Challenged today with this black bird

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I didn't get out right at first light as I had hoped, but it was still very early morning, around 8am. Shot with a 100-400 plus 1.4 extender. Had to shoot at F8 as that was my largest aperture due to the extender. Shot manual with Auto ISO and -1.3 exposure compensation due to the black feathers. While I wish the sky didn't go so dark blue (looks to me sorta like over saturated polarizing filter, which I did not use), my main disappointment are the white spots on the feathers. I prefer the pose on the left, but with the white spots on the birds left wing (right side of picture) and long white spots on the leading edge of the birds right wing, make the image not very good. The picture on the right has a less interesting pose, but only has a couple white spots that I hope I can remove with a brush/stamp tool (I use DPP). I probably spent 45 minutes gradually and slowly moving my tripod closer and closer to reduce cropping in post, insure focus, double check my exposure compensation, and such....even had one of them fly right at me suddenly (nope shots not in focus :( ).....but to get back home and see the white spots in my images was really disappointing. I don't know what more I could have done. I guess light reflects off shiny black bird feathers and causes blowouts. The birds apparently live at the regional park I went to, so perhaps a lower sun angle, or perhaps an overcast day might yield better results. Despite some quality issues, I am pretty pleased with what I was able to accomplish.

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Woodyg3

Well-known member
Supporting Member
I think if you increase the exposure and brighten the shadows it will help a great deal. The white streaks on the wing are the natural coloration of the wing feathers, for what it's worth. I'd leave that feature if it was my picture. Nice pictures and good job with being so patient to get the shot.
 

aolander

Well-known member
I'm not sure you'd need to be concerned about the white spots on the wings. They don't detract to me.

You possibly overdid the underexposure. The histogram is way to the left (blacks are clipped) and the whites are far from clipping. I upped the blacks (100%) and shadows some to get some detail in the feathers. I cloned out a couple of the white streaks, but I think those actually add definition to the feathers. I increased the saturation of the sky, too. (Lightroom)

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marklangner

Member
Thread starter
I'm not sure you'd need to be concerned about the white spots on the wings. They don't detract to me.

You possibly overdid the underexposure. The histogram is way to the left (blacks are clipped) and the whites are far from clipping. I upped the blacks (100%) and shadows some to get some detail in the feathers. I cloned out a couple of the white streaks, but I think those actually add definition to the feathers. I increased the saturation of the sky, too. (Lightroom)

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Thank you !!!
 
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