Back in August I was out shooting some lakeshore subjects in the early morning when a group of gulls were making their way through for some morning "fishing". I took the opportunity to take some bird shots using my Nikon D300s with a 20 - 300 zoom lens attached. It wasn't until I was doing some file cleanup and "treasure hunting" that I found this capture and decided to spend some time making some adjustments. The thing that attracted me the most was the backlighting coming through the birds wings and along the top line.
The first issue to handle was a very distracting background of beach front "clatter". The bird was absolutely lost in the maze of color and shapes. In Adobe Photoshop CS5 I selected the background and applied a vertical blur which simplified the background while not losing some of it's design features. Since it was an early morning shot the color temperature was rather cool so I tweaked that to be a little warmer and then, with NIK Color Efex Pro 4 added a Glamor Glow adjustment. Using the Brush tool that is part of many NIK products I painted the bird with a Soft Focus adjustment as well using a low opacity brush.
My final layer adjustment was with Alien Skin's Snap Art 3 with which I applied a oil painting adjustment at about a 50% opacity.
The more I view the "final" results the more I think the line of blurred objects at the bottom of the background add a little boyancy to the bird giving it a floating quality, which I think worked rather well in this situation.
Thanks to all of you that have followed my blog and continue to come for a visit. Please feel free to comment on the work seen here and also click on the tabs in the right to visit other sites that I find to be very energizing.
Also, a big shout out to the Baylor Football team for their impressive win over UCLA at the Holiday Bowl.
For more views of my work visit;
Lanesboro Art Center, Lanesboro, Minnesota www.lanesboroarts.org