C&C What would you do with this image?

Cederic

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The landscape feels a bit 'generic rural' so my instincts were to ditch it and focus on the primary subjects.

An approximate 'rule of thirds' for the heads leaves this crop:
cropped-cow.jpg
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You could take a little more off the bottom but then the sky does impose a bit - perhaps better to add a little vignette at the corners to soften is, and then you can try the various 'warm treatment' approaches others have suggested.
 

mumu

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20190411_160049_cow-original_untitled-Edit.jpg
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Here's my take on it. I felt the green on the grass was a bit much so I "de-tuned" it. I also emphasized the texture & clarity on the cows, added a hint of sky, pushed the orange colour to a slightly darker hue, gave the RGB curve an S-curve for contrast, lowered the exposure a bit, and brought down the highlights a bit. Also lowered the black point on the cows a tiny bit and used a very light vignetting overall. Oh, and a crop, obviously.
 

retiredfromlife

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I think the background is the main problem, bit cluttered
But the pose is very good
The cropped shots improve the image a lot for me, and for an image like this I think a replacement sky would not be out of place. Not a dramatic sky, just a hint of wispy clouds
 

amit

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Shoot jpeg + raw , with the raw file you can get retrive the blue sky .
There is a very nice video of Robin Wong on post process , a very quick one -30 seconds -1 minute per photo , and the results are way better then any jpeg .
I bought capture 1 after this video.
 

susannemcom

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I really like the image. I also like the way the cow and calf are looking at you. I would, as others have already suggested, just crop a bit and do something with the warmth and contrast of the photo. Ask yourself what you were thinking or feeling as you snapped this photo. Your answer might lead you to your post processing destination.
Again, well done.

Thank you, this sounds like a good method to approaching post-processing. Great tip!

Shoot jpeg + raw , with the raw file you can get retrive the blue sky .
There is a very nice video of Robin Wong on post process , a very quick one -30 seconds -1 minute per photo , and the results are way better then any jpeg .
I bought capture 1 after this video.

I always shoot RAW (+ jpg) but doesn’t help when there’s no blue in the sky, just white. With this scene today, I wouldn’t have included the sky at all. I might try some sky replacement as someone suggested, but haven’t managed to make anything look natural with it so far. Could be worth trying again though.
And I’ll definitely check out that video by Robin Wong.
 
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Cropped and cloned in PS

2019-04-11-cows-ballymacshoneen-6bewerkt.jpg
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Sawdust

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Thank you! I'm glad to hear that!
I'm not a fan of sky replacements, although they could be handy for this sort of photos taken with a boring sky included. I've tried it with a few photos but never found one that looked natural (to the type of light/weather conditions etc). But I like the added contrast you (and others) added - and on the final version I've added more contrast and some dehaze, compared to the second image above.
Cows are such wonderful animals to photograph and I'm so glad to live in a farming area.
I may be stupid or living on another planet, but what is ACR?

I use the abbreviation "ACR" for Adobe Camera Raw, that is contained in Photoshop. You can use it, even with jpeg images, once they are in Photoshop, under the "filters" pop down menu.

I am with you on the sky replacement edits. However, in certain instances, to please myself in a photo edit, I am amazed at the latest Photoshop "sky replacement" filter. The default skies are not all that terrific, however, the ability to alter each "Sky" will let you shape the color, shape, size, and much more of each default sky. Adobe has done an amazing job of automatic selection of the sky area so good that you are not going to be able to tell if the sky has been altered, unless you see the original image. Just my two cents, of course.
 

Cederic

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Ah, I'm so jealous. You must live somewhere with nice skies.

Grey skies happen. The sky in this photograph is grey. I've taken a look in Lightroom, fiddled with the curve, boosted contrast and clarity, added vibrancy and saturation, all things that would bring out any detail that's hidden. There isn't any.

The RAW file possibly had some, but we don't have that available.

Even the opening line to one of the greatest books ever written recognised the issue.
"The sky above the port was the colour of television, tuned to a dead channel."
 

susannemcom

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Skies are grey quite often here...
Television was a great way to describe it!!
And thanks for letting me know about the ACR filter! I really like Camera RAW but didn't know how to use it with jpg and I find it so awkward having to import old jpgs into Lightroom. So this was great info - I'll definitely play around with that.
 
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