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Looking to Improve ( this shot and going forward )
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Jan 24, 2023 19:07:36   #
Steve V Loc: New Jersey
 
Looking to improve this shot and similar ones in the future. All comments and suggestions welcome.
1/1000 @ F 5.6 ISO 3600n 200-500 @500MM some processing and cropped in PS.


(Download)

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Jan 24, 2023 19:52:33   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
Steve V wrote:
Looking to improve this shot and similar ones in the future. All comments and suggestions welcome.
1/1000 @ F 5.6 ISO 3600n 200-500 @500MM some processing and cropped in PS.


When opened, the image improves. This is because the JPEG was not created using the sRGB colorspace. That's an error in your workflow that can be difficult to overcome when using PhotoShop to create JPEG output files and seeking to retain the EXIF. You'd be better served learning, at the minimum, to use the LR Export to create your output files.

The image is a relatively static subject, at a relatively high shutter speed, resulting in a higher ISO due to the low light, with a lens with a maximum aperture of f/5.6. Shooting slower at say 1/500sec could allow for cutting the ISO in half with no material change to the ability to 'freeze' this static subject. To the extent possible: always seek the lowest ISO possible for your images.

The digital noise is the primary issue. The links below are written for LR, but apply to similar tools in PS. In PS, you might 'mask' the fox and isolate that layer from the background. Then, better process the luminance noise (the black specs) of the background layer. The fox looks good where the noise is predominate in the background. The fox, though, could be better sharpened. In PS, then sharpen the isolated fox layer. Once you master this layered-processing approach, you can judge if capturing at a lower ISO is better than the level of effort in post.

Also in PS, remove all the grass that covers the fox. Everyone will have a different level of tolerance / level-of-effort on which to remove. I'd definitely remove everything covering the body in the foreground and the long yellowish grass that goes over the head above the animal's left eye.

Links:

Basics of noise processing

Basics of Lightroom Sharpening

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Jan 24, 2023 22:18:31   #
bikinkawboy Loc: north central Missouri
 
CHG canon, great article you wrote! Good job!

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Jan 25, 2023 09:00:40   #
eagle80 Loc: Kutztown, PA
 
The Fox should not be in the center of the image.

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Jan 25, 2023 09:41:20   #
gvarner Loc: Central Oregon Coast
 
Avoid putting the subject in the middle of the composition. Bottom third would look better.

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Jan 25, 2023 09:59:37   #
timcc Loc: Virginia
 
I suggest cropping out the vertical branch on the left and removing the branch on the right. I don't think they add any real framing to the shot, but instead distract from the fox as the central focus. As others have recommended, I would also move the fox off center and denoise the background. Cute shot with nice color.

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Jan 25, 2023 10:28:11   #
neillaubenthal
 
bikinkawboy wrote:
CHG canon, great article you wrote! Good job!


I agree. I give him crap for some of his trolling…but as I noted in several replies he’s obviously a smart guy and can both offer good advice and be nice at the same time…and that’s twice in the past 5 minutes I said so.

One additional edit I would add to his…select the foreground grass…easy in latest version of LR…and reduce exposure there…it is too bright and distracting.

Reply
 
 
Jan 25, 2023 11:40:23   #
J-SPEIGHT Loc: Akron, Ohio
 
Steve V wrote:
Looking to improve this shot and similar ones in the future. All comments and suggestions welcome.
1/1000 @ F 5.6 ISO 3600n 200-500 @500MM some processing and cropped in PS.



Reply
Jan 25, 2023 11:40:27   #
Steve V Loc: New Jersey
 
CHG_CANON wrote:
When opened, the image improves. This is because the JPEG was not created using the sRGB colorspace. That's an error in your workflow that can be difficult to overcome when using PhotoShop to create JPEG output files and seeking to retain the EXIF. You'd be better served learning, at the minimum, to use the LR Export to create your output files.

The image is a relatively static subject, at a relatively high shutter speed, resulting in a higher ISO due to the low light, with a lens with a maximum aperture of f/5.6. Shooting slower at say 1/500sec could allow for cutting the ISO in half with no material change to the ability to 'freeze' this static subject. To the extent possible: always seek the lowest ISO possible for your images.

The digital noise is the primary issue. The links below are written for LR, but apply to similar tools in PS. In PS, you might 'mask' the fox and isolate that layer from the background. Then, better process the luminance noise (the black specs) of the background layer. The fox looks good where the noise is predominate in the background. The fox, though, could be better sharpened. In PS, then sharpen the isolated fox layer. Once you master this layered-processing approach, you can judge if capturing at a lower ISO is better than the level of effort in post.

Also in PS, remove all the grass that covers the fox. Everyone will have a different level of tolerance / level-of-effort on which to remove. I'd definitely remove everything covering the body in the foreground and the long yellowish grass that goes over the head above the animal's left eye.

Links:

Basics of noise processing

Basics of Lightroom Sharpening
When opened, the image improves. This is because t... (show quote)


Wow. Thanks as always for your concise and detailed reply. I will comment on the second and fourth paragraphs and go to school on one and three. As way of background I am very much a beginner hobbyist and with just 2 college level courses 30 years apart.

I set the speed at 1/1000 to both minimize the effects of hand shake and freeze expected action. But a fox will smell and listen for prey motionless for quite some time. The lens maxed at 500 mm and at 67 years old I guess I should use a monopod to stabilize ( tripod too bulky). Then I could cheat down on the speed to 1/500.

With regard to the grass I did remove the most egregious. There was a straw colored blade going right thru the middle of its body and nose. I certainly could do more.

I will do some reading on everything mentioned with regard to work flow, Light Room, and sharpening. I also need to learn to use layers and masking, it may lead to some more requests for help.

Thanks for the help.

Steve

Reply
Jan 25, 2023 17:25:44   #
CHG_CANON Loc: the Windy City
 
Steve V wrote:
Wow. Thanks as always for your concise and detailed reply. I will comment on the second and fourth paragraphs and go to school on one and three. As way of background I am very much a beginner hobbyist and with just 2 college level courses 30 years apart.

I set the speed at 1/1000 to both minimize the effects of hand shake and freeze expected action. But a fox will smell and listen for prey motionless for quite some time. The lens maxed at 500 mm and at 67 years old I guess I should use a monopod to stabilize ( tripod too bulky). Then I could cheat down on the speed to 1/500.

With regard to the grass I did remove the most egregious. There was a straw colored blade going right thru the middle of its body and nose. I certainly could do more.

I will do some reading on everything mentioned with regard to work flow, Light Room, and sharpening. I also need to learn to use layers and masking, it may lead to some more requests for help.

Thanks for the help.

Steve
Wow. Thanks as always for your concise and detaile... (show quote)


The lens is VR 'stabilized'. You should expect, at the minimum, to be able to shot handheld at 1/500sec at 500mm. Try testing what you can do after various focal lengths and slower shutterspeeds to identify the slowest you can reliably shoot handheld. Use this knowledge in selecting your exposure settings.

To the extent I have learned PSE, I used my own 'real' images and utube to find examples of how-to actions. Assuming you subscribe, you can also find examples in the 'support' videos for learning on Adobe.com. It can take a while to find an example and then a while to learn to do it yourself, but going forward, each time it gets easier to perform the processing.

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Jan 25, 2023 19:54:40   #
PhotogHobbyist Loc: Bradford, PA
 
Steve V wrote:
I set the speed at 1/1000 to both minimize the effects of hand shake and freeze expected action. But a fox will smell and listen for prey motionless for quite some time. The lens maxed at 500 mm and at 67 years old I guess I should use a monopod to stabilize ( tripod too bulky). Then I could cheat down on the speed to 1/500.

Steve


Steve,
I am 75 (76 in a couple months) and have shot hand held at some fairly long exposures with good results, thanks to IBS of my Pentax. Of course the lenses I was using were shorter but I've managed some shots at 1/5 to 1/4 second by bracing myself against something.

Btw, nice shot of the fox.

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Jan 25, 2023 21:42:35   #
Steve V Loc: New Jersey
 
eagle80 wrote:
The Fox should not be in the center of the image.


A know this. Just duh. I will slide it over thanks.

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Jan 25, 2023 21:43:32   #
Steve V Loc: New Jersey
 
gvarner wrote:
Avoid putting the subject in the middle of the composition. Bottom third would look better.


Thanks for the view and comment!

Reply
Jan 25, 2023 21:45:57   #
Steve V Loc: New Jersey
 
timcc wrote:
I suggest cropping out the vertical branch on the left and removing the branch on the right. I don't think they add any real framing to the shot, but instead distract from the fox as the central focus. As others have recommended, I would also move the fox off center and denoise the background. Cute shot with nice color.


Need to see a little green about now. Thanks for the view and comments!

Reply
Jan 25, 2023 21:47:29   #
Steve V Loc: New Jersey
 
neillaubenthal wrote:
I agree. I give him crap for some of his trolling…but as I noted in several replies he’s obviously a smart guy and can both offer good advice and be nice at the same time…and that’s twice in the past 5 minutes I said so.

One additional edit I would add to his…select the foreground grass…easy in latest version of LR…and reduce exposure there…it is too bright and distracting.


I will try that. Thanks for the view and advice.

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