This photo was taken at the pond next to our home in New Jersey. It’s always filled with geese, especially during migrations. The kids were running around in the grass (which was why I had the camera with me in the first place), and there were a few geese hanging out in the water. The sun was setting in the direction I was pointing the camera, so the reflection in the water was very strong. I snapped a few shots of the birds as the swam in front of us. Nothing major, nothing really planned or thought out — I just took a couple of pictures.

Three Geese

The original color photo (1) wasn’t too bad, but I wanted to see what I could do with black & white. I used the Adobe Photoshop CS3 black & white adjustment layer (2) set to a high contrast blue filter, which is -50% red, -50% yellow, -50% green, 150% cyan, 150% blue, and 150% magenta. There really wasn’t much of anything but red and yellow in there, so it really darkened the photo a lot. I liked the way it was starting to look because the ripples in the water were becoming more pronounced. So then I did a levels adjustment (3) where I brought the white point down to 85. The last step was a curves adjustment layer (4) to raise the highlights a bit more and make the water stand out. I tried sharpening, but it looked funny so I left it out of this one. I’m pretty happy with the end result and how the water has kind of a metallic appearance — and I was really surprised at how much contrast I was able to pull out of the ripples in the water.

Three Geese

Photo by Brian Auer
10/28/06 Flemington, NJ
Three Geese
Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D
Konica Minolta AF DT 18-200
300mm equiv * f/8.0 * 1/200s * ISO100

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