Topaz Labs – Remask 3

Here is one of the wood stork in flight shots I grabbed the other day while out at a pond in Tanglewood for a couple of hours.  The stork itself looks to be in perfect focus and I really like the outstretched wings.  The problem with this shot is the very busy background which is one of park model homes in the park.  Masking out the original background and placing the stork on a more pleasing background seems to be the best way to salvage what is otherwise a great shot.  I’ve tried masking before in different versions of Photoshop and always with mixed results.  But there are plugins available to make masking a little easier.  One of my favorite groups of plugins are those offered by Topaz Labs.  ReMask 3 works amazingly well at separating the dark and light areas of the stork’s plumage from the dark background.  The shot below is from Topaz’s website and gives you an idea of the sort of thing I am trying to accomplish.

Screen Shot 2012-12-16 at 9.59.46 PMSo I watched an online video tutorial from Topaz and then gave Remasking 3 ago with my wood stork image. It only took a few minutes to get the hang of the plugin and before long I had lifted the wood stork from in front of the park model home.  All I had left to do was find a nice background to drop the stork into and then scale the stork so that it blends nicely into the background of the new image.  I chose one of my images from a nature preserve just down the street from Green Acre Park in Waterloo, ON.  There are some flaws in the mask but I’m pretty happy with this first attempt.

Wood Stork in Flight

All comments welcome.