One Four Challenge – February Week One

I am again taking part in the fantastic photo editing project called One Four Challenge.  We select a photo to work on and explore various editing techniques, producing four different interpretations of our chosen image over four weeks.  The Challenge is hosted by Robyn Gosby at Captive Me who is doing a great job of keeping tabs of the growing number of participants.

This month’s challenge has come up so quickly!  I struggled with my choice of image, but in the end decided that I would really enjoy working on another bird – you know I love bird watching!  This time I have selected a colourful Chestnut Teal.  I photographed this little fellow in late November last year, at Lake Pertobe in Warrnambool, a country town in Victoria’s far southwest coast.

Normally I prepare the edits in advance, but this month I will go about it differently, because of time constraints and also to let ideas trickle through.   I will work one week at a time.  All I have decided at this stage is that I would like to explore techniques picked up from other challenge participants, such as filters, cropping, colour burn, etc.  Here is the original image, untouched.

Chesnyt Teal

Chestnut Teal – Original

Week One Edit

For this week’s process, I am keeping things simple. I like the marbling in the water in the original image so want to subtly enhance this effect and the play of light without detracting from the Chestnut Teal.  This is what I have done:

  • Cropped the original image to focus more tightly on the duck
  • Applied the elliptical marquee tool around the bird and inverted it to work on the water without altering the duck
  • Filled the surrounds with a gradient of greens and some blue.

Here is the result.  Your comments and suggestions are welcome as always.

Chestnut Teal - Water Gradient

Chestnut Teal – Water Gradient

Be sure to visit the One Four Challenge and check out other participants’ work by clicking here. There is a rich diversity of images and techniques used.

24 thoughts on “One Four Challenge – February Week One

  1. Hi Chris, I was hoping we’d see another bird from you 😃
    Looking forward to seeing what you do with this little guy this month and the directions you take.

  2. Definitely improved with the crop, Chris… Just one small suggestion, hope you don’t mind – I would probably cropped so the bird’s tail was a tiny bit closer to the left of the image, giving it a little more space to swim into on the right, to make it a little more off centre

    • Great suggestion. I will incorporate this in my next edits. I was conscious not to have the duck bang in the middle but I agree it could move a fraction more. Thanks Sue – helpful suggestion.

      • Oh, goodness that comment did make it….good, it looked as if it had disappeared and I didn’t have the energy to type it again. Glad you didn’t mind my suggestion.

  3. Clever use of the gradients in the water, I didn’t quite see it til I read the text. I think the water around the bird doesn’t quite tonally matchup, its got a smidge of brown in it, partly his reflection and partly your selection area I think 🙂

    We have birds very similar with the red eye but they are all really dark and very skittish and hard to capture.

    • Thanks Stacey- i kept the elliptical shape quite wide, so it would not muck up the reflection. I will try different things next week. Thanks for commenting😊

      • Reflections are a challenge that way – is there any way you could select the bird and separate from the water and then work on the water layer as a whole? Im still getting my head around these concepts myself!

      • Yes I probably could use the lasso tool around the duck to isolate it… I’ll play around with that in a future edit. Being a bit lazy after my first day back at work… so won’t work on it tonight!

      • OH NO! Not first day back at work! Goodness have a wine and lie down!

  4. I very much like this effect on water. This is very nice. I second comments about the cropping. Looking forward to seeing more!

    • Oh thanks Sue. It was a little windy on the day so ripples in the water and the trees’ reflections made it looked a little like malachite marbling! I gave intensified it in the post processing, but the basis is real.

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