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.
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.
A before shot of the black capped chickadee…
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:
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.