Beyond the BackyardCircle B Bar Reserve

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! :)