It's Hard to Swallow

Great Blue Heron fishing at Myakka River State Park Florida. He apparently was practicing catch and release as this catfish was too big to swallow. After walking around contemplating his meal he finally dropped it back Ito the water.

What technical feedback would you like if any? Any and All

What artistic feedback would you like if any?Any and All

Pertinent technical details or techniques: Nikon D5 with 300mm f2.8 2X extender on tripod. 1/2000 sec f5.6 ISO 560

(If backgrounds have been removed, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

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Hello, Kelly. This is a vey image to start with: the pose of the heron and the prey are simply great. The setting with the grasses and the water ripples is excellent as well. When it comes to precessing, it looks to me rather over-sharpened and having too much contrast. I would be very curious how the image would come out with a much softer post processing approach (less sharpening, less contrast). Probably you may want to use the highlight tool to tone down these.
Hope this helps, Cheers, Hans

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A very nice image, Kelly. I agree with Hans that it does have a n overprocessed look. I’d add that the saturation seems high. The action and scene justify another go at the processing I think.

While I like the potential of this image, I agree with the first two comments. The processing has caused it to look pretty unnatural. Definitely over contrasty and over sharpened. I’d love to see the base image before processing.

Here is unprocessed version

and here is my reprocessed version

Hi Kelly:

Thanks for sharing the original, unprocessed image. Looks like the original was not quite sharp and the processing is adding a lot of sharpness and contrast to try to help. While I think the repost is a bit better than the original, it still feels over processed, and overly contrasty. I’m wondering if this processing includes something like Topaz Sharpen AI. It has a pretty strong hint of over sharpening still.

Repost is getting there in terms of the desired level of sharpness and contrast. The catfish is an exotic species native to the Amazon so I’m not surprised that the heron discarded its spiny prey…Jim