3 quick wildlife ef­fects

Use Dan Mold’s trio of fast wildlife treat­ments to add in­stant ‘wow’ fac­tor to your back gar­den bird shots.

Practical Photography (UK) - - Welcome -

Add in­stant ‘wow’ fac­tor with a trio of two-step ef­fects for gar­den bird shots.

WILDLIFE HAS TO BE THE hard­est yet most re­ward­ing pho­to­graphic genre there is. It can take hours to cap­ture the per­fect mo­ment – in fact it took a full day in a makeshift hide in my gar­den be­fore I was able to get this stun­ning por­trait of a goldfinch, with the light fall­ing just where I wanted it.

When you’ve in­vested so much time and ef­fort get­ting the shot, it’s equally im­por­tant you do your im­age jus­tice in post-pro­duc­tion. Your files will con­tain much more data than that dis­played in the flat im­age on the back of the cam­era, and squeez­ing it out is key to mak­ing your shots look as good as they pos­si­bly can. Purists will say that wildlife pic­tures should be left as they are, but ad­just­ing the brightness, con­trast and colours are all fair game so long as you don’t make your sub­ject look to­tally dif­fer­ent. We’re start­ing with how to fine-tune these ba­sic set­tings.

As with all of our tech­niques, when you’re done go to Im­age>Flat­ten Im­age and save your pic­ture as a high qual­ity JPEG by go­ing to File>Save As.

Right We’ve lifted the ex­po­sure and ramped up spe­cific colours to make this goldfinch look as eye-catch­ing as pos­si­ble. AF­TER

BE­FORE Left The orig­i­nal im­age is sharp but it’s a lit­tle flat, lacks con­trast and the colours could do with a lift.

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