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In Love With A Pic But Not Sure to Upload


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Normally I am very good at binning images (even ones I am in love with) but I have one that I truly love and debate on whether it would pass QC.  The main subject - the hawks face beak and eyes - are no issue, but the wings due to noise reduction can look a bit off. 

 

You can see the image at 100% on flikr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/196816036@N06/52454502158/in/dateposted-public/

 

 

Can you guys give it a once over and give my your opinion on whether you think the wings would do me in on this one.

 

harris hawk catching chicken IMG_3115-1

 

 

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The NR has made a real mess of the wing feathers with areas that are totally smooth and other areas with created "detail" / artefacts. What did you use - Topaz on a bad day? I certainly wouldn't submit. Hopefully it's possible to reprocess and get a better result as it is a stunning shot. Personally the face and beak look a bit strange to me too.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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I can't see any problem with softness on the wings (viewing on a high res 14" laptop screen - posted before seeing Mark's post) which is presumably what you mean but you could downsize it to 3750 pixels on the long side and still have an image >18MB for Alamy if you wanted to be on the safe side. 

 

Alternatively if you want perfection, you could also just rework the processing and apply selective noise reduction mainly to the sky as luminance noise is unlikely to show up on the bird. I've not updated to the latest ACR/LR yet but isn't there a subject selection option now for the raw processor? Best to do noise reduction before conversion in any case.

Edited by MDM
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Looked quickly on laptop screen. I see what you are talking about when viewed large. Don't have a heart attack 🤣. I would suggest reprocessing selectively in ACR/LR and if it's Topaz - well you know what I think of that. 

Edited by MDM
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I'll try and reprocess, see what I can come up with.  Thanks for the comments.  It is one I want to try and salvage. Especially since the hawk seems to be looking right at me.

 

Jill

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Great subject. Not sure what the prey is though.

It's clear that some things have gone wrong in post:

The edges look weird and not precise.

There's blue in places where it shouldn't be. Which make the head sink into the sky, where it should jump out.

The detail is either too harsh or absent just next to each other. This will certainly trigger QC.

I managed to improve some of the overall contrast and the color cast, but not the detail problems. In about 4 minutes. So a couple of hours of reprocessing would do this great image a big favor. Unless you have better ones of the same subject of course. Then I would bin it indeed.

Here is my take.

 

wim

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, wiskerke said:

Great subject. Not sure what the prey is though.

It's clear that some things have gone wrong in post:

The edges look weird and not precise.

There's blue in places where it shouldn't be. Which make the head sink into the sky, where it should jump out.

The detail is either too harsh or absent just next to each other. This will certainly trigger QC.

I managed to improve some of the overall contrast and the color cast, but not the detail problems. In about 4 minutes. So a couple of hours of reprocessing would do this great image a big favor. Unless you have better ones of the same subject of course. Then I would bin it indeed.

Here is my take.

 

wim

 

 

 

 

Nice work.  I did get a little fuzziness as I did a sky replacement.  My image had a pale blue sky with no clouds.  But I may change that and just up the saturation on the original. I will work on it.  I have another one that is similar but the bird is smaller in the image so tougher to do corrections.  

 

The hawk is catching pieces of chicken thrown up in the air.  This image (and 3,000 others) were taken at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy.  They offer 2 hour photoshoots and it was amazing to be with these gorgeous birds of prey.  Still going through them all.  I hope to go once in the winter as well.

 

Jill

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10 minutes ago, Jill Morgan said:

 

Nice work.  I did get a little fuzziness as I did a sky replacement.  My image had a pale blue sky with no clouds.  But I may change that and just up the saturation on the original. I will work on it.  I have another one that is similar but the bird is smaller in the image so tougher to do corrections.  

 

The hawk is catching pieces of chicken thrown up in the air.  This image (and 3,000 others) were taken at the Canadian Raptor Conservancy.  They offer 2 hour photoshoots and it was amazing to be with these gorgeous birds of prey.  Still going through them all.  I hope to go once in the winter as well.

 

Jill

I think the sky works well. But it shows the flaws of the automatic replacement. It's pretty easy to correct by hand. I would do a really good image of the bird; paste it over the one with the replacement sky and then paint the bird in in critical areas. Still not sure how the feathers got their patchy look, so have a look at the other comments for that. Maybe do a third conversion with just a lot of detail and maybe some noise in the feathers. Again just paint in the areas that are affected in the main conversion.

 

wim

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The problem with the wing feathers where false detail (looks like a "crackle finish") appears next to totally smooth areas is a classic problem created by some of the so called "AI" noise reduction or sharpening programs. They seem to have two modes of operation which they can swap between.

1) there's just noise in this area so apply blur

2) there's some feature amongst the noise in this area that matches "AI learnt" textures (feathers, fur, foliage etc.) so enhance/create more "texture" in this area.

The wing feathers have crossed between these two modes in some areas. Either change the threshold settings in the NR program, or probably better still use a non AI NR adjustments with LR or ACR sliders with selections if needed, as these are better behaved in circumstances like this.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman
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11 hours ago, MDM said:

Looked quickly on laptop screen. I see what you are talking about when viewed large. Don't have a heart attack 🤣. I would suggest reprocessing selectively in ACR/LR and if it's Topaz - well you know what I think of that. 

Glad to see we're in agreement. There are times when the AI based NR reduction and sharpening tools work well, but other times where they can make a real mess. The results always need checking as they aren't as "predictable/stable" as simply using the sliders in LR/ACR. I still often use Topaz AI NR, but always on a ~50% opacity blended layer because, even on the lowest settings, I find it overcooks the NR (totally flat skies) and oversharpens any already sharp edges. I use Topaz most for film grain reduction.

 

Mark

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Having "fancy" sky in this image seems unimportant to me. I'd say just use the original plain one. You want to look at the bird anyway so no distraction seems a good idea. Sometimes I find that "less is more" when I'm working on an image. I'll spend time on it and then realize I like it better with little done.

 

Paulette

Edited by NYCat
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It does look a bit odd, and the wing leading edge is messy. Fortunately, the bird isn't blue😍 so you can do a lot with selective colour in LR. I use it a lot on skies. Either up the saturation or, sometimes, drop the luminance.

I only use the simple LR NR so until it was pointed out that wings don't actually look like that I just noticed the slightly plastic look of the smooth feathers. But once you know you can't miss the wavy artefacts. That's got to go..

But it's a terrific image, so I'd want to save it too. As MDM says try a downsize.

 

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It's a fab photo, but this is one of the reasons I stopped using Topaz (ouch, it wasn't cheap) - I hate the way it makes images either look like plastic or does as it has here and introduces a load of artefacts.  I have a lot more luck using LR selective masking to remove noise where it is most noticeable (plain areas) and massaging the rest out by hand. For this photo, I would definitely be willing to spend an hour or more getting rid of the worst bits manually.

 

Noise isn't always the enemy either - I have on rare occasions had to introduce fine noise to remove banding in skies and Alamy isn't looking for a 100% noise free image. I can't speak for them of course but I think they'd rather a tad bit noise than one with AI artefacts. My advice - set some time aside with this photo and the masking brush in LR, drop it to between 6-8 megapixels and submit as a single image to QC.

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I am still working on it, but probably won't have a lot of time till after all my dog shows in late November.

 

This is the companion one with just minor noise adjustment.  Some noise is still visible, but not tons.  It is already down to 18 mb, so can't downsize it any more. Link to full size image is below the image.

 

harris hawk catching chicken IMG_3155-1

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/196816036@N06/52468282945/in/dateposted-public/

 

I have replaced the other image with the better one with the masking errors fixed.

 

Jill

 

Jill

Edited by Jill Morgan
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Seen the full size image and it looks OK to me.

 

I would remove the bit of white at the lower part of the left hand edge though.

 

Allan

 

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4 minutes ago, Allan Bell said:

Seen the full size image and it looks OK to me.

 

I would remove the bit of white at the lower part of the left hand edge though.

 

Allan

 

 

Thanks Allan, I have already uploaded a better version.

 

Jill

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12 minutes ago, Ed Rooney said:

 

Jill, if those pics don't pass QC, nothing should.

 

 

Thanks Ed.  Funny thing the ISO on the second image with the side view of the bird is actually higher (1600) than the first shot (1000).  The sun angle is different and I think that is what makes the grain so much more visible in the first image.

 

Jill

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3 minutes ago, Martin L said:

Luv this pic but the sky replacement makes the perspective really weird. The sky is straight up but the bird is from the side, just doesn't look quite right to me. Sorry.

 

The sun is coming from a different angle in the sky than on the bird.  That is probably what is throwing you off.  I may change the sky, but really just worrying about noise at the moment.  I need to adjust the levels in the sky as well.  It's a bit too blue.

 

Jill

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45 minutes ago, Jill Morgan said:

I am still working on it, but probably won't have a lot of time till after all my dog shows in late November.

 

This is the companion one with just minor noise adjustment.  Some noise is still visible, but not tons.  It is already down to 18 mb, so can't downsize it any more. Link to full size image is below the image.

 

harris hawk catching chicken IMG_3155-1

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/196816036@N06/52468282945/in/dateposted-public/

 

I have replaced the other image with the better one with the masking errors fixed.

 

Jill

 

Jill

Why is the sky darker in the middle and lighter in the corners? Over-cooked vignette compenation? Looks a bit strange to me, but the bird is great.

 

Mark

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42 minutes ago, Jill Morgan said:

 

The sun is coming from a different angle in the sky than on the bird.  That is probably what is throwing you off

 

Jill

Not really, it is the perspective.

That sky would go better with your first picture and the sky in the first picture would go better with the side-on picture as the clouds get denser towards the bottom ( or horizon) as you would expect from the angle of the shot of the bird.

 

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