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Inspiring and Supporting Photographers of Australian Birds

Southern Emu-wren

Southern Emu-wren (Image ID 47153)
Photographed byJim Schultz on Sun 26th Jul, 2020 and uploaded on Fri 16th Jul, 2021 .
Resolution1400x1089
Viewed32
ID47153
CommentSubmitted here is a MkIII version of this image, in a lower resolution, starting from scratch with a new Tif file from Nikon View. Then, I followed a different approach, working mostly on the clipped out image of the emu-wren itself. This allowed for the background to remain mainly untouched, and I think it’s now possible to see that this is in fact the skies as they were, rather than post processed halos. I did, at the end, put the image through Topaz DeNoise for blanket sharpening and noise control, so I did have to remove halos from around the circumference of the bird and some leaves, but I think that I avoided the ’halo-looking’ posterization artifacts present in Images MkI & MkII. I did this MkIII version for my own satisfaction, to learn if it were possible to get a better result by following a different method. Considering the 8 hours+ spent on the image, perhaps it was worth the effort, perhaps not.
Image Specific Narrative (♂ _BOZ5518 MkIII + 07.16.21BiL):
This was my 2nd time back to Yanchep National Park to photograph the Southern Emu-Wren, having found it the week before. This male had a favourite Parrot Bush that he seemed to defend against other species, such as silvereyes and small honeyeaters, so I set up in front of this, all covered up in my personal camouflage net. Infrequently, the male would venture up in the open for a look around, and during the day only twice did I manage to get a clear photo of him here, though I did get many captures of him in among the greenery of the bush. It must be said that this capture was taken on a very grey, overcast day and that the bird was quite underexposed, and so it took a lot of work to bring it up and separate the bird from the skies behind. Said skies I worked quite a bit on in Photoshop to get them ‘tamed’ and looking reasonably natural, once I had the correct colours in the bird (this is the beauty of the Nikon D850: It has a phenomenal ability to recover details in underexposed images!). I came back a 3rd and a 4th time for this male Emu-Wren, but on the 3rd occasion he stayed near the ground only, staying in among the low ground cover doing his patrol circle, and on the 4th time I did not see him at all, so I had to get the best out of my handful of captures from my two first meets. Incidentally, I never did spot an active nest or any females or youngsters; however, I did see a disused nest 1m up in a Grass Tree about 5m from the Parrot Bush, but this may well have belonged to another species of bush bird. Time of Capture 12:14.
EquipmentCamera & Equipment & Technique:
Nikon D850 using 1/500s at F4.5 & ISO-64 with Nikkor AF-S 500mm f4G ED VR lens & Camera rig support: Gitzo GT3543XLS Tripod, Dietmar Nill gimbal tripod head. Technique: Standing crouched, covered up in a camouflage net.
Post Production: Nikon ViewNX-i for Tif conversion; Adobe Photoshop Camera Raw/CC 2021 for resizing, a 133% crop, selective and general post-processing inclusive of removing halos; Topaz Pro plug-in DeNoise for mild blanket sharpening and moderate noise control. ‘Australian Bird Guide 2019’ for subspecies’ distribution, data and colour checks.
LocationYanchep National Park, Western Australia
Keywordsmale, adult
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