Dreams of Flight

I’ve gone out to my blind the last couple of mornings, despite the rather gloomy skies, so I’ve been working at 1/250 shutter speed or less and some ridiculous iso settings. I was going through the results this afternoon and I really liked the way the flying bird in the background worked with the main subject here.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

The whole image was rather underexposed, so I had to boost the exposure quite a bit. The head of the House Finch in the original suffered from a bit of motion blur, so I stole a head from a couple of frames later. Can you tell where I joined them? I also mellowed out some darker areas in the background.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

I was trying to figure out if the original image with the birds going up and left worked better or if it worked flipped. I’d also like input on the overall composition. I added canvas left and bottom and took away some from the right and top.

Any pertinent technical details:

7DII, Sigma 150-600 C @ 421 mm, gimbal head mounted to blind, f/8, 1/250, iso 3200, manual exposure. Processed in LR & PS CC. Reduction of the rather significant noise using Neat Image.

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Masterful job combining two images. My personal preference is the first image with the slightly darker background. I did not read your intro about the shadow of the bird in flight and was struggling with the difference in poses and usually there isn’t a shadow in a natural setting. Did make me look a lot longer than normal.

I’m trying to figure out the background since I created the mirror image by flipping it in LR after all other processing. I’ve been assuming that it’s an illusion, but maybe not?

I like the composition and you did a good job in the processing. I prefer the second (flipped) composition. I wonder if one’s preference in this regard is something that is hard wired into our brains and reflects how we see things or we’re used to reading/writing left to right.

I just noticed that they made you a moderator. Congratulations. About time!

Thanks, Allen.

Wonderful image, Dennis. I too like the oof bird and how it mirrors the in-focus finch. Great job with post-processing too - I cannot tell where this is a blend of two images.

Re preference, I like the first one where the main subject is on the right.

Congrats on being made a moderator - very well deserved.