Now You See Them…


…and now you don’t!  I guess April Fool’s is a good day for a photographer to confess to some Photoshopping. :)

I was photographing the Sandhill Crane colts at the Circle B Bar Reserve last weekend.  I set my camera to the fastest frame speed, which I don’t often do, because I don’t need to waste my camera shutter or my post-processing time on images that are virtually identical.  But the little cranes were moving around quickly, and I wanted to catch their little wing-flaps, so I switched into high-speed mode.  Then they just stood there (of course).

But it turned out to be a good thing that I was in high-speed mode with multiple frames of the birds.  I had a shot that I loved of the two colts standing together.  But Mom’s feet were in the way.  I don’t object to Mom’s feet being in the picture when I see her head, too, but when it’s just her legs, I find them distracting.  Mom did me a favor, though, and moved a little between my shots.  So I was able to combine the two pictures using Photoshop.  I opened the two images as layers, added layer masks to both, and then painted out the legs.  Then I merged the layers, used the Patch tool to smooth out the edges, and had a nice portrait of the little colts.  One additional selective exposure adjustment in Lightroom made the left colt’s face a little lighter (I should have used fill flash, oh well!)  There are some days when I really enjoy Photoshop, hehe! :)

Want to learn more about nature photography at Circle B Bar Reserve?

Check out my Circle B Bar Reserve page with more information about the location, map, website, photography tips, etc. It is archived by date so you can see my images from previous visits. Maybe you'll be inspired for your own trip!

Planning a trip to Florida? Don't miss my Central Florida Bird Photography Locations reference guide!