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When Water is Scarce

When Water is Scarce
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: 2008-10-28
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D200, Nikkor AF Micro 105 mm f/2.8
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/45 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Superb Birds [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-03-18 18:20
Viewed: 4567
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
When water is scarce smart birds like the Red Wattlebird (Anthochaera carunculata) get a drink (please see workshop).

This was shot on the same day as my previous post in the Botanical Gardens in Canberra. This bird obviously knew about this sprinkler and knew how to make use of it. As you can see from the exposure I used, there wasn’t a lot of light for this shot, so the depth of field is a little shallow. Still, I thought it was worth posting for this portrait and for the bird’s great antics.

Workflow for this shot was as follows:
The shoot – shot in Raw with Jpeg reference (105 mm ISO 400 f5.6 1/45)
NEF file adjusted for exposure and shadow, and vignetting
Levels – tweaked manually – slight
Curves - adjusted RGB for contrast – s-curve
Dodged and Burned with overlay layer (10% opacity white and black)
Added saturation layer +15 to master
Saved as a tiff
for this post cropped for position, resized, selected on and reduced noise in background, created a new layer, inversed selection, selectively sharpened, framed and saved as a jpeg

kaustubh10, angela926, rcrick, jusninasirun, Jamesp, Adanac, mlines, mvdisco, uleko, CeltickRanger, Ena, SkyF, dejo, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To waylim: Necessity is the mother of inventionJPlumb 1 03-28 01:09
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi John,

You've captured the 'intent' of this bird in its eyes! It keeps watch while it steals a drink from this sprinkler - very clever.
I heard the drought in Australia is quite bad. Hope the situation will improve soon.


  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-03-18 19:01]

Hi John,
Wonderful shot of this Red Wattlebird 'stealing' a drink. The workshop picture aptly portrays its technique and cleaverness. Very neat and sharp image with nice colours and skilful light control. I like its expressive eyes and the pose. Excellent POV and composition. Kudos.

Hello John,
Great shot, fantastic composition, pov and timing! excellent sharpness and depth of field, beautiful colors and nice light. The details are superb, well done!

Hi John,
Nice capture mate of this Red Wattlebird, love the POV, the detail is excellent, really good separation from the background, nice tight crop, well framed and composed, Cheers Rick :)

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2008-03-18 22:33]

That is a very interesting bird, John. I have never seen it before.
I like his red wattles.
It is cool the way you caught him with his feathers all fluffed up.
A great expression on his face, as well as in his body language,
crouched down possessively on the sprinkler.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-03-18 23:47]

Hi John

A great shot - good composition and POV with wonderful colour and detail. Well observed and captured.


Hello John. Reading through you notes, I can see how meticulous is your work with very skillful use of PP tools. With all the handicapped mentioned, I don't think I can bring out the image in this superb quality. I like the sharpness of the head area which is your focus here considering the flexibility offered by D200. The eye is so sharp and that's what make this as one of my choice of top quality first class image. Please allow me to add this to my personal theme. I like the pleasant looking frame too. Well done and best regards. Jusni

Hello John,

Very nice picture of this bird. Very good POV and focus. Very nice colours. Beautiful picture also in the WS. I think most of the birds are smart, at least they fight for life.
Well done,

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-03-19 5:26]

Hello John,
Both images are great, with excellent color and razor sharp details. Animals are so creative and intellent and this displays that well, fantastic work John.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-03-19 12:19]

Hello John,
Excellent sharp-detailed photo of this Red Wattlebird in a great pose. Beautiful light and natural colours. Great POV, BG and composition.

  • Great 
  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2008-03-19 15:01]

Hi John, A superb capture of the red wattlebird and the crop makes it very dramatic. The bird'seye is very clearly visible which seems to be very important in animal photography. A delight to see, suitable for the front page of a newspaper with a story on how to keep your lawn alive! TFS. Murray.

  • Great 
  • cako Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 485 W: 0 N: 772] (3395)
  • [2008-03-19 16:52]

Hi John
great composition
very good sharp and detail
well done.

Hello John,
Funny looking bird has found himself a special place to pose!
Excellent portrait qualities and good details in the plumage, and I like the cunning expression on his face...
The workshop is hilarious!!
Pablo -

This is a great shot, but I think I like the workshop a little better, thanks for posting that too. This one however gives us more detail on the look of this cute wattlebird. Perfect DOF, great sharpness and clarity, just right amount of saturation and contrast. the background color complement the natural color of this bird perfectly. Great eye contact with this smart little bird. I Love it.

When I was little I read a story of how this bird wanted to get a drink from a half full bottle but it couldn’t reach the water. It flew back and ford to put rocks in the bottle so the water would rise to the level where it could drink from it. Probably not true but an inspirational story.

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-03-20 20:08]

Hello John

Great capture with excellent sharpness and focus.
The plumage detail is exquisite and the wattle shows well.
Very well illuminated with lovely natural colours.
Great POV and DOF.
Excellent eye contact and catch light.


  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-03-21 8:40]

Hello John, great moment with this great bird looking for water. Well composed and shot with a very good technique, thanks!


Hi John
A well capture of this beautiful bird, Excellent POV. and details, great colors and light, good focus too, WEll DONE.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-04-01 4:12]

Hello John,
These are two fabulous and lovely sharp captures of the Red Wattlebird! You must have been very observant as you timed these shots very well. It's a beautiful bird, I love its plumage and both captures are very sharp showing great details and lovely colours. Brilliant work!
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-04-01 8:57]

Hi John,

I have never seen this beautifully plummaged bird before. Wonderful colors and fine details. He must be a smart one - I loved the workshop. Fantastic and rare pose on the sprinkler.


  • Great 
  • chiliu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1457 W: 0 N: 1176] (6526)
  • [2008-04-01 16:49]

Hi John,
Wonderful image! Great POV and good detail.

hello John

these are 2 great and in the same time funny close shots,
fine POV & framing, excellent DOF, i love the excellent density
of the colours, great sharpness and details, TFS


  • Great 
  • Ena Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 324 W: 61 N: 594] (2454)
  • [2008-04-02 6:42]

Hi John,
Both pics are very nice and interesting!
Nice work!

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2008-04-08 6:44]

Hi John,
amazing how those birds adapt to their surroundings.
This composition is wonderful, and the timing is great.
Just another look around and than the move. The workshop picture looks great also.
Wonderful sharp details and excellent color.

  • Great 
  • lizzie Gold Star Critiquer [C: 207 W: 0 N: 605] (2855)
  • [2008-04-09 10:52]

Hi John,

Nice shot, good focus giving great details in the plumage.
I also like your workshop, we really get the sense that the bird is thirsty!

Well done!


  • Great 
  • dejo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 344 W: 51 N: 520] (2242)
  • [2008-04-11 11:07]

Hello John,
nice work!
I like this pose, great focus!
details and composition are great too,

Hi John,

The red wattlebird on the water sprinkler seem to be impatient to get water or thinhing its all mine go away. The details and colors of the bird are clear and precise. The subject is well framed. have a nice day.


  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2008-04-28 5:10]

hello john
wonderful capture and beautiful species for me
POV, BG, light, colours, sharpness and details are great

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