Fledgling Acorn Woodpecker + RP

And the result of the attempt to sharpen the adult:

Had to fix the stub.


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We have a lot of Acorn Woodpeckers and they frequent a redwood that is near the deck. It’s base is 10-15 ft down a slope so I have a slightly better angle into some of the branches. The good ones are still well above my head but they will have to do. No action here but this is all they gave me. I’ll have to watch more closely.

Specific Feedback

All comments welcome! I should probably remove the branch stub…

Technical Details

Screenshot 2024-06-09 at 3.02.39 PM

Cropped from the sides and a bit of height lost to slight leveling. Shadows and Highlights in LR; into PS for Topaz Denoise (hardly needed) and some BG cleanup. Tripod. Soft morning light on a rare partly cloudy day.

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The youngster is downy cute and I like the way it’s looking at the adult with that eternal “feed me” attitude of young birds. The stub doesn’t bother me much as it looks naturally broken and there’s no bright raw end. The head on the adult looks just slightly soft, but I don’t know if you have access to an angle more parallel with the branch. A very nice image.

Thanks, @Dennis_Plank! The adult is definitely soft, beyond trying to fix. This is not the most favorite branch – and of course the one that almost always has a bird in it is quite a bit higher. But I can move a little for a better angle on this branch. No idea if I would ever get two again, much less an adult and a kid.

I had to fix the stub – posted above.

Hi Diane, nice catch of this pair with the really good look at the juvenile. Seems to be giving you the eye. Exposure looks good too. At f13, doubt you can render the adult much sharper than it is. Fine capture.

Thanks, @Allen_Sparks! These guys are probably 25 ft away, and at 1000mm, DOF is very limited. I have tried using f/16 or even f/18 but then ISO gets uncomfortably high and DOF never seems that much greater. What does help is shooting from farther away and cropping.

Very nice! The branch stub doesn’t bother me at all. Fledgling’s pose is perfect, and re the adult - we take what we can get! A little added sharpening to the adult would be easy, and might help this already good image.

Thanks, @SandyR-B. I was skeptical of being able to sharpen the adult without introducing a lot of artifacts, but decided to have a look. My first thought was the High Pass method, but it didn’t have the fine detail needed here. Then I decided first to have a look at Topaz Sharpen. I’ve rarely gotten a good result with it but it did work well once on an otherwise sharp image that had some motion blur. So, here are 100% screenshots of the original:

The sharpened result:

And the sharpened result with some 50% opacity masking to hide the most obvious areas (and I see now I didn’t mask out all the glitches):

I used the “Out of Focus Very Blurry” algorithm.

This version is posted above at the original size for comparison. Not a huge difference but it is better.