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Frame or Mounting Image (1 Viewer)

Ritika Shaikh

Well-known member
I am looking for some ideas on the best way to present the photo below for an upcoming public exhibit. This is the last image to do and would like to have one done in a nice frame/mat or another format. I normally don't do this only use my images digitally so any suggestions are most welcome. Of course there is not right or wrong way whatever is pleasing to my eye. It may be better to have the owl off centre slightly? Original image is 6000 x 4000 around 3.7mb out of a D7200. The largest size so far is an 8 x 10 image on core foam board and matted so having this one the largest may be the way to go. Thanks again and have a good week.

Cropping the image a bit would make it look more focused and amazing I guess.


I agree with the crop to put the owl on the left third ish. It makes such a difference.

I also had a wee play with it on my computer, brightened the image, adjusted the colours very slightly, added detail to the bird itself while masking out the rest of the image, and finally added a dark vignette. Vignettes are excellent for cutting out a little background clutter and focusing attention on your subject.


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PETE - Nikon Shooter
I think the central position works ok when the bird is looking looking directly into the camera, but again, this is personal.

Love the shot - all i did was work on the background, which is silightly distracting, and a bit busy.


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Active member
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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