Showcase Category 
Image Critique

I captured this Dunnock last week. I'm happy with the bird and the background, however, the branches in the foreground are too dominant. I'd appreciate some help to remove the distraction or tone it down, whatever you think works best.

Many thanks,


Critique Category 
Image by Hanne Siebers


Yes, I agree that it's a bit dominant, and it would be better to have more separation between the bird's rear and the branch. Not much you can do without major photoshop. One of the hard lessons I learned was when not to take an image - wait for a better position/perch.

Thank you for this one, Lizzie. I'm learning it the hard way, it takes time and patience and what stuns me over and over again; all the things I see in the image later, all the distractions that I was not aware of the time. Feedback like this is truly helpful, many thanks.

Hello, Hanne,

Since you already have a beautiful, sharp image of the dunnock (except for the tail), you may give it a try with Photoshop. Using the Spot Healing brush tool and the Patch tool is your best option. With trial and error, you might get a decent image after removing the branches closest to the bird. The main front branch is taking a lot of space, and it would require a PS expert to make it disappear, better than my trial anyway. I send you the end result by email as I don't see any mean to post it here.

Hello Frederic,

apologies for my late response to this one. You have proved it; your steps work very well and the end result is striking. Maybe a PS expert would try to remove it with a selection tool; I'm however no good at such tools. If we had an NNPS evening "solving problems with PS" this image might qualify. 

Many thanks, your steps are in my book! 

Hanne, here is a copy of my attempt to remove most of the distracting branches. 
Not perfect, but it is a photo worth trying to save.
The background bottom left, the bottom of the main branch and the top of the tail can be easily adjusted with a little more work.
I mostly used the tools listed in my previous comment, cropped your photo, and used Topaz Gigapixel to double its size after cropping.
I did not try to do anything about the blurred tail. Topaz Sharpen AI might help a little if you care to try it.

Many thanks again, Frederic! It looks so much better! I did use Topaz Denoise (excellent advice) and Sharpen AI; what's not sharp is not sharp ...
Topaz Gigapixel is something I'll try right away; I have the right image for this function.

Bravo, Frederic!