Photographing Wildlife

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This was shot with my Nikon D300 with a 200 to 500 mm lens from the window of my studio on Saturday afternoon while it was snowing.

When photographing wildlife, you have to be quick — there are no second takes, or "Hold that pose while I adjust my camera settings!"  So, I often have the camera on "auto" so that I am not bothered with metering scenes and fumbling with settings.  I can tweak things in Photoshop if necessary like I did with the above photo of the bluebird.  I could even go a bit further and use the spot healing brush to remove those dark spots at the top of the photograph.  Below is the before photo.

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See how much more vibrant the after photo is?  I am NOT a big fan of tweaking photos endlessly in Photoshop.  I adjusted the saturation levels and was able to showcase the bluebird's gorgeous blue feathers.  I got three shots in rapid succession and the bird flew away.

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A before shot of the black capped chickadee…

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Again, I tweaked the hue/saturation, as well as the levels to bring out the blacks in the bird and its perch.

Okay, last one is a photo of a red bellied woodpecker:

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So, there is a quick lesson in Photoshop (you can also do these same changes in Elements).  First, ALWAYS Image –>Duplicate  Never make changes to your original image.  Then:  Image–> Adjustments –> Levels or Curves or Hue/Saturation.

I've had a version of Photoshop on my computer since version 5.0, and am now just taking formal classes because I want to expand on my knowledge and be able to eventually create my own graphics and do a much better job of making minor changes to my photographs.  I don't want to get caught up in endlessly tweaking my photographs in Photoshop.  There's too many other things I'd rather be doing.

 

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