Pauline and Ian Wildlife Images | How to - Part Three - shoot in English weather!
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Pauline says ........ this is another lesson in how to make something out of next to nothing - which yet again would be nigh impossible if using slide film - yet again in my book digital earns its stripes .........

In this particular case I had driven 2 hours and 34 mins to Teesdale, Durham from home in search of Black Grouse. We found 11 grouse but could not get within range of these birds and the weather (despite the forecast saying 'excellent visability') you couldn't see your hand in front of your face for low cloud and heavy drizzle - typical!

Determined as usual to carry on and get something I drove until I found myself parked beside this golden plover - less than 50ft from the side of the car..... it was now belting down with rain and I had a job to get the camera to focus.........

I picked AV single focusing, rested the camera on my friend Joan's shoulder and choosing as high an F stop as was possible - if memory serves f7.1 which gave a film speed of 160 and just waited for the bird to pause for a second ..............

Back here I picked out the clearest, sharpest image and in Paint Shop Pro (my chosen editing programme even tho I have Photoshop and it has its uses) and did the following: Edge Preserving Smooth (seeems to help with sharpening later). Fade Correct and played around with highering and lowering the number and severity of the correct until I had a colour that I think is natural for the bird. I made a slight adjustment (darkening) in Levels and a slight lightening in Curves, finishing off with Unsharp Mask.

From here I took the photo to Neat Image and corrected the terrible noise in the background.

I then brought it back to PSP chose the Select Tool and ran it around the bird to select the out of focus background and added Gaussian Blur at about 8 which knocked the last of the noise and brought the bird fully clear of the background.

Still in PSP I added Borders, selecting colours from the image itself so that they remain tonally complimentary, a drop shadow and a Buttonise to the final outer edge....

Watching the picture grow into what you know was stood there in the rain and wind is creative and extremely satisfying .........

Guestbook for How to - Part Three - shoot in English weather!
Davy Crockett
I have read all your tips now and it is fascinating stuff, thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.
i'll now go out and get some poor shots as usual and try to recover them.
Pauline and Ian Wildlife Images
Thanks Roy - yes the end justifies the means to my mind and digital is a forgiving medium that can be manipulated quite easily - a few clicks and hey presto! The detail is all still there it just needs bringing out!
Thank you for your excellant explanations, seeing the difference between the original and final effect is a good way of demonstrating the power of later work. Roy
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