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Sitting duck

Sitting duck
Photo Information
Copyright: Andy Cole (flagman) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 351 W: 44 N: 607] (2408)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2005-04-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 300D, Canon 70-200 f/4L, Hoya Super HMC Pro1 67mm Sky1B
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Final Version, Original Version
Travelogue: A week in Elveden Forest
Date Submitted: 2007-01-26 8:37
Viewed: 4495
Points: 6
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I see this image regularly as my daughter loves watching a slideshow of my photos, but it was only when I looked at the TN version the other day that I realised how bad it was! My RAW conversion and PP standards were dire back then, and mainly thanks to help from members here, and a lot of practice, I have honed my PP skills a lot, even if my actual picture-taking hasn't improved by the same amount.
I decided to go back to the original RAW file and process it again for TN. I was mainly concerned with the lack of saturation and the excessive noise reduction which softened the original image. I used to use the default Adobe camera RAW settings of 25% noise reduction which I think has a negative effect on virtually every image.
What I did this time:
Adjusted virtually every setting in RAW conversion, reduced noise reduction to zero, saturated by 20% instead of 15%, tinkered with the exposure, brightness and contrast. Crop, re-size for TN, USM 200/0.3/3 on the Lightness channel, add border. I think it's a big improvement, don't you?

My original note:

Well they do make easy targets, although I suppose the term 'sitting duck' didn't come from photography but from a different kind of shooting, a kind I don't agree with.
Anyway, it's another mallard male as you know, nothing I can tell you about it that hasn't been written already on dozens of similar posts!
I can tell you more info about the photo details, though, if that interests you :)
ISO speed:400
No Flash
(see Exif data for more)
Post processing (Adobe Photoshop CS2)
Convert from RAW
Exposure: -0.50
Contrast: +25%
Saturation: +15%
Luninance smoothing: 30%
Colour noise reduction: 30%
Slight crop (mainly from the top)
Re-size for TN
Unsharp Mask (I forget settings, but I usually use 150/1/2)
Add border.

I really like this one and I hope you do too but feel free to critique as I'd like to learn from my mistakes.

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Critiques [Translate]

Another Mallard.
That said...the photography is okay!

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2007-01-26 13:11]

Way, way, way better than the original shot. :) I can't believe now how terrible your pp abilities were back then. ;)

Have a good weekend!


Edit: Can you believe the critique I wrote for the original picture??? :D

  • Great 
  • Bufo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 404 W: 69 N: 951] (4247)
  • [2007-01-29 3:31]

Hi Andy,
I think you did a great job in the workshop. This would be the mallard I would recognise in the local park ;-)
Well performed! Cheers, Jacob

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