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Nymph

Chick-a-de-de-de-de

14 posts in this topic

Here it is up in the lilac saying fee-bee when I was done. These things are fast!! I had 25 frames and there where a few where it wasn’t even in it. I commend anyone who has a good shot of these little buggers.

chickadee001jpgwyb8.jpg

before

chickadee6jpgwkj9.jpg

After

chickadee6wzmj2.jpg

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Now thats the kind of shot I am looking for. Great job. Do you use a flash to get the detail in the black to come out more?

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The key to shooting these little buggers is to pre-focus on a spot and wait for them to come to that spot. A lot of the guys use a feeder with a perch for them to land on. Pre-focus on the perch and as soon as they hit it, start shooting.

I like the second shot with the seed in the mouth. Good catch!

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I agree about the second one. It's a good pose and he has a mouthful.

They are a challenge, but that's one of the reasons I like shooting them.

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Nice ones, Nymph. The second one for me, too.

Lighting conditions have a lot to do with whether there's much detail visible in the blacks, but you can use shadows/highlights in your post processing program if you have it in the program you use to bring out highlight detail in the white cheek and shadow detail in the blacks.

Chickadees are the best practice. If you can capture them, then you are fast enough to capture anything.

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Thanks everyone...I have the photoshop Elements program so I will try and use the shadows/highlights to bring out more in the blacks and repost it if I figure it out.

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You did a great job--took me forever before I could find the eye in that black. Yours is quite visible. Be sure to repost. I would like to see it.

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Nymph, Elements should have it. On my CS2, it's a dragdown from the top menu. I go to "Image" and down to "adjustments" and then select "shadows/highlights."

Then just play with the sliders. If you apply too much of each, you'll see subtle and not so subtle halos form along the edges of the bird/background where there is strong contrast.

Also, play with your magic wand (no, that's not a dirty joke! grin) On my CS2, the wand is in the upper right part of the toolbar that extends down the left side of the screen. Select it and click on the chick's black head and see what gets selected. You can get it to select more or less by changing the tolerance number. When you get it to grab just the blacks but not the mid-ranges, you then can apply shadows/highlights to just the blacks, thus targeting what you need and leaving the rest of the photo alone. Same deal if you want to add detail to the white cheek, though the second images looks like the whites are detailed pretty well.

Once you learn it, that magic wand has all sorts of cool applications. Good luck and have fun with it. smilesmile

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Thanks for the help Steve. I changed a few things and the blacks came out more and the eye ring showed more detail.

You have been such a great help for me in improving my pictures and I greatly appreciate it.

I added the picture to my first post as a before and after shot.

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No prob, man! I like the repost. Lots more detail visible there, and now you've got a technique you can use again and again.

Also one more hint, one I've given before. Best to avoid using the "contrast" feature on already contrasty images like this (not that you did use it, just that it reminds me to make the reminder). It is a very blunt tool, and will turn shadows jet black and blow out highlights in a heartbeat.

To achieve a contrasty look without blowing out highlights, you can go into levels and move the middle slider to the left, which brightens mid range levels. I move it to the left far enough that it looks a little washed out. Then grab the lefthand slider (shadows) and move it to the right. The mid range slider will also come back to the right along with it. Play around to get the effect you want. You can darken shadows too much using this method if you're not careful, but it's a quick and easy way to bump the look of contrast without touching the highlights.

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One thing I'd like to add about the magic wand is, a typical tolerance is around 32. If you click on 1 area of black and wish to add a few other areas that are the same black, choose "select", and then on the drop down, hit "similar". All similar areas will be selected. One more trick is, if you want to include another area that isn't the same color or density, hold down the shift key while selecting with the magic wand. You'll still have the first selection, but will also be able to add other parts at the same time.

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