"Brace Yerself, Mother!"

Snowy Egret, ready to rumble. Shot at St. Augustine Alligator Farm

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Oversharpened?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

I was looking for sexual tension. Did that work?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Camera Info: Nikon D750, HH, braced on railing
Lens: VR 300mm f/4E
Focal Length: 300mm
Focus Mode: AF-C
AF-Area Mode: Group Area AF
VR: ON
Aperture: f/7.1
Shutter Speed: 1/4000s
Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority
Exposure Comp.: 0EV
Metering: Matrix
ISO Sensitivity: ISO 400
PP in LR/PS CC 2019, Topaz Studio, TK Sharpen for Web @ 30%

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Phil: One of the strangest flowers I’ve ever seen :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:. You know I’m not a bird guy but this looks pretty good to me. I’ll move it to Avian. >=))>

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I don’t understand. I was on the avian page when I posted this. This must be something new? I will pay closer attention the next time.


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I love snowy egrets, especially in their breeding colors. Judging from the tech, I am thinking f/5 or f5.6 would have been helpful to make the background smoother. Phil, I am not quite sure if I get the sexual tension part, other than from the breeding plumage display. Is this captured right before copulation?

Very nice pose and detail, it is a splendid bird, and it is well pictured here…

Adhika, Since 1/4000 sec is a camera limitation on the D750, I would both have had to change the aperture and the ISO to keep from blowing the whites. Also in the target rich environment, and the competing photographers waiting patiently for their turn, there was simply little time to make changes. I could always blur the BG in post processing, which I did.

My view of the sexual tension, while admittedly anthropomorphic, is that the body posture of the Snowy made me think it was on the cusp of being “triggered”. Whether it actually was is anyone’s guess. I don’t know if it resulted in immediate copulation, but it certainly wasn’t there to play pattycake.:astonished:

Very nice, Phil. Excellent detail in the plumage, but to answer your direct question, yes, I do think you got just a touch carried away with the sharpening. I think I’d back it off and maybe bring the luminosity of the plumage up a bit. As to the sexual tension, I don’t know if that’s what the flavor is, but the tension in the pose is palpable.

Love the breeding colors and the pose is very nice. Fine details but I might try backing off the sharpening some. A fine image.

I really like the color and pose on this image. Well composed. As others have stated it seems a little crunchy and I would back off on the sharpening. If this is the F4 PF lens is more contrasty and sharper than the already sharp F2 .8 300 mm. I really like this lens but I typically don’t sharpen beyond 1% if I use the TK action. Another trick to soften the image is to use Topaz DeNoise in a separate layer at strongest JPEG setting and then erasing the DeNoise effect over areas that aren’t quite as sharp as you would like.

Thanks, David. I used TK sharpening at 30%. I knew after posting I should have backed it off some. I use Topaz Sharpen AI now which works well. Learning how much of it to use is a learning process.