Awake – Tui Portrait

In my Awake course I have been using a lot of my images of our Native NZ birds as subjects and this was an image I have wanted to create for a while but lacked the skills to do it.

The original image is not 100% sharp sadly – the perils of handholding a heavy body and long lest but I love the pose and the sunlight highlighting the colours on his chest so much I don’t really care.

The background was pretty awful so first I had to try and select him out of it which turned out to be not possible with my current skill level so I did a vague selection around him and then spent AGES AND AGES masking out the bits I didn’t want.  Making a major mistake and having to start again meant I got lots of practice at this, painting with a 2 pixel brush around the fine hairs and feathers!

Added some subtle grunge colour and texture as the background with a hint of text for extra interest.  Then added a black rectangle blended with hard light I think and a drop shadow for that floating effect.

Worked really hard on this and learned a lot, I like the very simple clean look to this, the action is going on with the gorgeous bird, I just needed to set him off properly 🙂

Here is the original image for comparison


Like it?  Don’t Like it?  Tell me what you think!

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About lensaddiction

Mad keen photographer figuring it out as she goes!
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15 Responses to Awake – Tui Portrait

  1. I love it, it reminds of the gorgeous illustrated drawings the early settlers you to put in the flora and fauna books, but with an edge to it. Great job

  2. leecleland says:

    When I see the original my admiration of your perserverence goes up by x10. Great work and it is interesting with this course that we don’t have to overload the canvas with stuff to learn a lot and have a great image at the end of it 🙂

    • lensaddiction says:

      Yes I wasn’t going to give up but I got tired of the fiddly stuff for sure. It came out looking better than I expected given my total lack of experience at this kind of thing ie extractions.

      Personally not a fan of the really busy fussy styles myself, still finding my way to what does work but having fun!

      • leecleland says:

        I’m not overly keen on the really fussy styles nor the really dark ones but to find what I DO like and then try and emulate it are two different things 🙂 And still having internet problems which I thought I’d solved, grrrrr

      • lensaddiction says:

        Yes I completely understand, I am still failing to pull off the watercolour effect I really want to do but with every attempt I get that extra bit closer 🙂

  3. I just love what you have done here. Your original was great – I am still working on my long zoom shots – lots of missing heads or feet. But your editing is great and really shows the Tui so well.

    • lensaddiction says:

      I was reasonably close to the bird, probably only 2-3m away and he posed quite nicely on the branch for me for several shots – it helps having a 70-200 so it gives me a useful reach

  4. Robyn G says:

    Really like what you’ve done here Stacey and the end result. It really highlights the bird. Your patience was worth it 😃😃

  5. Josie Brady says:

    It was a very good shot to start with, but your editing is excellent. It turned out beautifully.

  6. Pingback: Inspiration finds many forms | Julie Powell – Photographer & Graphic Artist

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