The Launch Reworked

Reworked I removed the entire vignette and added a positive vignette of about +4.

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


This was taken a few months ago near Newport Beach, California while I was hiking around a wildlife refuge. I came across this cinnamon teal sitting in a large pond on this matt of green. Not sure what it was but it made for an interesting backdrop. I wish it was a little more blurred out but the duck was sitting in it so when it took off it was only a couple of feet behind the duck. Not far enough for a smooth, blurry background. Let me know what you think and if there is anything that make this more appealing. Thanks for taking a look.

Specific Feedback

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Technical Details

Z9, ISO 1250, 100-400mm lens with 1.4 converter shot at 560mm, F/8, 1/2500, manual exposure, hand held.

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Wow; absolutely beautiful. Excellent detail, especially in the wings and the colors there really shine. And some trailing water droplets as a bonus. I’d call this a wall hanger.

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Wonderful take-off image, David. The mottled green background doesn’t bother me. The only problem with it is that it does disguise the water drops a bit. You might be able to bring the drops up a bit using one of the TK masking tools, if you have them. Another method that has worked for me now and then is to use the local adjustment brush in LR and just bring up the highlights a trifle. Often it will bring up the bright parts of the drops without doing much of anything to the background, so it still looks natural. You might also look at bringing up the shadows on the teal a bit.

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Wow! Great image, David! the sharpness, timing of the gesture in lift-off, are superb. I don’t mind the background at all, as you said not much you could do in real time about it anyway. I like @Dennis_Plank 's idea of bringing up the highlights on the water drops if possible, but as I view this large I still see them and they are an added touch to the already powerful image.

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Hi David, I find this a very appealing image. Sharpness and color on the bird is terrific with a dynamic pose. I think there is enough contrast with the bird versus background to make the action and subject stand out. Well done.

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I don’t mind the background at all. You did a real nice job of capturing the three major colors that contrast so well with the plumage: the red of the eye and the blue and green in the wing.

It almost appears to have some slight vignetting on my screen. Did you add anything in post (or processing around the teal differently), or is that just a product of the lens and/or environment?

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I certainly appreciate your thoughts and suggestions on this one @Allen_Brooks , @Dennis_Plank , @brenda_tharp , @Allen_Sparks , @Max_Waugh.

I will try and bring out more of the water drops in an edited version and repost.

Max, I did add a vignette to this image but it had a naturally bright area near the center of the frame extending up through the top of the frame and out the right top corner. I just accentuated it a little bit. I may also bring up the shadows a little bit in the rework.
Thanks again for your thoughts and suggestions everyone.

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Really nice timing and wing position on the one David! I also don’t mind the BG at all. However, not a real big fan of the vignette. Just don 't think it is needed. Really nice work though!

Great input Kurt. I definitely pushed it too far. Thanks for taking a look. I haven’t seen you in a while.

@Allen_Sparks , Thanks so much.

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David: I really like the bird’s wing position and trailing water drops which definitely capture lift off. The b/g doesn’t bother me, but I think the vignette is a bit too strong. Well done!

You are right, Richard. The vignette is way too strong. I see it more on NPN than I do in LR but it is way too strong. Thanks for your comment.

Hi David, nice images and congrats on the EP! The vignetting in my experience shows stronger then smaller the image is displayed, so that may explain why in LR you did notice it less. As the BG is the same color tones and structure, the fact that it’s not all that blurry doesn’t bother me at all. Cheers,

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