In response to reader requests, I’ve been pondering how to best address the subject of post processing bird images. After giving it some thought I’ve decided that doing one article based on a sample image (as I did for landscape photography) isn’t the best solution. So, I’ll be discussing post processing in a small selection of articles instead. This first article deals with the importance of pixels on subject.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
Those of us who love bird photography can become a bit over zealous when it comes to our shutter finger, especially when it comes to birds-in-flight.
It certainly can be an exciting experience to get a bird nicely framed in our viewfinder and capture the magic of a bird-in-flight. If we aren’t disciplined we can waste opportunities by firing too early, filling up our buffer, and ending up with photographs with too few pixels on subject to make them worthwhile.
Getting too few pixels on subject results in us having to do quite aggressive crops with our images. In terms of post processing this is akin to trying to tee off with a driver when our ball is in a sand trap. When we start with a severely cropped bird image the results in post will be sub-optimal, regardless of our relative skill level with the software we use.
Step one to improve the results of our post processing of bird images is to get more pixels on subject. For birds-in-flight I’d suggest filling at least 1/2 of your frame with a subject bird before pressing the shutter. For static bird subjects the ideal is to compose the image without the need for any cropping at all. Once we increase the number of pixels on subject with our bird images, our results in post will improve significantly.
All photographs were captured hand-held using camera gear as per the EXIF data. All images were produced from RAW files using my standard process of DxO OpticsPro/PhotoLab, CS6 and the Nik Collection.
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