Saturday, January 16, 2010

American Coot Portrait

The Coot can be challenging to photograph because its body is very dark but its beak is a bright white, so if you expose for the body, the beak will be blown and if you expose for the beak, there will be no feather detail in the body.

A friendly recently asked me whether I do a lot of editing or whether I just take really good pictures. Both go hand in hand. I shoot RAW and shoot with the intent of post processing (with a rough idea of what I'm going to do in post). This Coot is a good example. When taking the shot I exposed the image so that I could get the absolute longest possible exposure without complete clipping the whites the beak. Then in Lightroom most of my processing involved applying a tone curve which boosted the shadows and pull back the highlights a little.

Technical Specs: Canon 7D, 100-400 @ 400mm, f/5.6, 1/250s, ISO 800.

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