Fauxto Friday – Gregory Pecker

Thanks to the new placement of the bird feeder this year, I’ve had the opportunity to witness a lot of beautiful birds come and go. Even though they can see me through the glass door, they don’t seem to mind my camera lens. The longer I sit still, the closer they’ll come to the glass, giving me the chance to snap some very detailed pictures…like these shots of a House Finch and a Black-Capped Chickadee.

Black-Capped Chickadee

The downside to the placement of the feeder is that on sunny days, it’s completely lit up…very bright and harsh. On cloudy days, it’s very shadowy and dark. But it’s the only location close to a glass door or window for me to “hide” behind. There are some days when the light balance is just right, but those are rare. The rest of the time, I rely on my Fauxto Process.

Red-Bellied Woodpecker

I’m a big fan of To Kill a Mockingbird, so when this male red-bellied woodpecker came on the scene, I named him Gregory Pecker. 😊 Gregory’s photo was actually taken on one of those rare days with the “just right” lighting. His was a perfectly nice photo and didn’t really need any extra help. But there was something about it that felt too flat.This fellow deserved a little extra flair. Photoshop to the rescue!

I realize most people won’t spend the amount of time viewing my photos that I do, which is borderline obsessive. I pore over the details very closely. The first thing I noticed in this shot were a few random white spots that lead me to believe I have dust on my camera lens. (highly likely, considering how often I use my camera and switch out the lenses…) There were only a few and those were easily erased using the Clone Stamp. I also used this stamp to fill in the tiny bare spot above his eye with red feathers.

Next up was the Camera Raw Filter where I decreased shadows and clarity, increased highlights and adjusted the levels of red color (saturation increased, luminance decreased). The next part was where the “drama” comes in! Using Lighting Effects, I centered a soft, warm spotlight just outside the neck line to punch up the light around that area while adding dark vignetting around the edges. A few strokes of  light red and white across the feathers with a soft round brush in Soft Light mode, and voila! Fauxto Finish! 

Gregory Pecker