Highland Cow - Deconstructed

Test

Test 2

This photograph of a Highland Cow on the banks of a river in Glen Coe, Scotland represents a bit of a cheat. I generally avoid taking elements from different photographs into a finished composition but in this case the cow was pasted in from a separate shot!

Highland Cow at dawn

I got up in the pitch dark on this morning in mid September 2009. The weather forecast promised a bright morning. This location is just off of the A82 in Glen Coe Scotland.

The photograph below left is the un-edited RAW file from the Nikon D3 with a cropped and brightened render on the right.

Un-edited RAW file from Nikon D3

Cropped to 6:3 ratio with shadows lightened and dust spots removed in Lightroom

The Highland cow was cut from the photograph below using Photoshop. The 'refine edge' tool helps with tricky edges such as fur. The position of the cow in the deep grass helped when this was cut and pasted. I was not happy with the sun in the distance and cloned the clouds around it to tone it down.

Overall I think the image works as a composition. I think the lighting on the cow is close enough to natural to work. I can't help thinking that given the pose and location this should be a majestic stag rather than a cow, but I don't have a suitable shot to lift one from :-)

Highland Cow - Source Image