While I was leading my bird photography workshop for Palm Beach Photographic Centre, I came across this Red-winged Blackbird. My group was at Green Cay Wetlands, Boynton Beach, Florida. The bird was very vocal and stood on the boardwalk railing for quite a long time. I took 133 images of this bird from various angles, and heights, trying to find the best background and trying to catch it with its mouth open. I liked this pose the best because it looks like the bird is watching me as it sings. Getting down to eye level with the bird created a great interaction but that caused me to include some of the sky. Since it was an overcast day with high clouds and a white sky I had to expose a bit dark, so I would not overexpose the sky, which caused the bird to come out too dark.
I wanted to fix both of these problems, the white sky and the underexposed bird, and I wanted to do it all within the raw processor. I use Lightroom, and it’s Develop module but the same controls are available in Photoshop with Adobe Camera Raw.
This is what I was after.
1/500 sec; f/8; ISO 800; 600mm; hand held
Watch the video to see how easy it was to make these changes.
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