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Feathered Machine by ash Feathered Machine by ash
A gull in flight. Bath, England, March 2003
~f/5.6, ~300mm, manual focus, full frame
Canon EOS 300, Fuji ACROS, FS4000US
neatimage, levels/curves/sharpened/toned in ps
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jtd Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2003
I'm impressed by the dynamic look of this capture. Masking the bird out to adjust the contrast would not improve the image, IMO (and I'd feel like cheating, too).
I love the way the background offers almost no detail while the bird is - in contrast to the background - brilliant.
aror Featured By Owner Apr 5, 2003
Lovely, so clean and crisp.
And if that is the unedited cropping...amazing talent.

It would be a good desktop wallpaper.
nasigoreng Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2003
i like how its not in the centre...
i like it... and man... i like the focus.

the grey bit.. it didnt bother me somehow.. in fact, it gives me some perspective of how the pic was taken. Confused
ash Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2003
But for some reason I feel as if there's too much negative space, therefor leaving something to be wanted

I agree, there is a feeling of something missing, and the grey part at top left doesn't help much as spiffyman pointed out.

Partly it's a result of being at the mercy of luck: I was aiming to get the gull in front of the cascade of waterfalls/weirs (which is what all that white crap in the background is). But that idea would have worked a lot better if it wasn't for the extreme contrast between the bird and the sunlit water; the negative captured full detail in both (thanks to the camera's evaluative exposure logic in aperture priority mode) but even with severe tweaking of curves in photoshop it's hard (maybe impossible) to produce a single final image with both water and bird containing a useful range of contrast. They hardly overlap at all in brightness values; all the water detail is in the high values and all the bird detail in the low values. So I sacrificed some detail in the water to get good contrast on the gull, hence the overexposure on the water which really lessens the impact of the shot and creates a feeling of emptyness in the water part.

If I felt like cheating I could mask out the bird and apply different curves to the water and bird, getting them to overlap more in brightness (effectively burning in the water). I might have a go sometime.

In general it's unfortunate anyway to have a dark subject on a bright background; the eye is much happier regarding bright objects as the subject, as verunec has pointed out.

Thanks for the comment!
skepeffe Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2003
Now these are the details I like to see! And boy, have you captured them better than I've ever seen before. The contrasts are made to be perfect, especially with the background. But for some reason I feel as if there's too much negative space, therefor leaving something to be wanted. Maybe a bullet coming at the bird? Nooo, that's..'mean'. ;) (Wink)

Great work!
stevesm Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2003
Wow! Superb shot! Manual focus??? I must admit the grey in the top left is a bit distracting. Maybe dodge it a bit to give it a different tone than the bird? Saying that, it does give a certian sense of scale. :-) (Smile) Top Class shot mate.
99gnome Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2003

great shot!
bookdiva Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2003
I love the gentle flow of this capture. The high contrasts add to the motion, you really caught the moment, a rare capture, and a difficult one. It's simple, beautiful and well done.
spiffyman Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2003
beautiful image... only criticism I have is the top left hand corner... the gray distracts the viewer... But I know how difficult it is to follow the bird, adjust focus, DOF, exposure and concentrate on framing... I also know your views on keeping the final product as true to the original image as possible... all things considered... its a great capture
redux Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2003  Hobbyist Photographer
my god...the sharpness of the details ! the tones ! sorry, i may be drunk on vodka and coke, but i recognise technical mastery when i see it, and this is certainly sublime. the depth of field and composition are just classy. +fav
foureyes Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2003
I love how you captured this,....the B&W tones are perfect !!!!!
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Submitted on
March 31, 2003
Image Size
139 KB


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