Post-Processing:  Yellow-crowned Night Heron

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Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Nyctanassa violacea

Camera:  NIKON D300
Exposure:  1/500sec at f/5.6 ISO 200
Exposure Mode:  Shutter Priority
Lens:  Sigma DG 120-400mm 4.5-5.6 APO HSM
Software:  Nikon Capture NX-D
Software:  Photoshop CC 2015
Software:  Topaz ReMask v5
Software:  Topaz Texture Effects

Yellow-crowned Night Heron
Nyctanassa violacea

These birds forage mainly at night, and I have often wondered if the geeky look is because they are not well-adapted to bright sunlight.

This was shot at Fort De-Soto.

The image was converted to TIFF using Nikon's Capture NX-D.  After all is said and done, I still feel that for Nikon RAW images, the colour, sharpness and contrast are better using the Nikon converter.

The captured image contained a number of distracting elements.  Post-Processing was aimed at simplifying the image, and forming it into the style of image that I like.

Here are the key layers; from the top down:

* Curves Adjustment Layer, with mask, set to Screen blend create a loosely shaped white vignette
* Curves Adjustment Layer, set to Colour Dodge Blend, with background masked out; this increased contrast and gave the gray bird a little more pop!
* Curves Adjustment Layer, to lighten (dodge) the head; set to Normal Blend, with everything masked except the head
* Sharpening layer created using Calvin Hollywood's Freaky Amazing Details approach.  Only the bird was sharpened.
* A masked image layer; only the bird.  All the background masked out using Topaz ReMask.
* Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer, used to move the greens to a more blue colour and to reduce the saturation in those beachy greens.
* Image layer, clean-up manually with the clone and healing brushes, and then processed with Topaz Texture Effects to give a subtle texture and a light splash.

Posted April 02, 2016 at 6:49 pm.