The Great Journey in Photography

The Big Con

Screaming Bald Eagle At Moonridge Zoo

300mm f4.5 200iso 1/320sec

I think I can count on my hands the number of times I have made edits as drastic as in the photo above. It is just not worth that much time to me. I don’t think I would ever publish, sell, or enter one into a contest, so 99.9%of the time I just move on to another image. Every once in a while however, I see something that catches my eye and I decide to test my photoshop skills. As you can see from the original photo at the bottom this eagle has a closed eye. I have photographed this animal on numerous occasions and I know it is a rescue animal from the Northwest and it is physically impaired but I am not familiar with it having an eye injury. I have several hundred images of this eagle and the eye anomaly appears quite often but some times the eye is open and clear. Obviously an impairment, but to what extent I do not know.

Anyhow, I wanted to fix the eye and share with everyone exactly how I did it. First I imported the image into photoshop and made all my basic adjustments in Camera Raw then:

  1. Make a selection around the good eye with the lasso tool giving myself a bit of area around the eye also.
  2. Copy then paste the eye onto a new layer.
  3. Use edit menu to flip the item and move it into place on the other side of the bird.
  4. Lower the opacity of the layer to see that the new eye is properly placed and shaped. If not use the warp tool to get the right shape and perspective if needed.
  5. Increase opacity and adjust levels and exposure to match that side of the birds face.
  6. Create a layer mask and blend in the area surrounding the eye.
  7. Use the clone stamp tool to make the eye unique by changing spots and catch light slightly.

And that is it. Really only about 5 minutes work. I’m sure there are plenty of other ways to accomplish the same thing but this is how I did it in this image. Taking the eye from one side is not the best way to go unless you have a lot of symmetry going on. Hopefully you have a similar shot from the previous and following few seconds that has the eye open and in that case you would be far better off taking the eye from another image using the same steps as above.

Screaming Bald Eagle At Moonridge Zoo-2

I doubt that I will ever do anything with that image but it is still nice to have maybe use it for an illustration or some sort of logo where all I need is the shape. Truth be told I don’t really care whether anyone thinks I am a fraud but rather making those edits does not tell the story of that eagle as unpleasant as it may be.

Did I just say fraud! Mea copa. Lets move on.


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