweaks in LR and then into PS for Topaz denoise (Low Light at default) and cloning to trim down the perch. Slight curves tweak to darken the darkest tones. Cropped from the horizontal with a tweak added to the top.

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Excellent handling of the dark tones on the back and good detail throughout. Nice head turn. The bird stands out well against the background.

This is great Diane. Fine details throughout on the bird both in blacks, whites, and reds. Love that white eye staring back at us. BG looks really good to me. Well done.

Excellent, Diane. Getting a tree into the relatively distant background does make for a nice background, though I’m also fond of senesced grasses if they’re far enough away.

This is a beauty of a shot with a nice perch and a great pose from the woodpecker and what looks like pretty mellow light.

Re the title: Do you actually have your images catalogued that well?

Thanks, @Allen_Brooks, @Allen_Sparks and @Dennis_Plank! No, Dennis, unfortunately not – that was an attempt at “Oh God, not another Acorn Woodpecker!” There are a LOT of them here and they drive other birds away and eat their eggs. The light was soft – a rare morning with some light fog, although it never lasts long enough. But you prompted me to look in the LR Catalog and it shows 1036. But there are probably some that never got tagged. That gives me a good place to head next time I decide to do some cleanup – which is always.

Perfect detail and pose. From here, the BG yellows do seems a tad bright

Looks good and these are interesting subjects for the camera. I would selectively reduce the brightness of the white patch above the bill as it almost looks feature less to my eye. Otherwise an excellent shot…Jim

Thanks, @Jim_Zablotny! That white patch must be tiny downy feathers because it always looks featureless. My thinking has been it’s OK as long as the edges don’t show the ugly sharp edges of blown highlights. But I went back to the raw file to see if I could dig anything out, and there is a little information there. I could possibly go farther but bringing down whites just makes them gray unless you bring down color channels, which is equally featureless. I did a second very dark conversion and layered it on and masked out everything but that patch, with some finesse needed to blend the edges. (Didn’t try a linear profile – that could be better.) While I was there I darkened the red topknot, which IRL is a very lovely saturated red but rarely looks that pretty in pictures.

Posted above for comparison. How does it look now? Push it more?? Thanks for the nudge!!

The original was excellent, Diane. The repost is a masterpiece of processing, bringing out the last available detail and making it all look very natural.

Really outstanding color and detail here in this image. You did a real good job on the repost. Very enjoyable picture in one of the best I’ve seen of this woodpecker with respect to detail and plumage. The light is perfect and the background is just as nice.

Thanks, @Dennis_Plank and @David_Schoen – they are reliable targets here. I need to remember that the white patch needs some careful work, even in soft light.

The repost looks darn good. There’s enough details present to reveal the feather texture. Awesome…Jim