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My Wildlife Photography - Criticism & Advice Needed!!

Discuss and share your wildlife photography, filming and equipment
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bert
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Re: Advice required to improve photo's

Unread post by bert » Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:06 pm

Noise isnt obvious
As said by others
the rules of the third
Try to select a auto focus to the right of your view finder.
To avoid the birds being smack in the middle
Otherwise nice and good pictures

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Re: Advice required to improve photo's

Unread post by Hibiscus » Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:11 pm

Keshesheh, forget about the Golden Mean, rule of thirds will do for now. :wink:

Flash: it should be High Speed Sync Mode, which is just, a tiny, tiny amount of flash, which can be used in combination with high shutter speeds. Which you'll usually want and need for birds. It brings out the colours of the feathers, especially in harsh light or when they are sitting in the shade (trees). You need to check your camera and/or flash manual for the settings. And don't be scared, it's not really an advanced technique, just try it.

Regarding the converter, hmm, I don't think it really matters..? But my feeling is that I rather would match it to the lens??? In general, the lens is much more important than the camera. The camera is just a body that records, on sensor or on film, it's really the quality of the lens that counts.

And regarding depth of field, well, yes and no. Yes, because of course f 2.8 at long length gives you more shutter speed without changing ISO settings (and at dusk/dawn can decide if the picture is sharp or not, excellent or average, usable or rubbish...) But no, because I just meant that you should try different depth of fields. Try for exampling blurring the background (by using the widest aperture you can) or getting just a part of the picture you want to draw attention to in focus (the eye for example). Or try to get a big depth of field (small aperture, meaning high aperture number) - and see the difference, see what you like, what you don't like - just play around.

Image editing again: to be honest, I don't do much either, I am not a big fan of "photoshopping" pictures. But with all the RAW files you should adjust/correct:

- levels
- saturation/vibrancy
- sharpening
- if necessary exposure.

But that's about it in my opinion...

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Re: Photos for Criticism

Unread post by Josh of the Bushveld » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:31 am

Scipio: one of the basic rules in portraiture and wildlife photography, from what I've read, is that one must make sure the subject's eye is in focus. From what I can see, the elephant's eye in your photo is not in focus.

If you are having focusing problems on your camera, there are several ways to remedy this, depending on your camera type. This includes (for the DSLR), focus lock, changing your focus point etc.

In your bird shot, some of the birds are not in focus. In my opinion this detracts from the image. The background is far enough away so that even if you increased your depth of focus to have all the birds in focus, the background would have been nicely blurred. (If you want more tips on how to increase depth of focus, lets start a new post somewhere.) Having said that, you may have been constrained by your shutter speed for this shot, wanting to capture the in-flight action.

My 2c worth :)
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Re: Photos for Criticism

Unread post by DuQues » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:48 pm

I messed about a little....
Lets first show what I made of it, then the why:
Image

Cropped more to the rule of thirds, so the photo 'reads' from left to right.
The parts under water suffer from bleaching due to the reflection of the clouds. So I upped the saturation of those bits.

Image
Just a crop... It mostly takes out the unwanted and distracting foreground. I left all the space available on the right and top as the that's the direction the bird is flying in. It wants that space, and creates a story. What does it see? Where is it going?

A photo should always tell a story, making the viewer wonder...
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bert
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Re: Photos for Criticism

Unread post by bert » Fri Nov 20, 2009 12:54 pm

Duco has a valid point imo
So does joshilewis
(but Scipio said that he did nothing on computer)
bit of photo editing can do wonders
The bird taking of is about the bird after the crop
The cropping can be done in photobucket for eg.
Photobucket has some nice tools for editing
Free and easy.
Crop is one of them

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Re: Photos for Criticism

Unread post by Scipio » Fri Nov 20, 2009 5:41 pm

I'll wait a while before posting morre pic's, Not that I want to as this is very informative. :thumbs_up:

Thanks guys, I am starting to get a picture, no pun intended. 8)

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Re: Photos for Criticism

Unread post by Switchback » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:04 pm

Here's a quick shot from last week close to the Tsitsikamma coast.

I would have liked more mid tones, but obviously a high contrast photo could not be avoided, what do you think?

Image
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Re: Photos for Criticism

Unread post by Switchback » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:17 pm

Yip, could have gone a bit lighter, but would have started to loose some detail in the splashes of white drops of water in the wave. I tried it now quickly, but I like the detail in the wave and opted to keep it.

If I could have a small reflector next to the bird reflecting some light back onto it, it would have been perfect... :doh:
KNP: 14 June: Skukuza Camping
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bert
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Re: Photos for Criticism

Unread post by bert » Fri Nov 20, 2009 8:26 pm

If only the head was a little bit higher
Or the wing a little bit lower
But you caught a great moment on camera and love your composition and captured a
perfect splash of water.

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Re: Photos for Criticism

Unread post by big5spotter » Fri Nov 20, 2009 9:53 pm

From our september trip.My 1ste trip since I have a DSLR and was on the second day of the trip.

Image

Nikon D80 with a Nikon 70-300.
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Re: Photos for Criticism

Unread post by oddesy » Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:24 am

Nice shot B5S :thumbs_up: :thumbs_up: , only thing i would have done different is to include the whole jaw instead of cutting it off and maybe a little sharpening but colour is great :clap:
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Re: Photos for Criticism

Unread post by DuQues » Sat Nov 21, 2009 12:07 pm

Great photo! 8)
Switchback wrote:If I could have a small reflector next to the bird reflecting some light back onto it, it would have been perfect... :doh:

And the bird would move, so you'd need to turn the reflector, and miss the shot.... ;)
In this case, grey(ish) weather, you might think of using flash? That puts the twinkle in the eye, and lightens up your wave. Even the build-in flash of most cameras will do just that bit.
You don't need a full flash, just a fill in one, say -2 stops...
Not posting much here anymore, but the photo's you can follow here There is plenty there.

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Re: Photos for Criticism

Unread post by Switchback » Sat Nov 21, 2009 2:20 pm

Yip, I have a SB900 and a SB600, but was actually going for a silhouette type shot, when the wave came, the bird turned and flapped it's wings after it got a lekker fright! :lol:

B5S, nice shot! Also would have included the jaw + more space to the right for him to "walk into". His eye is smack bam in the middle now, so would've cropped it to put the eye more to the top left corner. DOF very good! :thumbs_up:
KNP: 14 June: Skukuza Camping
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big5spotter
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Re: Photos for Criticism

Unread post by big5spotter » Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:36 pm

How about this one?

Image
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Re: Photos for Criticism

Unread post by Sprocky » Sun Nov 22, 2009 6:45 pm

Two quick comments.

Subject too central.
Dust bunny (dirt on sensor) above the bird close to the top edge.

Sorry for sounding harsh, but those are basics in the digital and wet film world.


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