Vultures in Monfrague
Joy says: I took this shot of a vulture coming in to land in the Monfrague National Park in western Spain. I love that it shows how big and powerful the birds are. I’m also really pleased I was able to get it in its natural environment. In Lightroom I increased the contrast with the Clarity slider and applied a slight crop.
Dan says: This is a brilliant action shot of a griffon vulture coming in to land, with its outstretched wings giving it a very eye-catching, striking pose. There’s a small amount of camera shake in the rocks on the right, which could be remedied in-camera with a faster shutter speed of around 1/2000sec. But this is a minor point and the main bird in flight is nice and sharp.
Joy’s Lightroom edit is a good starting point, but some further enhancements would really make it soar. Exposure, contrast and colours are all fair game when editing wildlife photos, as this information is retained in Joy’s original RAW file. I’d increase the contrast by darkening the sky (Photo Fix 1), and reveal the shadow detail (Photo Fix 2).
This isn’t a straightforward capture, so Joy should be highly commended. A few extra edits really take it to the next level.
AFTER Canon 50D | 400mm | 1/640sec | f/8 | ISO 160
BEFORE Sky is slightly washed out Shadow detail is hard to see