Monday, 15 August 2011

The Griffin

The griffin, griffon, or gryphon (Greek: γρύφων, grýphōn, or γρύπων, grýpōn, early form γρύψ, grýps; Latin: gryphus) is a legendary creature with the body of a lion and the head and wings of an eagle.

Source: Wikipedia.

The Griffin
Final version for Flickr

Ok, the above animal is not exactly a griffin :p, it's a griffon vulture and it's the latest image in my gallery.


In the image we can view a griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), one of the bigger birds of prey in Spain. It is flying through a canyon. The walls of the canyon can be viewed unsharpened at background.


This picture was taken in the Natural Park of "Las Hoces del Río Duratón", in Segovia (Spain). You can view more info about the place in my last post.


The griffon vulture is one of my favourite animals. Since I've been noticed about vultures in "Las Hoces del Río Duratón" I've wanted go to take photos. This picture was taken in my second tour by the park (view other pictures of this outdoor activity in La Ventana Salvaje).


In the photo appears a bird flying, so I've used a telephoto lens (300mm, I usually use this lens for wildlife because I want view the details in the animals as close as be possible). It's a dark object moving fast, so we need short exposure times (1/800s) and high ISOs (I used ISO 400).

The typical aperture that I use in these cases is f/7.1. It's not too much closed and It allows a short depth of field, with unsharpened backgrounds.

I've processed the image with qtpfsgui / Luminance HDR, and I've mixed the HDR version with the normal version in Gimp.


In this case the variations have a special relevance. I spent a lot of time trying choose the best version, but I'm not sure what is it.

Firstly, I show the full version: the final version was cropped. I thought the full version, that show more background area, makes the principal object could seem sharpest.

Full version: without cutting

Another version is the full HDR. The output file from Luminance HDR was good enough to be the "final version", without more processing.

HDR version: the output file of Luminance HDR

The first version was the picture that appeared in La Ventana Salvaje. It was not processed (only sharpness and tone curve were edited).

First version: the more natural version

Other desaturated versions were considered.

Black and White version

Semi-Black and White version

As I've said before: the election was no easy.


I like very much the griffon vultures, so I like very much this picture. In my opinion there are two criticizing things in this picture: the noise and the over-processing.

I like the sharpness of the foreground (against the background), the shooting angle, the composition (with a interesting background instead the typical sky), etc. But ISO 400 causes a lot of noise with my camera. By other hand, It's possible that I would have over-processed the image (abusing of HDR).


This time there are a lot of variations. You have each variation in a different shop:

  • deviantART: Here you can find the HDR Version (full resolution and without watermark).
  • 500px: Here you have the full version (full resolution but with watermark).

Remember that in deviantART you can buy a lot of products (greeting cards, mouse pads, postcards, puzzles, etc.).

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