Black-necked stilt

A Happy New year to all of you.

This is a rather high-key image of a juvenile stilt I captured late last summer. I wanted to post it last year immediately after my last stilt image, but got busy with some travel.

This was taken late one evening - I was photographing some ducks, when this stilt flew in and chased them away. It preened for a few minutes, as you can in the ruffled feathers, and then flew away.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Any/all

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any/all

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If backgrounds have been removed, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
840mm, 1/500s@F8, ISO1250. Cropped a little of the bottom for composition. Cloned out some oof vegetation, bugs and specks on the water. I liked the stalks of the grass behind the stilt, even though they are oof, and would like to hear what you think.

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Govind, I love the minimalist take here. The grass behind the bird anchors the frame and it’s nice to see the reflection. My only comment is to tone down the blue in the shadows.

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I like the concept here. Nice positioning of the stilt and I like the grasses behind. I too see a blue cast in the shadows that I’d work to eliminate to accentuate the high key look.

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I too really like the simplicity of the photo. The grasses really do add to the total composition. The little bit of water disturbance around the legs seems to be a seam between the perfectly centered horizon dividing the bird and the reflection. Dark edge at the top brings the eye into the subject. I agree with the blue comments, but would add that on my screen it looks just the slightest bit dark… may be my screen. Great job.

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A great capture, and I too like the minimalist take on this. I also love the grass behind him, and smooth water except for what he has stirred up with his movement. I think on my screen it looks natural as far as lighting, as it appears the sun is down low. Agree about the blueish in the shadow, now that it has been mentioned (I might not would have caught that one). I love the low POV, making him eye level. It is a great shot. I can’t think of anything else that could improve it.

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I like the composition a lot, Govind, and I agree with leaving the bits of vegetation-they add a lot to the image. I do think it would be nice to bring down the blue in the shadowed breast a bit-I know it’s natural, but it really shows in the image more than one would notice in nature.

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I came back to this as I do like the image, but think it has more potential as a high key.

I added a threshold adjustment layer to pinpoint the brightest place in the image.
I then added a curves adjustment layer and used the white eyedropper to set that point to white (for my configuration that is 242, 242, 242 (not 255).
That brightened things up nicely but still a blue cast on the breast, neck. I used TK to select the blue, added a curve and worked the blue and red channels to remove blue and cyan. This is the result. See what you think of this change.

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I like what Keith has done. I wasn’t seeing the blue in the breast of the bird, but now that it is corrected, I see it very clearly. It even seems more high key of an image. I will have to be careful about “seeing” this kind of thing in my own images.

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Thanks for the edits and info on the technique, Keith. Your version definitely looks better with the blues brought down. I hadn’t noticed the it in my image, but having them toned down definitely enhances the high-key aspect of the image.

I am not sure why the original has the blue cast in the shadows - think it might just be the sky color and reflection.

No surprise that I really love this image, the kind of setting and bird that I like a lot ! Even though I like your original post, I think that Keith brought it to an even higher level. The composition, especially with the grasses are great ! Congrats. Hans

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