Shot and processing recipe-Hummingbird at Rosario Beach V

4 08 2010

Hummingbird at Rosario Beach V

By: Sparth on flickr

fabrice: my process for this shot, in a few words.

– did a first pass on the Raw photo by applying a specific preset in DPP. they call it a “recipe”. basically what the recipe is doing is: exposure +0.17 – color tone +1 – white balance set to “daylight”, picture style set to “landscape” (i know it’s not entirely appropriate, but since i created this specific bird preset with this initial setting i kept it as is), and tweaking up the curves in order to push contrasts and emphasize reds and greens, reducing the blues in lighter tones.
– once applied, i extracted 3 different jpegs in DPP from a single Raw with three different exposures. +0.17 for the first one (keeping the initial exposure given by the “recipe” preset), -1.50 for the second one, and something around -2.0 for the last one.
combined the first two jpegs in order to keep the brightness but also gain back valuable details and visual informations from the branches and bird body that were way too overexposed.
– once it’s done, i transfered the first two jpegs in CS4 in a single canvas on two layers and erasing where needed in order to get the most informations from both exposures.
i then added the third underexposed jpeg as a third layer in order to find even more informations from the bird. it’s a bit like doing a bracketed method on a single Raw.

– once done i merged everything down, tweaked the saturation a tiny bit, played a bit with CS4 autolevels/autocontrast/autocolor, and it made me realize i was too much into the yellow tint territory, which is normal as my initial preset is doing so on purpose. but i sometimes have to put back some blues in some specific cases like this one. very lightly though.

– desaturated background -20 except for the bird, in order to emphasize its color tones.

– copied all layers, pasted the result in a new layer, and did a “replace color” pass in order to gain back some cyans in the background instead of some greens that were too strong. the reason for that is that it is generally a good thing to find back complementary tones in an image, as the eye reacts to it in a faster way. in this case, the complementary tones for the orange bird is going to be blue (cyan but anyway).

– cropped to adjust compo and visual direction.

that’s about it. but there’s just a final pass for the web version though:
– resized the image to 1200 pixels wide, duplicated image on new layer, and applied a smart sharpen on top layer: amount 150% Radius 0.7 pixels, Remove: Lens Blur.
– erased smart sharpen effect on background. sharpening a blurred background is useless and will create more unecessary noise.

i probably did a few more tweaks here and there but must have forgotten it.

hope it helps.

and thanks to all!!