Western Tanager and re-post

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


I didn’t know the berries were there when I took the shot, but they provided some nice color and framing for the tanager. The pose is a bit too static and I would have liked a slight head turn.

Specific Feedback

Any thoughts appreciated.

Technical Details

Canon R5; 100-500 at 500 mm; 1/1000 at f7.1, +1/3 EV; ISO 6400


Hi Allen, I like the framing of the berries too in this image. While a head turn towards us is always nice, I think the pose is fine here with the head parallel to us. Focus on the head looks good.

I notice a lot of noise in the larger image size. Have you tried Adobe’s denoise feature in ACR or Lightroom? I use DXO Pure Raw 3 which also works well.

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I really like the surroundings of the Tanager, Allen. The berries do a nice job framing and adding a burst of color. the head turn works for me. I think a little highlight reduction on the breast would help bring out the feather texture there. I also agree with Allen on the noise reduction. It always seems to take a long time to find the right software to work with a given camera. I have had fair luck with the LR denoise, but it literally takes forever.

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Hi Allen :slight_smile:

This has a strong “Post Card” quality in my view!
As the others have mentioned, the berries add a lot to the scene, almost in a winter holiday spirit kind of way (at least that’s my take on it).
I agree that the breast exposure could be brought down a touch to reveal a little more texture and run it through some sort of noise reduction software would be an improvement.

I’m seeing a yellowish cast, maybe the white balance just needs to be tweaked a bit?
I gave it a try in Ps, I reduced the exposure on the breast area some, then run it through Topaz Denoise, then adjusted the white balance a bit in ACR, how much adjustment would depend on personal taste and your memory of the scene.

I’m posting what I did in Ps, ACR and Topaz because sometimes it’s difficult to tell when the white balance is off unless you have something to compare it to.

I hope you don’t mind the example and, again, this has a wonderful post card quality in my opinion (I mean that in the best possible way!). :slight_smile:

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Hi Allen, it is a more “formal” pose than we would hope for, but it works perfectly well and the tanager probably didn’t want to be caught in an unladylike eating pose, lol. The foliage and berries do provide a nice natural foreground frame against the OOF background. Eye is nice and sharp and lots of detail in the feathers. Would make a good field guide photo.

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Thanks @Allen_Sparks , @Dennis_Plank , @Merv , and @Jim_Lockhart for your comments and suggestions. I can’t believe I forgot to denoise the image. I appreciate Merv’s re-work of the image-definitely better without the yellow color cast. Here’s my re-work with some NR, de-yellowing, and some darkening of the background.

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Nice job on the repost, Allen. Yellows are looking accurate to my memory.

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The rework looks really good, Allen! :slight_smile:

After I posted the example with the adjusted WB, I realized that I probably took it too far toward the cool side, what you just posted looks much better!

Well done! :slight_smile:

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