Red Headed Woodpecker

Any feedback is always helpful

Any pertinent technical details:

Nikon D2H, 500mm, 1/500, f5.3

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

A very nice pose and head turn, Greg, and I like the colors. To my eye, the bird looks as if it were slightly soft and you tried to recover in post processing. I’m seeing a bit of fringing, particularly noticeable along the tail and the bird general has a bit of that cut-and-paste look that comes from a tad too much aggression on the sliders.

Excellent detail and exposure control. Perhaps a little tight on the bottom, but an otherwise nicely composed image.

Thanks Dennis, did not look close enough. I was worrying about noise and over compensated then tried to recover with sharpening…

Here is original raw file

Detail looks fine to me in the raw file, Greg. I think I’d just treat this one with a light hand. If you’re worried about noise, you might want to take a look at Topaz’s AI Clear (on sale for the holidays). I downloaded it a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been favorably impressed once I tweaked the sliders a bit. In addition to handling noise very well, it seems to add just a touch of microcontrast, but not enough to be offensive. I’d been using NeatImage for noise reduction for years, and it would work well on this image, but it does have difficulty handling messier images or ones with a bright uniform area like some of the grebe images I took the other day.