Adult Red-tailed Hawk and Photoshop

/, Birds, Centennial Valley, Montana, Red-tailed Hawks/Adult Red-tailed Hawk and Photoshop
Red-tailed Hawk in flight with wireRed-tailed Hawk adult in flight with wire removed in post processing

I just wanted to share this image of a Red-tailed Hawk adult that I photographed in the Centennial Valley of Montana before and after using Photoshop to remove some annoying wires. Typically I leave my images alone and don’t use Photoshop to remove features in the frames but I enjoyed this image so much I played around with removing the wires and the pole on the lower right hand side. Most of the time I merely crop, adjust levels and sharpen my subjects in Photoshop.

I wouldn’t license this Red-tailed Hawk image for print because it has been altered but I like the image without the wires. Someday I hope to get this pose without wires in the frame!



  1. Utahbooklover November 14, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    This great shot showing that beautiful red tail and your photoshop skill, should be celebrated for what it is, as long as you are honest about it.

  2. Merrill Ann Gonzales November 14, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Marvelous! I can just imagine how you felt actually being able to experience this magnificent bird. Many thanks,

  3. Sonja Ross November 14, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    It is a lovely moment of capture. It’s one of the times when it would be great to have a personal mini hovercraft to be able to get higher so that the wire wasn’t an issue!

  4. Chris Rohrer November 14, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Like you, I’ve got a must have shot of birds and the wires have been an issue for me as well. The bird is beautiful. I’ve been going over all of my birds and marking down ideal shots for each of them. Some I already have….others I need to do a better job.

  5. M. Firpi November 14, 2013 at 9:44 am

    I would license mine for print only when I’m sure my PS skills are competitive and mastered. And I’m getting there. The more I practice the better I get, because if Photoshopped images are going to get printed, for me they need to display mastered techniques. As for the truthfulness of the situation (how the image was originally seen), it all depends how I conceive the image; whether it’s documentary, or artistic. I strive to publish images that blend both documentary and artistic qualities, but it’s not easy at all, and requires more time. Just recently I had a copyright infringement issue with two images that were reposted on another blog. I’m trying to establish a dialog with the editor, but he’s not answering me. I understand your concern about the ‘truthfulness’ of the scene; yet I still think it’s your image; and if you cloned out the power lines well without showing cloning marks, then I don’t see why it shouldn’t be put up for print or sale. But I also respect you position on this matter.

  6. Montanagirl November 14, 2013 at 9:59 am

    It’s a fabulous photo! Much nicer without the wires.

  7. Sherry in MT November 14, 2013 at 8:51 am

    I know those darned hawks, just love to hang in the wires don’t they! Great shot though and I too try to get rid of wires if I can, otherwise I look at it this way – that is truly their habitat like it or not.

  8. Jeannie November 14, 2013 at 8:06 am

    IMHO, the image is much better without the distractions. One can purely focus on the bird

  9. Jerry Liguori November 14, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Its hard to draw the line on some aspects of photography…..does one simply crop an image to make it look better? photoshop a wire out? lighten an image if it is a tad dark? Or, does one untouch any image at all in any way and only accept what comes right out of the camera? It really is hard to draw an exact line

    I guess the same is true for photography ethics…to an extent. Thanks for the post Mia.

  10. Deb November 14, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Nice pic..both versions…and your integrity. There is so much “altered” stuff out there I don’t trust any images I see. Between photoshop and baiting, so many people are fooled into thinking the images they see are real and the photographers are better than they really are. You are the exception…keep it up.

  11. Patty Chadwick November 14, 2013 at 7:31 am

    Wonderful without line, awful with…looks like it’s going right through the bird…god bless photoshop…it enables us to see such great photos and allows us to eliminate ugly “noise”.

  12. Bob Bushell November 14, 2013 at 6:12 am

    A nice piece of work Mia.

  13. LaNelle November 14, 2013 at 6:08 am

    Love your work great shot just adds charm and nature at its best!

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