Are you sure there are fish there?

![Are you sure there are fish there?]

This is the same Big Blue that camped out in Rocky Neck State for the month of Sept. This shot was taken on Sept. 12 at 8:43 AM.
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Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Canon R5, Canon 100-500mm, f10, 700mm, 1/2000, -.3EV, ISO 3200 and cropped by 50%.

1 Like

Very nice detail on the bird in a lovely setting! It’s always a quandary when the BG is brighter than the bird, but it’s so pretty I can’t complain about it here. Maybe the shadows could be brought up a little to give the bird a little more pop? I’d be tempted to crop just a bit off the top to make the bird a little bigger in the frame, but that’s a small point. Maybe clone over the white areas near the bottom?

Hi Diane
I was just playing around with this shot in Nik Collection color Efex Pro4, when I received your comments. This is what I came up with.


I prefer your original post, Peter. The setting is very nice. If I would change anything, I’d try to make the bird brighter w.r.t. the background. That would be more realistic i.m.o., at least, if the heron looks like the species around here.

I think the second version in Color Efex has gone too dark and @Han_Schutten’s has lost too much contrast on the bird. Here’s a simple solution. I selected the bird and the dark areas around it by brushing on a quick mask, like so:

Then I went out of QM mode to get a selection and inverted it and made a Curves adjustment layer that had the mask of the selection, and lightened the midtones of the bird while holding down the lights. This also lightened the reeds a bit in the dark area below the bird’s neck.

Then another QM to pull down a gradient from the top and another curve to pull down the right end of the curve to tone down the grasses just a bit, although I hate to mess with them, they are so pretty.

I cropped a bit from the bottom and kept the dark area on the right as it acts as a nice frame or stopper to keep the eye in the image.

Hi Diane & Han
Thank you for our comment, maybe the third time is the charm, or I could just send my raw files to Diane and ask her, when I could pick up the finish photos?
I used a gradient local control point in DXO to tone down the grass and curves control points in Color Efex Pro4 to bring up the shadows and the Big Blue.

Ps I do not have a mask function in DXO or Nix Collection.

This looks good! Nik has some very good masking features with their control points, but I just go to PS, which I know.