Westlock County, AB, Canada
March 6, 2011
Earlier, the original photo (see below and click to enlarge if desired) had a blurred out tree sticking out of the Moose's head. I love the shot but not too fond of that tree, and I didn't have the time to do some editing. With a bit of time tonight and with Dennis D's encouragement (that the photo would be better without that tree), I removed that hideous distractor out of the photo via Photoshop. I also added some contrast to the eye to make it stand out more.
A list of techniques applied here:
- Clone Stamp, Spot Healing Tool, and Healing Brush Tool to remove the tree and reconstruct the edges of the ears that are next to the blurred out tree.
- A Brightness/Contrast layer mask on the eye.
- Selective desaturatiion on Yellow and Green colours using Hue/Saturation layer mask.
- Selective sharpening on the Moose's fur strands using Unsharp Mask. (Note: The original shot was fairly sharp itself, even at the widest aperture of my SigmOS lens. Further sharpening will make the sharp fur details standout more.)
Again, I'd like to point out that I don't find cloning out distractors to be unethical in nature photography as long as one doesn't modify the intended subject, move the subject to a completely new background, and/or add enhancers to make the subject better. Another word, minor fixes only! Tough call for landscape photography because the whole scene itself is the subject. Nonetheless, nowadays, I try to capture my subjects correctly then do minimal adjustments instead of wasting time cloning this cloning that, which is not really photography anymore.