He/she had been asleep for a long time with the head tucked under a wing. Finally woke up and after a little preening went off to find breakfast. It’s a fairly small pond, but could never find him again. The eye should be red and I see a sliver. Probably not fully awake. I liked his pose, even though the background is fairly noisy. I did remove one twig across his lower abdomen. I did what Keith had done on my last submission and inverted the subject and softened the background with the clarity slider. Also played with dehaze and exposure to darken the sky a bit.
Specific Feedback Requested
Is this a composite: No
Canon R6, Canon 100-500, 1/500 sec. f/8.1, ISO 160, 500mm.
Cropped to about %30 of original.
All comments appreciated.
Charlie: Glad that you found the technique of softening the background useful. I think this one might have been pushed too far. Generally negative texture provides a better result that negative clarity. This one feels a bit aritificial.
I don’t know what happened to the bird, but it is far to bright. Looks like it was hit with about 5 flashes (I know it wasn’t), but it does not look natural at all. I’d take another look at the processing on this one.
Your right. Here is the image with LR auto only.
I prefer the rework as well. Far more natural and engaging even if the bird does look like it’s sleeping off a bender. I’ve only ever watched one of these once, but wasn’t able to take pictures because of low light and tangles of branches. Glad you succeeded!