Urban Goose (Montreal)

I live not far from a beautiful park on the Saint Lawrence River bench. I visit the park on a pretty much daily basis. This is where I go for a run or family picnic, and it became my testing ground for new photo equipment.

About eight years ago, early in the spring, I spotted two big geese in the park, and they made a home there for the rest of the year. The following season they returned and brought with them six or seven friends. Three years later, there were around 20 birds, and the seasonal population of grey geese kept growing every year. Our local park became a nesting ground for more than a hundred birds. They became a local attraction and the best indicator of seasonal change.

When they fly away in the late fall, you can be sure that the warm days are over. And when they appear in the spring, it indicates that winter is not coming back.

The featured photo illustrates my first encounter with geese this year. Spring is officially here!

Urban Goose (Montreal) 1
Montreal. Canada
Loc: 45.431538, -73.688518


The challenge was the goose was moving rather fast, and I did not have much time to compose the shot I wanted. I ended up with a few shots I did not like. So, I had to cheat. I loaded the photo in Photoshop and flipped the top part, where the reflections are, to achieve a more balanced composition (see unprocessed version below).

Camera: Fujifilm XT2
Lens: Fujinon 18-135mm
Focal Length: 47mm
Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority (A)
ISO: 200
Aperture: F11
Shutter Speed: 1/250s
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442

Editing & Processing

It was a single RAW processing workflow. 

Lightroom (50%)

First, I used the Crop Overlay to straighten up the photograph. I also changed the aspect ratio from 3 x 2 to 16 x 9, and I cropped out the top of the frame, keeping the reflections only. 

I used the process I outlined in the article: How to Straighten a Photo in Lightroom.

Next, I applied the Point Lobos preset from my Landscape Preset Collection as the base for Lightroom Rapid Editing. Then I used TOOLKIT to boost the Contrast and the Clarity.

The Lightroom Preset Editing Formula: Point Lobos (10, 13, 20)

Photoshop (50%)

In Photoshop, I duplicated the background layer, flipped the copy horizontally, and used the transparency masks to blend the 2 layers together. 

Plugins: DeNoise (noise reduction), Topaz Detail (local contrast boost).

Total Time: 20min

Before & After Transformation

by Viktor Elizarov
I am a travel photographer and educator from Montreal, Canada, and a founder of PhotoTraces. I travel around the world and share my experiences here. Feel free to check my Travel Portfolio and download Free Lightroom Presets.

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