Cardinal Silhouette

I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to do any bird photography.  To begin with the season just isn’t right for there to be a lot of birds around, and I don’t really have a zoom lens (except when I borrowed my friend’s 75-300) for a weekend.  This was taken with that lens at 300mm.

I only got one shot then it flew off, and I was using evaluative metering, so it exposed for the sky and I ended up with a silhouette instead of a visible cardinal bird, but I kind of liked how the silhouette turned out, so I thought I’d share.

Canon T3i: ISO 100, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec

Here’s the original:

 

I wasn’t a fan of the chromatic aberration of the out of focus branches, so I tried it in black and white.

I thought this was a neat view, but overall I wanted that nice orange sky I had before, so I asked a friend who’s a graphic designer if he had any ideas on how to get rid of it.  He suggested that I just do a highlight split tone on the black and white of the original sky color.  It seemed like a solid idea, so here’s that result.

So the million dollar question, which one do you prefer?  I personally like the last one, but I’m very interested in hearing what others have to say.

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