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Stepping Into the Digital Darkroom – You Can Call Me (Western Scrub-) Jay

February 17, 2015
Western Scrub-Jay

© jmillerphoto – Western Scrub-Jay

While I didn’t get the day off for the President’s Day holiday (one of the perks I do miss from my time wearing the uniform), I did get home at a reasonable time and was able to step into the digital darkroom to do some work on the images I shot at South Llano River SP last weekend.

My favorite image of the night was this Western Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma californica).  While the light was far brighter here than I would have liked, I was able to work within the image to do away with the washed out colors and eliminate some of the shadows.

As with all of my images, I did the bulk of the cropping in Lightroom.  While I shot this in a landscape/horizontal format, I found that the portrait/vertical format was much more appealing for this bird, even if it did mean losing some pixels.

After cropping, I turned up the color temperature by a couple hundred degrees to start to soften the damage caused by the strong light.  Then I bounced the image into Photoshop CS6, where I adjusted the mid-tones, toned down the shadows a bit, and left the high end of the histogram alone.  I then added some saturation and vibrance to undo the washed out appearance the strong sun provided, and I ended up with a pretty darned good image.  In the camera it was shot at ISO 400, 1/640 sec at f/10 on the Standard Gear.  Image #223 into the portfolio.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2015 2:05 am

    Reblogged this on Effervescent Francois! and commented:
    Cute!

  2. February 18, 2015 5:41 am

    That’s a lovely looking bird. Nice image too.

  3. March 18, 2015 7:57 am

    Wonderful capture … all the qualities a good bird photograph should have. Great processing tips too!

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