Flash in the Tree

Another under the jungle canopy image requiring flash. Although the detail is good, I have been unable to post process in a way that removes the flash effect. Any ideas to improve the exposure and reduce the flashed look?

What technical feedback would you like if any?

I did try to lighten up the green thinking that might work but none of the tools at hand would do this effectively without a considerable amount of selecting behind the greenery at the edge.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Iso-1600, 500 mm at F8, 800th, fill flash at -3, D 500, handheld, full frame, dark and overcast.
(If backgrounds have been removed, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

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Hi David,

I like the pose and the composition you managed. Unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot you can do to “unflash” the flash if you find the image over-flashed. Actually I don’t think this is that badly flashed, but what I might try if the image were mine , would be to isolate the tree and the moss from both the bird and the background with a selection. Then try and darken the mask to see if you could reduce the offending effect-just a thought.

Not sure how to reduce the look, David, but most of the reason it seems to look flashed to me is the lack of shadows in the tree trunk due to the frontal light source. Someone (Hank Pennington?) had a thread on using a selfie stick to get the flash off to one side. He was using it for studio photography. I’ve done something similar by putting the flash on the end of a monopod. If you have a 6 foot flash cord, you can get a bit more side light. I don’t know how you’d get the shadows back in post-maybe more contrast and lower the exposure on the trunk? Still a cool look at an Acorn Woodpecker.

Hello, David - I never use flash light with wildlife, so cannot help you. The result is still great I think, although the crop looks a little unbalanced to me. The Woodpecker is great, obviously, but the bark is as interesting ! Cheers, Hans

Perhaps slightly overflashed, but I like the feather detail in the blacks and the classic pose.