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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Critique Corner 
Thread started 09 Jan 2011 (Sunday) 00:02
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I am in love with bird photography--critique me, please!

 
DesertBlooms
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Jan 09, 2011 00:02 |  #1

Today was my first opportunity to try some bird photography and I am hooked! All photos were shot on my Canon T1i/500D (which I received for Christmas) and the lens was a Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 55-250mm 1:4-5.6 IS.

Thanks in advance, I tend to be my own worst critic :confused: but can't wait to hear what others think! I've learned so much already just from lurking on this forum for the last couple of weeks!

These were all taken today at Floyd Lamb Park in Las Vegas, NV

1. Goose

IMAGE: http://lh4.ggpht.com/__5V00Q79m6c/TSkq-iFUZtI/AAAAAAAAANY/UxRg91Be3lw/s800/Goose.jpg
1/400
f/7.1
ISO 100

2. Albino Peacock
IMAGE: http://lh5.ggpht.com/__5V00Q79m6c/TSkquto1k8I/AAAAAAAAAM0/zmDlgdqaqlQ/s800/Albino_peacock1.jpg
1/400
f/5.6
ISO 160

3. Canadian Geese
IMAGE: http://lh6.ggpht.com/__5V00Q79m6c/TSkqvi8WFZI/AAAAAAAAANA/6NQTGC1NdMc/s800/Canadian_geese.jpg
1/400
f/5.6
ISO 125

4. Peacock
IMAGE: http://lh6.ggpht.com/__5V00Q79m6c/TSkrbvGGBTI/AAAAAAAAAN8/ic7EA4sGaaw/s800/Peacock1.jpg
1/400
f/5.6
ISO 200

5. Peacock profile
IMAGE: http://lh5.ggpht.com/__5V00Q79m6c/TSkrbJMjmlI/AAAAAAAAAN4/dVnvmjd-Zaw/s800/Peacock_closeup.jpg
1/400
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ISO 200

6. Mallard face-off
IMAGE: http://lh6.ggpht.com/__5V00Q79m6c/TSlNxPJ4hHI/AAAAAAAAAOM/Ie1c28d314w/s800/Mallard_fight.jpg
1/400
f/6.3
ISO 100



  
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tgamron
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Jan 09, 2011 00:26 |  #2

What kind of goose is that in number 1?


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DesertBlooms
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Jan 09, 2011 01:52 |  #3

Good question... After a bit of research, I found out it's a Swan Goose. Apparently, they're rare in their native habitat and are not native to the area but have been domesticated and released/escaped in other parts of the world.




  
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corkneyfonz
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Jan 09, 2011 14:03 |  #4

The first is nice but I would have just preferred the whole of the reflection to have been in the frame.


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Flo
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Jan 09, 2011 14:32 as a reply to  @ corkneyfonz's post |  #5

I think you did a fabulous job with the exposures!


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DesertBlooms
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Jan 09, 2011 15:14 |  #6

Thank you! I did do some PP, especially on #6, the ducks were originally pretty dark against the bg. This is the first camera I've owned which can shoot RAW and I'm loving the flexibility it gives me!




  
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macroimage
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Jan 09, 2011 15:26 |  #7

Your exposure, focus and depth of field are just right. The pictures look very good.

The mallards were probably a bit dark being in the shade and exposing for the bright backgraound.

With some birds like the mallards, you can use a touch of fill flash (low power) to lighten them just a bit and add some sheen to the feathers, a catchlight in the eye etc. A flash exposure compensation of -2 stops or so won't look obvious but will brighten them a bit. This can help compensate for non-optimal lighting often.

Some birds, like the mallards, don't seem to mind the flash but many small birds will disappear if you use a flash. Hunting birds probably shouldn't be flashed either. I saw a eagle fall out of a tree and get quite upset when I used a flash and startled it so maybe don't don't flash eagles either. Great blue herons will often fly away if you use a flash. And it just seems not nice to use a flash with owls given their very sensitive eyes. In those cases you would just have to wait for good lighting.


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Peano
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Jan 09, 2011 15:35 |  #8

DesertBlooms wrote in post #11602328 (external link)
Today was my first opportunity to try some bird photography and I am hooked!

If you want really good critiques on bird shots, try here  (external link)and here (external link).


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Hoiber
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Jan 09, 2011 16:17 |  #9

No 3 for me. like the colour tone and the DOF is also very good


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DesertBlooms
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Jan 10, 2011 10:47 |  #10

corkneyfonz wrote in post #11605063 (external link)
The first is nice but I would have just preferred the whole of the reflection to have been in the frame.

I agree with you there. Unfortunately he was close to shore and there were ugly branches floating in the water just below where I cropped.

macroimage wrote in post #11605496 (external link)
With some birds like the mallards, you can use a touch of fill flash (low power) to lighten them just a bit and add some sheen to the feathers, a catchlight in the eye etc. A flash exposure compensation of -2 stops or so won't look obvious but will brighten them a bit. This can help compensate for non-optimal lighting often.

Thanks for the tip! I just have the on-camera flash right now, do you think that would work? And, I'm kind of a noob, the flash exposure compensation will keep them from being too bright and washed out right? I haven't really tried that feature yet.

Peano wrote in post #11605542 (external link)
If you want really good critiques on bird shots, try here  (external link)and here (external link).

Hoiber wrote in post #11605747 (external link)
No 3 for me. like the colour tone and the DOF is also very good

Thank you both, I'm going to check out those links right now :)




  
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macroimage
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Jan 10, 2011 23:16 |  #11

Yes, the pop-up flash works great for fill light. You don't need much power or it will be too obvious.

Use the flash exposure compensation function on the camera to set the flash brightness. The camera meters the flash, then adds the compensation so if you set it for -2, you will get only 1/4 of the flash power that you would normally get. Also be aware that the camera weighs the selected focus point more heavily in flash exposure so make sure to put one your your subject.


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DesertBlooms
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Jan 11, 2011 00:08 |  #12

Awesome, thank you so much! I couldn't quite wrap my head around flash exposure compensation before but that makes perfect sense.




  
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seyak
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Jan 11, 2011 07:33 |  #13

DesertBlooms wrote in post #11615474 (external link)
Awesome, thank you so much! I couldn't quite wrap my head around flash exposure compensation before but that makes perfect sense.

I would use a CPL to tame some of the grass reflections in 3 and 5 and crop them a bit tighter. IMO they are bit distracting. Other than that they are great.


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I am in love with bird photography--critique me, please!
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