Western Bluebird at Sunset, Point Reyes National Seashore

Photo of a western bluebird roosting near the Pierce Point Ranch buildings.

Western Bluebird

If I like a photo enough to print or post on the web one of the first things I do to get it ready for use is a color correction step to identify any color casts.  Actually, I do two steps. The first step neutralizes color casts in the blacks and whites and the second does that in the middle grays.  Photos taken during normal daylight hours don’t normally have much of a color cast.  However, there is usually some color cast and I almost always remove it.    Of course, the time around sunrise and sunset is another story.  I still do the color correction steps, but rarely remove the color cast caused by the sun being low in the horizon.   To get that color cast is why we get out there so early and stay out there so late.  This bluebird was photographed as the sun was disappearing below the horizon.  I have not removed the color cast in the above image.

I thought it would be interesting to show what this photo looks like after neutralizing the color cast caused by the setting sun.  Here’s the same photo as above, but with the color cast completely removed.  The photo now looks “more normal” because we usually see bluebirds in normal daylight.

Photo of a western bluebird roosting near the Pierce Point Ranch buildings.

Western Bluebird at sunset with complete removal of color cast caused by the setting sun.

There is a third photo below.  It looks more like the first photo, but it isn’t the exact same image.  After I did the color correction steps described above I toggled the black and white correction and the middle gray correction on and off and found that I preferred the look of the image with black and white color corrected, but with middle gray not corrected.  Note how the white breast compares in all three photos.  Obviously, correcting for middle gray had the most effect.  Personally, I think I prefer the third image.

Photo of a western bluebird roosting near the Pierce Point Ranch buildings.

Western bluebird at sunset with blacks and whites color corrected, but not middle gray.

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About Jim Coda

I am a nature photographer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. I specialize in photos of birds, mammals, and landscapes.
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4 Responses to Western Bluebird at Sunset, Point Reyes National Seashore

  1. I’d have to agree with you Jim, I prefer the third image.

  2. Charlotte Crackbon says:

    I see the western bluebird almost everyday in my feeder, and I think the middle picture looks
    pretty normal, maybe its because I like the blue color which is more previlent in the 2nd picture.

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