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Just Wanting to be Heard

Just Wanting to be Heard
Photo Information
Copyright: John Plumb (JPlumb) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 618 W: 158 N: 896] (2904)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-03-18
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, NIKKOR AF-S 18-200mm F3.5-5.6 ED DX VR
Exposure: f/9.5, 1/90 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2007-03-18 21:39
Viewed: 4208
Points: 60
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Magpie-Lark is neither a Magpie, nor a Lark, though it is sometimes confused with the Australian Magpie. It is much smaller though (at 26-30 cm.). They are actually more closely related to Monarchs, Fantails and Drongos. The markings are quite distinctive for these birds with males being slightly different than females. The one in this shot is a female (with the all white face).

They are found throughout Australia, other than rainforests and the driest deserts. They are very common in urban areas. They are mostly ground dwelling, feeding on a variety of insects, larvae, earthworms and freshwater invertebrates.

They build an unusual mud nest. Both the male and female gather wet mud for this bowl-shaped nest they place in a branch. Both parents share the incubation duties and care for the three to five young. If conditions are favourable they may have more than one brood in a year.

Much of this from: http://www.amonline.net.au/factSheets/magpie_lark.htm

Workflow for this shot:
This bird was walking along this wall next to Iron Cove making a lot of noise so I just got ahead of it and waited for the shot.
The shot was taken in Raw
The NEF files were adjusted for highlights and shadows only
Work continued with the addition of levels (for white and black points)
Curves were used mainly for RGB adjustments
An overlay layer with 2% and 5% brushes was used for burning and dodging
File was saved as a tiff
For this posting the shot was cropped, image reduced, frame was attached, and it was sharpened with smart sharpen, then saved as a jpeg.

I have posted a side view of this lady in the workshop.

Finland_in_Eton, Adanac, Mariol, Argus, jhm, Necipp, greenpinkorange, Debz, Shoot_Score, jaycee, mlines, Perro, rousettus, uleko, cicindela, pierrefonds, dantor has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Shoot_Score: It Really is BlackJPlumb 1 03-19 20:04
To brillianttree: Different Angle on the HeadJPlumb 1 03-18 23:12
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-03-18 22:31]

Hello John,
Strange looking bird I haven't heard of, you have captured him with great color and details in a nice composition, thanks for sharing.

Hi John,
The sharpness, composition and DOF look good. I also like the behavior captured. My only suggestion would be to have the angle of the head not so straight on. At this angle I think the beak gets lost in the black and white making the photo less striking. TFS.

  • Great 
  • trinko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 78 N: 322] (4321)
  • [2007-03-18 23:05]

nice action capture and good use of DOF

Very interesting bird. Nice pose and colors.
Good idea to use the workshop for different pose.
Regards, Mario.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-03-19 2:18]

Hello John,
Fine capture of the Magpie Lark: sharp and well presented with interesting POV and complementary WS shot.
I shot this one in the Sydney Centennial Park, but as these two shot are better, I'm glad I didn't post them.
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • jhm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 893 W: 0 N: 507] (1853)
  • [2007-03-19 3:46]

Hello John,

I find both pictures very lovely, certainly your WS with the open beak, your gives also a very well note, sharpness and composition are very lovely, very well shot and nice framed.

Have a nice day,

Bella posa, ottimi colori, buono il contrasto tra B/N.

Voilà un oiseau qui à l'air bien vif !
Bonne journée

Hello John never seen one before. Captured very well nicely composed details look good. tfs rgds Necip.

hi john,
nice shot, very good pose, you have isolated the birs from the bg by opting shallow dof & it gives nice effect to the shot, sharpness is very good, nice natural colour tones,
well done,
tfs & regards

Haha hilirous bird.. and it's chirping makes it look even funnier. Good DOP control.

Hi John,
Strange looking bird you have captured with great color and details.


  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-03-19 9:04]

Hi John, what a stunning and unusual bird. A lovely capture of the bird in action strolling and calling. Very well focused with V good sharpnes. I love the black and white feather detail. Great composition.

Hello John,
This is a very nicely captured bird! The compo is outstanding with it being right in that edge. Great contrast to the blurred b/g. It looks like you did quite a bit of PP?
The open beak is not optimum, but hey, bird's gotta squawk! Is the inside really black? Tfs, Jay

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-03-19 12:04]

Hi John,

Wonderful shot of a bird that is new to me. Love the open beak, the colors, the details, the pose and the setting. And the eye!


  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-03-19 22:37]

Hello John

A bossy looking bird.I get a kick out of the pose.Very good capture with a crisp image and sharp details.Well composed and framed.TFS


Olá John

Uma foto onde o branco e preto das cores do pássaro realça de maneira
atraente. Uma bela imagem deste pássaro que psou muito bem para você.


Hello John,
I have no time this morning to read this note but I can say that it is a very unique picture! This bird is beautiful and you captured it with great skill. I really like this action, POV, details, exposure and composition. This is a great shot! Thanks,
PS, I love this title :-)

  • Great 
  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2007-03-21 23:20]

Hi John. Good clear capture of this black and white bird. Interesting to see squarking like you have it. Very clear and well cropped. You know how to set your camera well. TFS. Murray.

Hello John,
Hehehe, this is a funny image!
The bird relly stand out with the simple black and white patterns...
Well composed image, good colours and sharp fine details!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2007-05-28 1:26]

bonjour John,
bonne image, l'ouverture du bec est bien saisie pour suggérer le son. Une espèce que je n'ai jamais vu avant, c'est un mélange de pie et de mouette. Couleurs et netteté parfaites.


  • Great 
  • Perro Silver Star Critiquer [C: 41 W: 0 N: 59] (553)
  • [2007-05-29 22:58]

Hello John,
Nice capture of this bird.
I like the title. Loocking his beak open, I think I have heard him ;-)
I find both pictures very nice. I love the black and white feather details.
Composition, sharpness, point of view....excellent.
Very nice shot and well framed.
Thank you for sharing.
My best regards,

Hi John,
very nice capture. interesting looking and action. Focus, details, colors and background very nice. Information also useful. thanks for sharing
Best wishes

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-06-05 6:08]

Hello John,
I remember seeing this one that you've captured in a nice pose here. Great sharpness and a very fine composition. I didn't know they made a mud nest!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hi John!
Perfect title to this picture! I really belive that this one is heard very well ;>
Very nice composition and interesting object (I have never seen this species before). And even if the bird is "only" black and white, it is still a pretty one :)
TFS and have a nice week!

John, what a great shot, mouth pen and all. I have had very little success with white feathers of any kind so this is especailly good I think, it is sharp and colorful and wonderfully framed.

Great capture,


Hi John,

A nice image of the magpie-lark, the photo has a good composition, sharpness and nice colors. Thanks for sharing.


Nice capture of the squawker. Nice composition. Interesting POV. Good idea to post another image of the same in a WS. Interesting notes too. TFS.

John, a nice capture of this beautiful bird.River tern also do like this,mouth open and stay like this for while.

nice cpature, TFS Ori

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