Guests - If You want access to member only forums on HSO. You will gain access only when you sign-in or Sign-Up on HotSpotOutdoors.

It's easy - LOOK UPPER right menu.

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Birdsong

Unsharp Mask for Waxwings???

11 posts in this topic

Perhaps this should be in the Photo forum, but it does concern birds. Does anyone have a special formula that you use for unsharp mask on cedar waxwings so that they do not lose that 'molten lava' look to their feathers? Don't know how else to describe it. Buttery? Butter creme? They just have a different quality to their plumage than other birds. And I seem to be losing that quality no matter what route I take. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't know how else to describe it. Buttery? Butter creme? They just have a different quality to their plumage than other birds.

I always thought they had a smoother look to their plumage or a "waxed" look. Almost as if it wasn't real.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, very good! Hence, the name. Never thought about describing that smooth quality as waxy, or why they were named waxwings. Good grief! But yes--how do you manage to keep that unreal quality and still have a sharp image? I'll try to do some selectively.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well first of all, when you use unsharp mask, try not to set your levels to high. I usually start with amount 30%, radius 1 pixel, and Threshold at Zero. Make sure you use a masking layer when you do this so you can try different settings to get what you are looking for. If you use to much sharpening you will get a white fringe around your bird.

Best rule of thumb for sharpening is to start with a sharp image. Unsharp Mask is really there to help make raw images pop better when converted to PSD, JPG, Tiff, etc.

Hope this helps a little bit. I am not a Photoshop expert but I know my way around it enought to cause trouble.

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll lasso the whole bird and the sharp portion of the perch and give the subject a shot of USM or smart sharpening, generally at 75 percent, .7 pixel radius, 0 threshold. Experiment with this so you don't get oversharpened feather edges. This adds a bit of detail and preserves the gentle, mouse gray textures of the main body feathers that waxwings are noted for.

Then, while the whole bird/perch is still selected, I'll hit "inverse" to select everything else in the frame and run noise ninja on it to make the BG even cleaner.

Then I'll lasso the patterns/colors of wings and face and sharpen them further selectively at whatever works (less sharpening for print, more for Web). This makes the wings and eye/bill/face pop.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much. I'll give it a try later today--on my way out the door. I'll post them here if I get anything close. I'm afraid light may be my biggest problem. Once again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Birdsong,

I rarely use a lasso tool and apply sharpening because of the halo issue caused by subtle color shifts in the pixels in your photo and I like to brush in sharpening where I want it. Now many folks posting here do that and do it very well so don't get me wrong it works when precautions are taken.

But as with many things there is more than one way to sharpen a bird smile Two things that will help with eliminating haloing and getting the EXACT sharpening you want with ease. Luminosity sharpening and sharpening on a layer. Luminosity sharpening lessens the color shifts when sharpening your pixels, reducing the halos. Sharpening on a layer with a mask, in other words using your brush tool and painting in your sharpening and then adjusting the opacity of that layer to increase or decrease the sharpening by using a slider is very fast, accurate and again virtually eliminates any of the color shifting which causes the haloing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks DBL. I can see this is another thread I need to print and put in the notebook. As a painter (sort of) your method has its appeal. You were right. I took my original siskin into USM and haloing started at less than 85%. That was pure carelessness on my part, all that needed sharpening really was the eye. I think my first agenda has to be getting exposure under control so I don't have so many sharpening issues. It will be helpful not to be steaming up my camera monitor waiting for the 'perfect shot.' I have discovered that is why I have to be careful of my poor bottom lip--I get a frost build up on the quick release lever on the ball hinge of my tripod. Too bad breathing isn't just a luxury.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think my first agenda has to be getting exposure under control so I don't have so many sharpening issues.

Exactly.

No matter which sharpening regimen is used, the less of it needed, the better, and getting the sharpest and most well exposed image at capture eliminates many challenges in PP.

With your WW image, Birdsong, the one with the berry passing, a big issue is simply that the background is much brighter then your subjects. Overexposing using exposure compensation will expose your subject properly but blow out the sky behind them, or almost blow it out. Using a flash is one way to compensate for the difference in brightness of subject and BG.

There are many times that things happen in front of us as photographers with no warning, and we can't manage the scene in any way but simply have to get the best images we can. I find if I keep the ideas of uncluttered foregrounds or appropriate backgrounds always in the back of my mind, there are times I can take a couple steps in a different direction to make the capture and find better conditions.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0



  • Posts

    • BB, I cant say I disagree with any of those observations. They didn't produce when it counts. That is what really matters, but it isn't the first time that teams excel in the regular season and flop come playoff time and it certainly isn't something that is isolated to the Wild. The Hawks get some slack because they have won 3 cups in the last 7 years, but fact is they have been bounced in the last 2 1st rounds too. By that, they are no better than us. We will see what happens to the Caps. They have a tough draw with the Pens this round, but its not a stretch to say they will get bounced 2 years in a row and be the Presidents Cup winner. Lots of teams have that issue. Anaheim has had that tendency too. Playoffs are a whole different animal. The team makeup that works in the regular season usually doesn't translate well in the playoffs. I agree the Wild need more beef. Staal certainly helped, but they are far from a heavy team especially on the back end with our D. Early on I thought we had one of the deepest D corps in the league. Looking at them in this playoff series they looked weak. We needed a guy like Folin to step in and play some minutes and make a difference, but he was shell-shocked in his first playoff game. I don't think we have much help in that area in Iowa either. The heaviest guy we have Seeler, is a liability big time and I don't know if he will ever make it up to the big club.
    • You can pre-order on a Japanese web site ... i almost did but got spooked out with all the Japanese language and had no idea how to translate and know what shipping and price was LOL     i want one but will wait!!!  so many lures and not enough time
    • Wow .. Sprinkler!!  Wonder where and when we can get one!!
    • Thanks for the advice guys...keep it coming!   Much appreciated before I make a pretty expensive investment.   Ref
    •   I stated they are better than 3/4 yrs ago compared to themselves...my point is the Wild are far from a top tier top 8 team when it counts come playoff playoff time...period...no arguing what just happened.  BB was very vocal in the Presser..."we need to get Bigger/Stronger" and Fletch missed that boat time and time again. Career Years are great personal stats...am I happy for Granlund, Staal, Nino...yes...but personal stats only gets you more personal $$, but if those stats don't translate into team goals they are all for naught....and every NHL Player will tell you that. They did exceed my reg season projection but their true colors showed losing in the first round so over all I was spot on  IMO this team will be missing more than one of these "career year" guys by the start of the new season if BB has more say...and I am getting the feeling he will be getting more say on personel.
    • We just got shut out down by Caledonia also so don't feel bad and we've been turkey hunting since 1980.  We were on private land also but found the birds still flocked up.  We had flocks of 12 - 15 birds we were trying to work and it didn't work.  2 out of 3 could have shot jakes and we all had plays that just did not work out.  That's turkey hunting.
    • I have mapped but never submitted it to be processed. However I have downloaded maps from insight and used them. They work good if your willing to go thru the extra step to download them. If I remember correctly you will have to choose them in chart options or it will just show your regular insight map. The real nice thing is they are free!   I mostly use Navionics I find I like them better than the insight maps & its easier to download user generated maps.
    • Do you know if the GPS tracker part works without cell service? I think that is going to be my biggest issue, I don't know if I can track another phone from my phone without cell signal.
    • Come on BB, you don't have to be positive or a homer to realize this team is light years better than they were 3/4 years ago. The results haven't changed, but that isn't saying they haven't improved. 3/4 years ago we had young guys like Brodin, Haula, Coyle, Nino just getting their wings. This year they had career years in many cases. That is precisely what we have been hoping/waiting for them to do. The way you talk it seems like you forget that the NHL playoffs are best of 7 series. That's a long grind for any team to make and you have to have a lot of luck and some guys playing out of their mind to make it to the finals. I'm not happy they lost in 5 to the Blues, but I'm not giving up on this team either. They do need to make changes, which will reshape this team for next season. Pump some more youth into the lineup and we could certainly have some up and down next year. Like I said before, go back and see our predictions for where they would finish at the beginning the of the season. I am pretty sure I said they would finish like 5th place. Finishing 2nd all things considered, was a pleasant surprise, but guess what, everyone whined about it! LOL
    • Possible but I'm not sure who owns what patent.
  • Our Sponsors