Back yard robin

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


Was in my small back yard trying to photograph some of the birds. Spotted this robin on the fence, but in deep shadow except for the spot the robin was in. Though it would be a good test for the gear I was using.

Specific Feedback

Overall appeal, composition, color and details.

Technical Details

Canon R7, Canon RF 800mm F-11
1/1000 F-11 ISO 6400

Noise reduction with Topaz A1

Hi John, I like the placement of the subject in the frame with room to look ahead even though he does seem a bit centered. My main concern is what appears to be post processing artifacts around the bird’s beak then loss of detail on the back of the bird. My guess is Topaz is the culprit (along with high ISO) even though I don’t use that software. The greens look alright to me.

Hi John. A nice shot of the robin and I like the bright green spring background. The area around the beak looks like you used some kind of selection tool to select the bird and brighten it, but the tool got much too large and area for the beak. If you saved the masks/layers, you can go back and correct it pretty easily, otherwise you’d have to start over. The blurred area of plumage above the tail is weird and I have no idea what would have caused it.

Hi John,

Really nice shot of a Robin, they seem to be overlooked by most people for some reason but I think they are remarkable birds.

I really like the pose and the BG looks fairly natural to me, it does have linear lines that seem a little off but not too bad.

I have to comment on the bright area around the beak, what I see is an almost perfectly aligned OOF leaf in the BG, the way it’s lined up with the beak makes it easy to assume that it’s some sort of post processing issue but it’s really not IMHO. If you examine the full OOF leaf above the bird, it looks very much the same around the edges, the leaf around the beak does appear a bit sharper than others so maybe it received a little sharpening along with the bird?
I’m not trying to contradict anyone, just trying to shed some light on things.
If you think about it, if it were some sort of processing issue, then it seems like that effect would be around other parts of the bird as well.
Either way, I would consider cloning that brighter area out around the beak.

Edit: May 27th. I think I need to have my eyes checked because I completely missed seeing the selection around the outline of the head, after having a better and closer look, I see where there was a selection that appears to extend to the area around the beak, the brightening around the beak sure did match the color and basic shape of the leaves in the BG in my first look.
My second, much closer look makes me want to agree with @Dennis_Plank’s and @Allen_Sparks’s assessments!
Note on June 9th: I just realized that I forgot to officially notify you guys so you may have missed my retraction! I do make mistakes once in a while but never intentional!
Not sure how I missed that the first time I looked. Sorry for my inaccurate initial assessment.

I would suggest using a mask and a brush with a soft edge for brightening rather than using a hard edge selected copy, then brightening the whole selection. It’s much easier to control the effect that way, of course that is just my preferred method.

Sorry about that.

I’m not sure how the details on the back got smoothed out, that one is a mystery to me.

In the end, you have a wonderful image of a deserving Robin! :slight_smile:

John, just a thought but you could put the Raw version of this in the post processing forum and we could see if our workflows give different results to those areas that seem off.

Setting aside the issue with the beak, this is a great Robin image. The fence really makes it feel homey. The fore and background bokeh really give it depth. I love this, and I’m not usually a fan of signs of humanity in photos😉