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Little Black Cormorant

Little Black Cormorant
Photo Information
Copyright: Sue Thomson (SueThomson) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 116 W: 0 N: 192] (603)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-04-13
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 400D, 75-300 Canon EF
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/320 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-04-14 1:16
Viewed: 6392
Points: 20
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Little Black Cormorant is a small, slim, totally black cormorant with a greenish sheen to the back and a slender grey hooked bill. The Little Black Cormorant is one of only two totally black cormorants in Australia, with the other being the much larger (70 cm - 90 cm) Great Cormorant.

The Little Black Cormorant is found throughout Australia, including Tasmania. It is also found from Borneo and Java, Indonesia, to Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands, Palua and New Zealand.

The Little Black Cormorant is mainly found in freshwater wetlands, but is sometimes found on sheltered coastal waters. It is strongly aquatic, seldom being seen on dry land, but is often seen resting on rocks, jetties and other perches in water.
I took this photo at Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens in Brisbane.

I waited patiently with a fellow photographer as he sat on a branch in the middle of a small pond just watching the world go by. For 45 minutes he peered at the ducks frolicking in the pond and casually took in the people passing by. Then he dived into the water and then jumped back onto the branch, shaking the water off his wings.

It was an overcast day but the sun shone through at this moment.

I welcome your comments on the picture, particularly on how I could enhance it in Photoshop. I have just cropped this photo.

earthtraveler, Dis. Ac., rcrick, Necipp, JPlumb has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To waminda2020: Little Black CormorantSueThomson 1 04-25 01:43
To Janice: Little Black CormorantSueThomson 1 04-18 17:59
To JPlumb: Little Black CormorantSueThomson 1 04-17 00:33
To rcrick: Little Black CormorantSueThomson 1 04-14 12:28
To earthtraveler: Little Black CormorantSueThomson 2 04-14 03:18
To pablominto: Little Black CormorantSueThomson 1 04-14 02:02
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Sue,
I like the composition with the diagonal branch!
The bird himself gives a great pose, unfolding wings and tail like this...
This is a dynamic composition that is attractive to my eyes!
Pablo -

Hello Sue,

Good diagonally composition, sharpness are good.
Great pose of this bird, pittyful a little overexposed on the bird.
Great explaination from earthtraveller.

Regards Gert

Hello Sue,

Wonderful shot of this Little Black Cormorant, the POV couldn’t be better, love the wing span, and the detail in the eye, a little hot in some places, as Richard said Black glossy birds can be difficult to shoot. I tend to do as much as I can in the camera and limit the photo shop were possible, in a situation like this I might have bracketed the shots and tried a composite of the 3 images to produce the final shot, easier said then done as I'm still learning, but that’s half the journey I guess we never seem to stop learning, still a great image, and well framed.

Cheers Rick :)

Hi Sue, Great POV of this open wing pose. The blue eye is wonderful. Plumage deatil is good but I see you want better from your note. I use Photoshop Elements 4.0 and for this situation I'd click Enhance, move curser to Adjust Lighting, click Shadows/Highlights and move Lighten Shadows slider and posibly Darken Highlights slider. Black glossy birds can be diificult. Hope that helps. There are other ways to approach this situation also. Tfs Richard

PS: I did a Workshop showing what I was thinking.

Hello Sue it's composed well, great pose and POV, it's a difficult bird to expose for when wet and bright light. I would ease off on the contrast to help. Shooting RAW might help with the dynamic range needed. tfs rgds Necip.

Hi Sue, you were fighting with the light a little in this shot, but for the most part you've won. It's tough shooting a dark but wet bird like this in the sun. You are going to be facing issues like burn out in the highlights area and darker areas in the shadow. It's a shot of extremes. Shooting this guy while it is overcast is actually an easier shot.

The composition with the cormorant in it's typical "drying out" pose is excellent. I like the angled branch with a good view of the water in the background. The square format you selected for the shot works well here. And you got a very good capture of that cormorant "emerald" eye.

Thanks, John

Hi Sue, you did ask for help, so:
The light is hard here with the sun shining on the black feathers giving many over-exposed feathers. It isn't easy - some people refuse to go out in the middle of the day to take photos - and will only go out early morning and late afternoon.
It looks like you have over-sharpened the photo too - see the white halos around the edges of the bird - that means over-sharpening.
I hope that is of some help.
It's a good pose, but the conditions aren't right.

Hey Sue

Great shot on the diagonal. What a wonderful bird. Just love his blue eye and wing span. TFS Di

Sue, I love it's blue eye! great composition - focus is a little off - have you tried sharpening? great composition - you have a good eye!!! congrats

  • Great 
  • eleana Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 206 W: 80 N: 75] (2247)
  • [2008-05-06 13:44]

Hi Sue,
so nice compo with reflections and greenish-blue background. Well captured pose and light here.
Best wishes from Ukraine,

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