Rich Ditch's Photography Blog

February 28, 2010

Anna’s Hummingbird revisited

Filed under: Birds, comparisons, favorite places, Gilbert Water Ranch, light, technique — richditch @ 7:30 pm
Anna's Hummingbird revisited

Anna's Hummingbird revisited

No, you’re not stuck in Groundhog Day – this is an intentional repost of yesterday’s image. Except, it should look a little different as I’ve adjusted the white balance to tone down the pinkish color cast resulting from the early morning light at the time the image was taken.

Photographer’s go out of their way to get the soft warm light of early morning as that light is of lower contrast that mid-day light and a lot easier to work with, and because most viewers find warmer toned images more pleasing.

As I discussed in the previous post I was excited to see how good my first image at ISO 1000 turned out, and I did a minimum of fussing in post processing with the image of an Anna’s Hummingbird at the Gilbert Water Ranch. And I rushed that image onto a Naturephotographers.net  critique site, where one person commented:

What was the pink BG? It matches the birds coloration well but it looks a little unnatural.

My reply explained the early morning light. But the comment sent me back to the original raw file and Adobe Camera Raw (ACR): the front end of Photoshop that converts raw images into tif or jpeg. In ACR I used the whitepoint eyedropper to reset the color balance on the image by applying it to the white feathers under the belly. This is a great tool for neutralizing color casts.

By reseting the white point I’ve taken out the majority of the early morning warmth, but that has also given better separation between the dark rose of the gorget feathers and the background in the image.

I like both images, but I prefer this reworked version with a simple color shift.

To make the comparison easier, here’s the previous version.

Anna's Hummingbird @ ISO 1000

Anna's Hummingbird @ ISO 1000

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