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Old Sunday 27th May 2018, 19:19   #26
ljclark
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Location: Omaha, Nebraska
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One thing that speaks against a strict interpretation of the "Rule of Thirds" (strict interpretation being that the interest point of the photo is at one of the four intersections) is that the owl's head is turned more than 90 degrees from the central axis of the body (pesky owls). The body angle would edge me towards rule of thirds, but with the straight-on eyes being dominant, there is little in the rest of the frame to offer visual balance -- one of the things that we like that keeps the eyes roaming the image.

Assuming your PP software shows Rule of Thirds
  1. Pull down on the upper edge of the frame (as you originally posted) so that the upper of the two 1/3 lines bisects the owl's eyes.
  2. Then bring in the left edge so that the left 1/3 line is right where the owl's left wing edge disappears behind the edge of the right wing.
That's a starting point for final cropping:
  • The left and and right background trees are more balance and become less visual elements and more framing elements.
  • Kinda difficult to get the classic S-curve, but you do get a nice arc from the head of the owl, down the back, and then a sweep to the lower right with the wire fence.
From there, you might want to make a test print on plain paper, and then lay down some pieces of heavy paper to frame that print in a way that you find pleasing and interesting.

Post Processing is a bit of a challenge because we'd like to see the texture in the white feathers. I don't know if this is from a RAW file or OOC JPEG, but there may be data in a RAW file that can be pulled out. (As a rule, starting with my first Nikon DSLRs, I under expose by 1/3 stop. Though less so these days, using Nikon DSLRs is like shooting slide film -- if you lose it in the highlights it is gone forever.)
  1. Levels need adjusting in all three channels.
  2. If that is done the white point and black point (Curves)seem pretty good, but the shape of the curve might be altered (keeping an eye out for white feather detail).
  3. After that fiddle around with brightness, contrast, and saturation. They can be done individually or with a plug-in line Nik Vivesa 2.
Framed under a dark matte (Black or very dark from a color pulled from the image).
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