Long shot

I photograph this Immature Bald Eagle flying across the Conn. River. I first cropped it to
2421 by 1613 and then lowered the highlight and increased the shadows. I added some saturation and lower the color temp to 4951. I then added some ClearView Plus and then exported it as a tiff into Topaz Sharpen AI. In Topaz I used Motion Blue - Normal. I normal do not use the Topaz AI, but this is a vary big crop.
Canon R5, Canon 100-500mm 1.4ext, f8, 480mm, 1/1600, ISO 640. I open the lens up to find and Fram the Eagle.
I tried to lower the hot spot on the Eagle right wing, but it is clipped and nothing I did made it look better.

Raw File

_S1A0586.CR3 (22.7 MB)

You may only download this file to demonstrate how you would process the image. The file is Copyright of the photographer, and you must delete the raw file when you are done. Please post a jpg of what you created, along with an explanation of what you did and why you did it.

My Edit (click to see)

Hi Peter, this looks like fun, I’ll play :slightly_smiling_face:

Here’s my take:

I processed this in DXO Photolab for lens correction, noise, and sharpness.
Then I imported it into Capture One and:

  • Did some basic exposure, highlights, curves
  • Added a highlights layer to reduce the highlights under the wing
  • Healed a couple of minor things on the body
  • Dodged the eye
  • Added a Sky layer to work just with the sky
  • Added a Not Sky layer to finesse the bird

I think the raw file had more information in it and you could have recovered the clipped hot spot on the wing before exporting it to Tiff…

Anyway, thanks for posting, this was a fun exercise.



First, great capture of the soaring eagle! I think maybe this challenge is much more of a technical challenge - ie. getting the best of of the bird - rather than processing “style.” If that makes sense.
Thought this would be challenge, especially after seeing the RAW.

  • Open in ACR, crop and did some usual first adjustments:
    - dropped the whites/highlights a few points, increased the shadows/blacks’
    - a little bump to dehaze/clarity/texture. something I do on most images by default
    - a little sharpening and color noise reduction
    - adjust the orange hue and luminance in color mixer to enhance the browns
  • brought in to PS , duplicated bg layer, create smart object and toss in to Topaz DeNoise AI
    - Lights mask on a Levels layer to drop the whites on the wings (I think David is correct, there is a little room in the whites and not totally blown.)
    - Used TK’s Darks Triple Play to bring out more detail in the darker part of the wings. Also had to mask some out as this often causes halos - and in this case it did between the wing and sky.
  • And actually the order I did things in, I had to duplicate the image and put through Topaz again, masking just the sky for better noise reduction.
  • Used TK’s web sharpening and image size action.
  • Added final general saturation layer to reduce what I was seeing as a yellow cast in the whites of the tail feathers.

One outcome I find interesting is how each of these images have a different blue sky. I didn’t target the sky, but took what it gave me given the various global adjustments in ACR.

Great challenge!

Hi David & Lon
Well both of your did a better job on the wing’s hot spot, than I did. I noticed the shy’s color and brightness also changed with the amount of dehire/clarity used. I do not have ACR, PS or Topaz DeNoise, so it is always interesting to see the output of that software look compared to DXO PhotoLab 6. David I am interest to know why you take the shot out of PhotoLab and finish it in Capture One.
You are both correct in thinking this process is more informative than the straight critiques page.

Hi Peter, I recently picked up PhotoLab to deal with the high ISO images I’m taking in my bird photography. Capture One is my standard catalog and processing software–I rarely use anything else. While it does a pretty decent job with noise, I felt I wanted something better. After doing my research I thought DxO’s PureRAW would work nicely. It takes a raw file, processes it for noise and sharpness, then creates a .DNG raw file that you can edit in your favorite RAW processor–LightRoom or Capture One as examples.

I really liked what it did, but there’s no ability to adjust the settings. In some cases, I felt it was too aggressive in its sharpening. So, I went with PhotoLab since it has the same technology for noise, but you can adjust as needed. I still export from PhotoLab to a .DNG file then import it into Capture One and I’m ready to go.

Sorry for the long explanation…couldn’t figure out how to simplify the explanation. :slightly_smiling_face:

I will say, that I am impressed enough with PhotoLab that I may end up switching to it for all my processing. We’ll see. It would take a lot of work to convert my library of images.


Hi David
Thank you for betting back to me. I just watched a video on Capture 1 and it does have some interesting features that DXO does not.