Grabbing a drink on the fly

Spent an afternoon out at Huntley Meadows Park in Virginia taking a bunch of photos, mainly Ospreys and swallows. I think this was one of my favorites. A tree swallow grabs a drink on the fly. I think I could watch the swallows for hours

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Any comment welcome

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Excellent, Eddie. A shot I’ve always wanted to get and you caught it perfectly. Great image.

Thanks. Yes it’s one of those ‘holy grails’, like an Osprey in the perfect dive. I’ve got a few of those I’m still chasing

Fantastic!! Looks like the ss was perfect!

I do see some unevenness in the NR though. The tail and back of the head still show some noise while the wings look very smooth. I’m curious what NR software you’re using, and at what settings, if there are choices.

I used Topaz DeNoise. I may need to work on it some more

I used Topaz on the original. Here is the edit with just some LR noise reduction

You shouldn’t be seeing this with any recent version of TD. What are your raw processing steps and software?

Usually I just do some basic editing in LR then denoise with Topaz

Wonderful shot. Curious as to what your shutter speed was?

That should be the best approach for most images. I just do tonal and color adjustments in LR and never do any NR there, and try not to do any patching or cloning, as I can do that in PS. From LR, I open the image in PS. The first thing, I make a duplicate of the BG layer and use Topaz DeNoise, and compare the algorithms, scanning around at 100%. (I click the Auto button to be sure I have the software’s suggested starting point.) I usually like the Low Light algorithm best, but occasionally I may need to pull back on the Remove Noise slider. Sometimes Severe Noise is best. Surprisingly, it leaves some very subtle noise – looks like it’s trying not to overdo things. I’m pretty sure the other algorithms are older and I’ve been so happy with LL and SN that I haven’t used the others in a long time.

Since I’m now working in PS, if some areas look a little too plastic, I can mask them on the denoise layer at maybe 50% to even things out.

I don’t do any cloning until I have the noise cleaned up evenly, as cloned or healed areas can have lower noise to start with from the softer (lower opacity) edges of the brushes, and that may give uneven results.

I’ve never done Topaz directly from LR – I always go to PS for it, for the flexibility, but other than the ability to mask, it should work the same when run directly from LR.

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I was only on 1/3200 with iso 6400. I thought I was higher but must’ve been mis-remembering

I’ll have to have another look.

I did note that when I do clone I usually do it before NR. I may need to change that in future

Hi Eduard
Well this is one of the top ten photographs I have been hunting for every time I go to photograph swallow or turns. Nicely captured. I always find it hard to clean-up noise on water, when the whites are pushed like this. Have you every looked at DXO Photo Lab PureRaw 2. It canoe used as a stand alone or pug-in to Light room or PhotoShop. The wing action and reflection make is Avery nice photograph.

Hi Eduard, love the pose you caught and the reflection. Noise is a detractor but still a fine image.

What a fine moment. I had to really blow it up to even notice any noise so I would not sweat that. Epic shot. Way to go!

Now that’s a decisive moment, Eddie! And you got a reflection too. Congratulations.

ISO 6400 will be noisy, and DeNoise takes some practice to balance sharpness and noise reduction. Thre high key nature of this image makes it very challenging especially with dark/white bird as well. Pose is fantastic and well worth the effort for sure…Jim