Yesterday at Northward Hill Nature Reserve we had this Little Egret who was quite contented to pose for photographs… the clicks of the camera didn’t bother him at all… and as we had the camera’s set to High Burst Mode… we have loads of photographs of this bird.
I wanted to create something different… and I knew that Photoshop would be used… so I did some of my processing in Lightroom before I exported my photo to Photoshop.
The first thing I did was Crop the photo using the Crop Tool in Lightroom. In the Basic Panel I played around with the Exposure, Highlights, Shadows, Blacks and Whites. I then added some Clarity and Vibrance before lowering the Saturation a tad.
In the Details Panel I added some Sharpening and Edge Masking. After that I did some Noise Reduction. And finally in the Lens Correction Panel I ticked the Remove Chromatic Aberration and Enable Lens Profile boxes. After that I then pressed the shortcut on PC Ctrl+E to send my photo into Photoshop.
Once in Photoshop, using the Spot Healing Brush and the Content-Aware setting I removed some of the grasses from the water… After that, I then added a New Layer and to this layer I added a Graduated Filter in two shades of pastel blue. I then changed the Blending Mode of this Layer to Color.
Using a Layer Mask and a very soft Brush I then painted over the bird to remove the Graduated Filter from the bird. When using my brush I used low opacity and flow settings and gradually built up mask…
My next task was to add some sharpening to the bird… To add this Sharpening I used Lumenzia and then set the radius to 4.0. After that my next task was to only add the Sharpening to the bird. So I used the shortcut of Ctrl+I to Invert the Mask and then using a soft Brush I just painted gently over the bird and the reflection. Then I saved my file and it exported itself back into Lightroom.
Once I was back into Lightroom I then added a couple of Radial Filters one to increase the Exposure where the bird’s legs went into the water and another to darken the area around the bird. After that using a Local Adjustment Brush and a very small increment in the Exposure I then added some brush strokes to the bird.
In the Details Panel I then did some more Sharpening, Masking and Luminance Smoothing. Then in the Effects Panel I added a small Vignette. The object of processing this photograph was to use mainly blue tones and white for the bird… and I quite like the effect I have created…
Here is a 12×8 version of the above photograph in a frame