A Sunny Sunbird

Mar 21, 2012


1. I would like feedback on the post-processing applied to this picture of a sunbird. I have posted two photos for comparison.

Photo #1 is with minimum post-processing (mainly levels and shadow/highlight adjustments).

Photo #2 is with lowered levels selectively applied to the pupil of the eye, Nik Color Efex "Sunlight" and "Vignette: Blur" filters, cloning away the end of a branch, and sharpening selectively applied to the sunbird.

2. The objective of the piece of work is to draw attention to the sunbird and highlighting the color variations in its plumage.

The processing on the eye aims to increase perceived sharpness since we tend to focus our attention on eyes.
The Nik filters and cloning aim to even out and hide what I deem to be unattractive backlighting on the leaves on the right half of the photo.
I hoped also to help draw the viewer's attention to the bird through sharpening the bird and blurring the rest of the photo.
As for increasing the yellows and color saturation, well, it is a SUNbird after all...

3. The photo was taken in the late afternoon with fairly strong sunlight. It was a new 300mm lens and I did not have a polarizer for it, else I would have used it. I was hiding behind some bushes waiting for the sunbird to fly to the flowers in front of me, while battling the bugs feeding on me.

4. This was my first attempt at extensive post-processing. I think that it did achieve some of my aims like making the sunbird stand out more from the surrounding and fixing the backlight concerns. However, it may have introduced distractions and may be on the borderline of being "over-processed" (neither a clear abstract work of art nor staying true to perceived reality).


Senior Member
Dec 16, 2010
In a mobile cage
Copy and pasted from the guideline of this section: :sweatsm:


A short writeup is compulsory for every picture posted for critique.

Pictures posted without a short writeup and does not include any or all of the following will be deleted without notice:-

1. In which area is critique or feedback to be given?
2. What were you hoping to achieve with this image?
3. Under what circumstance was the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)
4. Thread-starter's personal thoughts about the image.

Also, please only post ONE picture per thread and allow at least ONE week before posting another thread - this is to allow adequate feedback on images posted for critique.
That said, I like this picture a lot. It has a lot of potential, which can be seen in the second picture. It's really lovely after you processed it! The greens could be a little greener though. Right now it's a little too bright (for me).. But still lovely!

Thanks for sharing!!

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Senior Member
Mar 19, 2012
i preferred the first minimal processed image.

The bird looked brighter relative to the background and leaves, hence more focus on the lovely capture, although if the bird were even slightly brighter, that would be excellent.


Senior Member
Jul 8, 2007
Prefer the 1st photo, the expo on the bird is more accurate. As you mention "The objective of the piece of work is to draw attention to the sunbird and highlighting the color variations in its plumage ", in this case it will be better to crop away 50% of the right side of the photo to meet your requirement.


Staff member
Sep 1, 2006
Actually I like the second photo. The first one look a bit messy (in my opinion). The second one bring out the sunbird more. Overall it is a very very good attempt. Keep up the good work.

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