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John Mitchell

Birds in the sky paranoia

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This question has come up in the past, but I thought it might be worth asking again. I have an image that when viewed at 100% reveals hundreds or even thousands of birds -- seagulls or crows probably -- high in the sky. They look like tiny black dust spots. Might QC have a problem with this? I think the image could have sale potential. However, I don't want to go cross-eyed cloning out birds...

Edited by John Mitchell

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4 hours ago, John Mitchell said:

This question has come up in the past, but I thought it might be worth asking again. I have an image that when viewed at 100% reveals hundreds or even thousands of birds -- seagulls or crows probably -- high in the sky. They look like tiny black dust spots. Might QC have a problem with this? I think the image could have sale potential. However, I don't want to go cross-eyed cloning out birds...

 

 

i have never had an issue with hundred or thousands since to me that's obvious it's not dust problem (i am hoping my 3star rating will tell reviewer i am not that bad).  My issue is more the 2 or 4 bird cases on clear editorial images which i don't really want to alter

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Not too much experience with this, but this is how I would go about it. 

 

Id agree with meanderingemu if clear that the dots are a flock of birds that is also kind of visible in the thumbnail, even if the individual dots do not look like birds. 

 

If they can be mistaken as dust spots by an unknowing observer, I would probably rate sales potential to risk of suffering of cross-eyedness or have a QC fail.

 

NB: The software I use has two filters that come in handy:

  a)  "Hot pixels", which removes some but not necessarily all of the spots automatically

  b) "Spot removal", which is the click'n clone exercise but reasonably fast; Once size is set each spot needs clicking once 

not sure if similar is available in other raw development tools? 

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Depends on the sky. If it has a large area and is clear blue, I would make a selection around the birds and use the dust and scratches filter in photoshop. Assuming that is the birds are small in the frame.

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I tend to work on the basis that it they are distinguishable as birds at 100% magnification then I will let them remain, unless there is something about them which is a definite distraction to the viewer.  If they look like blobs or dust spots at 100% I clone them out in Lightroom.

 

I've occasionally wondered if ornithologists, hundreds of year from now, will wonder why on earth the birds visible in stock photos of the era don't tally with the great garden birdwatch survey figures of the time. They won't know of the photographers rampant fear of dust spots and frantic cleansing of the clear skies, lest we offend the great god QC and are banished to the semi-eternal damnation of the sin-bin.

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Just searched for an example where from the thumb it is clear that there are birds. (not my picture, credit to Esteban Martinena Guerrero / Alamy)

I would not clone out if it looks something like this, even if any of the birds looked like a dust spot: 

A huge group of black birds fly over the sky at dusk in Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain. Stock Photo

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I think the main problem is if there is only one bird in the distance in a large expanse of sky. That can look like a dust bunny so best to remove it just in case.

 

Allan

 

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Red Kites were re-introduced on John Paul Getty's Wormsley Valley Estate near Stokenchurch, Oxfordshire back in 1989. They've done very well and so consequently it's hard to take any general view around these parts without seeing them somewhere in the sky when viewed at 100%. Unless they help the picture, which they do sometimes, I tend to take them out for fear of them being mistaken for dust. Of course it's easy to do that, unlike a flock of hundreds in the distance. But, yes, I don't feel entirely comfortable doing so because they are so much part of the landscape. Same goes for aircraft actually, which are just as common.

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1 hour ago, hdh said:

Just searched for an example where from the thumb it is clear that there are birds. (not my picture, credit to Esteban Martinena Guerrero / Alamy)

I would not clone out if it looks something like this, even if any of the birds looked like a dust spot: 

A huge group of black birds fly over the sky at dusk in Cáceres, Extremadura, Spain. Stock Photo

 

Unfortunately, the image in question doesn't look at all like this. The sky is a mixture of cloud and blue areas, and the birds are only visible at 100% as tiny black pinpricks spread across the frame, mainly at high altitude. They must have been going to a seagull get-together. I'm thinking now that I might just not submit the image. Cloning them out would be too much of a pain. Nice composition BTW.

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1 hour ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Unfortunately, the image in question doesn't look at all like this. The sky is a mixture of cloud and blue areas, and the birds are only visible at 100% as tiny black pinpricks spread across the frame, mainly at high altitude. They must have been going to a seagull get-together. I'm thinking now that I might just not submit the image. Cloning them out would be too much of a pain. Nice composition BTW.

 

Learned something new and funny -  it made me laugh: 

I am non-native and did not know the word pinprick but have heard of "pricks" in a much different context :ph34r: before.  

dictionary translation of pinpricks was sane & fine ... yet ... the birds in your picture may also fit that other meaning of pricks going to a get-together. 

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5 hours ago, Allan Bell said:

I think the main problem is if there is only one bird in the distance in a large expanse of sky. That can look like a dust bunny so best to remove it just in case.

 

Allan

 

 

So you have flying bunnies in your neck of the woods. That's most interesting. 😛

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Went "cross-eyed" years ago.  It all depends on the image.

Edited by Chuck Nacke
grammer

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