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How to edit this?

Rachel Foster

New member
I like the idea of this shot, but it's not "there" I'm wondering how one would edit such an image.

Please note: I have little hope of "saving" this one, but am trying to learn for future shots. I'm horrible with photoshop, learning Lightroom, and decent with Picasa.



Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief

What was on you mind. The place, the time. What were you thinking the led to the picture being made. If I know what it's meant to represent or project or what happened then we can comment.

Art is fundamentally about your own internal brain workings, some idea that you have fabricated and wish to express in your way, or photography from a particular angle, that pleased you. First you have to satisfy that. Now you obviously have not succeeded in making yourself excited and content!

It's really necessary for you to declare where you were trying to go for some person on the route to say go back one mile and take the other road, this one goes elsewhere.


Also what on earth have you done to the file? Also, f stop, lens etc might now be an issue.

Rachel Foster

New member
Oh, I forgot to say all of that! Thanks, Asher.

I have a wonderful rural area just 1/2 mile north of my house. I'm trying to learn to shoot birds, among other things. I saw this amazing creature in flight with the light streaming through her/his wings in an enchanting manner. But...as you can see, the settings were wrong, I wasn't fast enough, etc. etc. etc.

I would have loved to have captured this posture in flight, the sun through it's wings, with the back ground properly lighted. The levels and lighting are just wrong, though.

1/640, f/stop 7.1, 250, iso 400.

Editing at this point: a little fiddling with Lightroom on exposure and contrast.

Rachel Foster

New member
I'm also trying to learn how to adjust to different lighting demands fast enough for this sort of shot. Does one have to abandon M mode?

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Ahah! So Rachel, that's a bird!

What lens do you have? Also what camera. I seem to remember you have Canon.

Now you would have been better 1 stop more exposure. You need the speed or faster, so you cannot give up much on that for a fast moving bird. You can sweep your lens in the direction of the bird so that slows down the differential between you and the bird in speed. However it will blur the background. If you want the background reasonable sharp, then up the ISO and the speed. You can really give up some depth of focus as there is not a lot that's so interesting in the b.g. So you could open up the aperture to f4.0 and the entire bird would be in focus. Then, when you have your perfect shot, you might "just in case" take a shot of the background without the bird, but using say f8 or 11 so that eaveryting is in focus. That means you have the option of replacing the blurred background of the birs shot with the sharp background if that's what you imagination calls for.

But the bird is so small!!

Of course, you were not close enough for that lens! The focal length is given as 158mm. So what lens is that? You need a 100--400 mm push pull lens with a 1.4 adapter to give you up to 640mm at the extreme, if you so wish making your bird 640/250= 2.56 times the size! Your bird would be pretty impressive. Now with the x1.4 extender x3.6 in size, you would be doing pretty well.

Now do you need this lens? Well, unless you are now going beyond portraits and your river to really get into bird photography, I'd not be in such a hurry. If you want to try things out, go with a local birding group and borrow or rent a 100-400 lens with a x1.4 extender just to see how you like the people and the activity. Many birding groups have guys with more lenses than the offspring of rabbit! Someone might lend you that lens! You might just find this is the most enjoyable thing to so.