February 29th, 2012: On Golden Wing
A few weeks back when I drove up to British Columbia from Washington to photograph the Snowy Owls at Boundary Bay I had hopes of getting a few images of them in flight. For the most part though they were resting on driftwood stumps and would only fly occasionally for short distances when over zealous photographers tried to get too close to them. Near the end of the day though a few bald eagles entered the restricted air space causing a group of the owls to take to the air. By the time I could get the super telephoto off the tripod with a focus lock on, they were a ways off. On the way out I paused for a couple of shots of Mount Baker off in the distance. I pretty much figured the owl in-flights were so small that they weren’t really usable as stand alone bird images, but I was reluctant to just trash them. Later looking at the shot of the mountain it dawned on me to take a stab at compositing one of the owl images with it. The conventional cut & paste was pretty rudimentary and didn’t produce much of an acceptable result because of the haloing around the edges of the bird. Photoshop CS5 has some pretty cool edge detection features added to the refine edge tool that are extremely helpful for compositing and made the process fairly seamless while producing quite decent results. Take a look at this video by Adobe Evangelist Terry White if your interested.
Boundary Bay – Delta, BC
Canon 1D Mark III+ Canon EF 500/4L IS USM
Processed with Lightroom 3, Photomatix Pro, Photoshop CS5.
Feel free to comment below if you like what you see or have any other observations.
Thanks for stopping by,