Hello again and welcome to my blog. Today I'm going to discuss what to do when you can't get a well composed shot on site and what to consider before you take that shot.
It's not always possible to get exactly the image you want, for various reasons. Lighting conditions is one of the most common reasons but I'm not going to deal with that now. Perhaps in a later blog. Sometimes, it's not possible to get close enough or to avoid having an obstruction in the image, a pole on the left side, for example.
The first thing you must do is frame the image you want, in your mind's eye. Then figure out the best angle from which to take it. These are two steps you should be doing before every image you take but it's especially important in this situation.
Things to watch out for are how the light is falling on your subject, what the background is like, will there still be unwanted objects in the image and does it show your subject from a good angle.
Now position yourself so that you are taking the shot from the angle required. The image above was taken with a 450 mm lens but the plover is still small in the image. I had already moved so that the background wouldn't compete for attention.
I had been over to my right, in line with the bank she is standing on. This would have given me a very complicated background and the bird would have been lost in it. In the low light conditions, the brown of her feathers would have blended in with the many shadows in the bushes that would have formed the background.
The bird had seen me moving and was watching me nervously. I could have moved closer but the possibility was that she would fly away before I got my shot. As it was, she flew away almost as soon as I took this one.
In my mind's eye, the area framed in red was the image I hoped to get. However, as explained above, I couldn't get close enough for that. However, by positioning myself correctly, I got the image, within a larger one and just had to crop to size in Photoshop.
The final image may now be on the small size but it can be resized, also in Photoshop. Open Image>Image Size or press the short keys Alt+Ctrl+I, a dialogue box opens. In this box, select Per Cent. If you are using an older version of PS, this will be in the top section of the box, where you will have the option of selecting Pixels or Per Cent. In CC, the sections of the box have been combined and there is a drop down menu, in line with width and height, where you select Per Cent.
It's important that you don't increase the size of the image in one step, unless you are increasing it by a very small amount. It is recommended that you increase it in size by no more than 10% at a time. So, when you've selected Per Cent, the number in the digits box will be 100. Change this to 110 and press OK. Repeat this step until you have it at the size you want or a little larger.
It's possible also to set up an Action for this, it's much quicker. Click Alt+F9 to select your actions panel. At the bottom of the panel there are a number of symbols. One looks like a page, with the corner turned down, click on this. If you're unsure, hold your cursor over it for a couple of seconds and the description will pop up.
A new dialogue box pops up. Here you can name the Action, I've named mine "10%". It's best to choose something obvious. You can also select a Function Key to launch the action. Doing this makes like even easier. I've select F10 but you can select anyone of them. If it's in use already, you may need to combine the Shift or Ctrl key with the Function Key or both. Press Record and go through the action once. Then at the bottom of the action panel, click the square button and this stops the recording. Next time you want to use the Action, click the Function Key you've selected for it and it happens automatically. This is time saving when you have to repeat the action a few times.