Northern Harrier Duck in Dunes

Cold day today on the dunes east coast, Northern Harrier watching of his duck on the snowy dune before taking off. I did get a picture of the full duck in talons but felt it might be to graphic.

Specific Feedback Requested

I did not do too much here a little cropping and some sharpening. Wanted to leave as much for discussion as possible.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Nikon D500
Nikon F5.6 500mm
Shutter Speed 1250 sec (taking advise from last posting of Redpolls)
ISO 100

1 Like

Wonderful opportunity, but it has the plastic look of too much noise reduction. If the exposure was good you shouldn’t have noise at ISO 100. What were your processing steps, and software? Why sharpening? That’s mostly a myth and can do more harm than good, especially if done early in the workflow. Was the original too soft?

I like the setting and how you’ve composed the photograph. To my eye the head looks very good, but I can see what Diane means looking at the rest of the harrier. Great image and definitely worth a bit of tweaking.

I added the picture straight off the camera RAW, I have done nothing to it. Please review and advise is greatly appreciated Diane and Allen I would like your input. Thank you.

This is straight off the camera RAW, I have done nothing to it. Please review and advise is greatly appreciated Diane and Allen I would like your input. Thank you.

Hi @Norma_Tareila-Matley

I think you have a fine shot here. The original processing did have a couple of issues that didn’t enhance the image. In processing, I always lean toward less is more. I think folks tend to over process and try to push images further than necessary. I don’t now what happened to the plumage in the harrier in the original post.

I took your straight out of the camera image and did a few minor tweaks.
First issue was the embedded color space of that image was Display P3. Was that a screen grab or an export from the RAW? For posting on any website, sRGB is the proper color space.

All I did to this image was a minor tweak of texture and sharpness on the bird using a subject mask, a bit of brightening of the background, and a subtle dodge of the eye to add a bit more light there. Overall, your exposure looks just fine. Here’s the result.

Keith’s tweaks did the job. Great shot.

No time to look at it now, but I’ll point out that there is no such thing as straight off the camera raw. A raw file is not an image and has to go through some basic processing (call it interpretation), which can affect the image, and especially if it involves any noise reduction or sharpening. It will also involve some degree of tonal interpretation. The best raw processors will give a good rendition, but some may not.

What is your raw processor?

Thank you Keith, I do like your minor tweaks. I do believe the P3 was a screen grab. The image I posted was straight out of the camera whatever that term is. Next time I will try a subject mask to do my my tweaks. Everyone’s suggestions have been great and I truly appreciate all of them.

Both the OP and the one you said was the unadjusted raw file have P3 as the profile. You don’t want to post screen grabs here – there are too many things you can’t control about the image quality. You need to export JPEGs from your processing software and they should be converted to sRGB by that software in the export settings.

What processing software are you using?