Get the best out of your shots

I seem to be on a roll this month with posts. I think it is because I have finished processing all my Hawaii shots and have got those online and I’m waiting for the next project! That is also giving me some time to look at some of the shots I have taken and trying to improve ones that are worthwhile. The first one could have been a great shot of a proud (and wild) cockerel overlooking his territory on Kauai:

Nice shot, but the cockerel only stood there for a few seconds, I had a wide angle lens on the camera and it was set to F11. So everything was in focus and that tree is so distracting! 

To try to minimize that, I decided to select the items in the foreground and the cockerel and then blur the background with less blur at the bottom of the frame and building up as we go “deeper”. In the time I wanted to spend on it, that was as far as I went and so I uploaded this:

Better – the cock is definitely separated now from the background.

After looking at my FineArtAmerica sales earlier in the week, I decided to submit more “arty” shots to that site. If you are interested in what I have done so far, here is my portfolio on Fine Art America. I thought this shot would look nice on a wall, but that tree still bothered me. The final step for me was to put effort into removing the tree (using a combination of the clone stamp to split the tree into more sections and then the content aware fill tool to remove those pieces. I took a shot that I had taken before the cockerel arrived to replace the sky where all the leaves of the tree used to be. My final “artistic” shot is now:

Much better! I think I would have preferred the cock to be further to the right, but there is a limit to what can be done!

So next time you get a grab shot and it isn’t just what you were looking for, try to improve it. I’m not saying this will become a best seller, but I like it!

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Nice image and a good discussion of how to maximize its use. I am sure you will see sales.

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