I've took the following picture today:enter image description here

On the pole sits a bird, I would like to make the bird a bit more obvious. Normaly I can do this with boosting color or contrast. But it doesn't really work that time.

I also tried to make the pole bigger in photoshop, but it looks strange.

What would you do to get the attention to the bird? Thank you

  • Are you using an 18-55 kit lens? – xiota Jan 14 at 10:17

Since you seem open to the idea of Photoshopping, I would work on the bird's background:

  1. Create a layer for the entire tree-lined background and houses. Boost it so you can see some minor details in the trees.

  2. Then clone-stamp out the houses directly behind the bird. The bird is competing for the viewer's attention with the houses behind it. So eliminate the competition.

  3. To further reduce the competition, consider applying a slight Gaussian filter over the tree-line background, and a slight bit more of a filter over the mountain and clouds, to simulate a tiny bit shallower depth of field. That will help isolate the foreground from the background.

However, you have to recognize that the bird is a small part of the foreground, not tonally distinct from the entire image. And most importantly, is not sharp — it's not the subject in most focus. Ultimately, if the bird was your intended subject of interest, Photoshop can't really fix fundamental composition issues. But if you're just trying to make the bird pop a little, I'd work on isolating it from the background.

  • Yeah, I know I failed a bit in compositing. Sadly I just noticed now in post. I will follow your advice and make it forest. Thank you! – Timothy Lukas H. Jan 13 at 20:33
  • 1
    Alternative thought: raise the water horizon until it’s over the bird. Mess with the water shading as necessary. – Hueco Jan 14 at 3:02

The bird takes up only about 2% of the frame. It is simply too small to serve as suitable foreground interest. I would have tried (and failed, as the bird flew away) to move a bit to the left, upwards, and closer (if possible). This would:

  • Increase the size of the bird in the frame.
  • Show the bird's head and neck more clearly.
  • Show a 3/4 view of the boat.
  • Position the bird and boat more diagonally from each other.
  • Raise the water level in the frame.

If the boat is unimportant, I would have zoomed in on the bird as much as possible. Combined with a large aperture, the the bird would stand out from the blurred background.

Also, everything looks kind of gray. Adding +1 EC might help.

  • Thank you, the boat is important, but I wanted to have the bird too. Sadly I stood on the pier, so I couldn't really move. I will try it next time :) – Timothy Lukas H. Jan 15 at 8:52

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