Black-crowned Night-Heron, in Morro Bay, CA, July 11, 2005 

Black-crowned Night-Heron, in Morro Bay, CA, July 11, 2005 
Black-crowned Night-Heron, in Morro Bay, CA, July 11, 2005
(1/4  resolution 625 x 469 version is displayed above - 234 KB)
(  high-res version, 2498 x 1874, for best 1.33:1 printing okay at 16x12, 3.5 MB)

Black-crowned Night-Heron, in Morro Bay, CA, July 11, 2005
Black-crowned Night-Heron, in Morro Bay, CA, July 11, 2005
Note that the tail feathers appear longer in this manipulation - probably not realistic
(1/4  resolution 625 x 469 version is displayed above - 154 KB)

(
NEW  A "cleaned up" version without all the branches- high-res version, 2498 x 1874, for best 1.33:1 printing okay at 16x12, 2.4 MB)
 

Black-crowned Night-Heron, in Morro Bay, CA, July 11, 2005 <= Click thumbnail to enlarge
This is the original non-adjusted source of the above images, so that the reader can determine the amount of clipping, and contrast and levels enhancement, and sharpening done.

Black-crowned Night-Heron, in Morro Bay, CA, July 11, 2005 Black-crowned Night-Heron, in Morro Bay, CA, July 11, 2005 <= Click thumbnails to enlarge
Here are two alternative photos of the same Black-crowned Night-Heron, I think exactly as-shot and un-adjusted -- so the reader can see the degree of photo enhancement involved above.  You can see that Tony Krause was absolutely right when he said, regarding the removal of branches in the above image -- "Since the tail was originally blocked by the branches, we're not quite sure what it looked like; perhaps a bit shorter than the edited version?  In some species, the invented details (white outer tail feathers, length of tail) could be important identifiers."  I (Mike Baird) did not even realize it, but looking now at the other shots where the tail feathers are more visible, I indeed unintentionally created a "new species!"

Update 04 March 2008:  Greg Smith Slobird [at} aol d o t com, noted bird photographer and retired Coast Sector Superintendent of CA State Parks says "I think what you are looking at is not the tail, but the primaries on the wing. The tip of the wing (with the primaries) is tucked under the coverts and the middle section of the wing. The tail is almost non-existent on this bird."  Thanks Greg!

For those who delight in excessive image enhancement, see http://www.worth1000.com/ --
the top creative competition and Photoshop contest site on the web - contains some astounding Photoshop art!

Copyright 2005, 2006 Michael L. Baird - contact mike at mikebaird dot com or mike at bairdphotos dot comYou can use any picture posted on StealThisPicture.com for personal, non-profit, or non-commercial purpose, with attribution as follows: "Photo by Michael L. Baird."  You may not sell them or remove any copyright notice if contained within the picture, or publish them in a magazine or other commercial publication or on a Web site without written or e-mail permission from me.  NEW BairdPhotos.com now lists most of my photo sites...  See more of my photos at morro-bay.com/digitalchocolate (same as morro-bay.com/digitalchocolate), morro-bay.com including morro-bay.com/photos-maps/, BirdFest.org, MorroStrand.com and others including LuLu.com/mikebaird and many more at BirdsofMorroBay.com picasaweb.google.com/mikebaird/ and flickr.com/photos/mikebaird

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