Barbed Perch #2

Back to my rural hangout with its barbed wire! The Passerines (birds that perch) love to hop onto the barbed wire before darting off to catch flying insects.

With its crested head I believe this is a Black Phoebe, a Juvenile with its brown feathers which will turn black as it grows up.

I think this was taken just after landing. I don’t recall ever seeing such beautiful patterns in folded wings! Such straight geometric shapes and lines, combined with gorgeous white, tan and brown colors.

Specific Feedback Requested

The patterns in the folded wings are what this image is about for me, over-riding a not so great head pose.

Technical Details

D500 with 200-500 f/5.6 lens.
ISO 1000

Lightroom mask for the subject for sharpening, texture, and clarity. Inverted the subject mask for the background to dehaze and some noise reduction. Topaz DeNoise AI for noise reduction, and a slight Orton Effect in Photoshop. A bit of vibrance too in Lightroom.


Mark, this is an outstanding image. The detail on the bird plumage, the pose, the head turn, the eye contact, the background, and the texture and color of the barbed wire are perfect. One of your best images in my opinion. What a cool bird!

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Definitely wonderful!! A unique pose with good DOF. There is a bit of crunchiness to some of the fine feathers, possibly pushed a bit by the conversion to JPEG.

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Thank you @David_Schoen for your kind words! @Diane_Miller the crunchiness may be JPEG conversion, helped with some over-zealous use of the sharpening/texture/clarity sliders in LR!

Beautiful, Mark. I love the textures and patterns on the back and wings. I also like that you were perpendicular to the fence so you managed to get the whole length of the wire in crisp focus. I do notice some sharpening halo, particularly along the top of the bill and the head, but to some extend along the upper body as well.

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Thanks Dennis!
I seem to recall hearing about a technique in Photoshop to help alleviate sharpening halos. Something to do with the number of pixels on the borders of objects. Are you aware of any tricks? (Maybe this could be a Discussion Topic).

@Mark_Muller I’m afraid I don’t remember what they are, but I would think if you select the bird, then contract the selection a few pixels before sharpening that it would work (you can do that under the [select] menu in PS. There’s a [modify] option.) I’ve been using an antique non-AI Topaz Detail plug-in for years in place of sharpening and it doesn’t seem to produce halos.

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Thanks Dennis, I’ll give it a try in PS