Technical: Canon 80D, Sigma 150-600 Contemporary at 600 mm, 1/250, f/8 and ISO 1250; ExpoDisc, tripod. LR (lens profile, chromatic aberration, straighten, crop, clarity, contrast, exposure, vignette) and PS (high-pass filter sharpening, levels).
What can I do to improve the artistic merit, if any, of this photograph?
Good choice of subject and a lovely background. If it were mine, I might try to add a bit of saturation and a touch more contrast to the birds alone, probably with another layer and a mask. The current background looks good just as is, but I'd try to give the birds a bit more pop. Not a lot, but a bit more than they have now.
I agree a little more pop might do it, but you've done a fine job with this!! A vertical crop might have been nice also, if it were possible, but it's not always possible!!
This is excellent and I really like it just as it is. However, I think Bob's advice is good. Just a bit of work on the birds to make them more of a focus probably would be good. Well done.
Thank you all for the feedback. I boosted the contrast as much possible without departing from the birds' colors. Later today, I will mask off the birds and reduce the contrast or saturation of the background. Does it look over-sharpened?
What can I do to improve the artistic merit, if any, of this photograph?[/quote]
Thanks for making this post ABC and welcome to our section. I think this is an excellent picture, well taken, and surprised how detailed it is since it was taken at 600 mm. I think you did a good job at exposure and with bokeh. Obviously a great lens. I see you did a lot of PP but in this case I believe you had a great shot to begin with. I don't think it is over sharpened.
Now here is where I need some guidance. I think this is a great picture but I get confused with the word artistic. You asked what to do to improve artistic merit. By my definition, and I might be wrong, artistic is outside of the standard photo shot, adding backgrounds, textures, HDR, Topaz and such. I earlier today posted a picture in Post-Production area because I thought it might be wrong for this section, more picture and PP than art. So take a look at Charlie over there and let me know.
Going back to ABC's question improving artistic merit, I took you picture and used single shot HDR on it and it has change in the direction I think you were going. If you have some HDR software give it a try. If it ends up more to you liking please post. Some times it is so hard to understand what one is looking to do by the way it was stated.
I hope I haven't gone off the deep end with my reply here.
Again good job ABC