Not a bird

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by PeterN, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. PeterN

    PeterN Guest

    PeterN, Jan 1, 2014
    #1
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  2. Very nice!
    I had to go to a site in northeast Houston Tuesday and there
    was a street vendor by the RR tracks selling "COON".
    So I had to go look and he had about 10 skinned and butchered
    racoons on ice ready for BBQ. No photos though since I doubt he
    had a Houston food vendor license and the police were there
    talking to him.
     
    Paul in Houston TX, Jan 1, 2014
    #2
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  3. PeterN

    PeterN Guest

    As in many things, lens selection is a compromise. the 200 by itself, is
    not long enough. The 80-400 is a sharp lens, but is not fast enough for
    the early morning light, or lack of it. Also, the focusing is not fast
    enough to capture most birds in flight.
    I freely admit that I cannot hand carry a 400mm. So I use a compromise.
    Thanks for your comments.

    In addition to my above comments, remember, My set up is for birds, many
    of which are completely or partiall white. Hence my EC. Without that I
    could not even get shots like this.

    <https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/97242118/20140101_sanibelbirds_3558.jpg>
     
    PeterN, Jan 1, 2014
    #3
  4. PeterN

    PeterN Guest

    Thank you for your comments.
     
    PeterN, Jan 1, 2014
    #4
  5. PeterN

    MC Guest

    Ditto.

    The type of images you want to create should firstly determine what
    equipment you use and, secondly, the methods you use to utilise said
    equipment. What you are currently doing, however, is trying to sqeeze
    your ideal image out of what little you have at your disposal (wrong
    equipment, questionable technique and the reliance of post production
    manipulation) rather than using the correct tools and methods for the
    job in the first place.
    I am not saying you will not occasionally produce the odd "lucky" image
    doing what you do but, more often than not, all you are doing is
    spending 99% of your time trying to justify your photography by trying
    to create something from nothing, using images which most other
    photographers would have discarded. The one good thing about digital
    is that it does not matter if you discard 100, 200 or more shots from a
    days shoot. In fact, you will probably learn more about your
    photography by understanding why an image should be discarded rather
    than why it should be kept.

    However, unless you start to use the right equipment and methods for
    your current projects, you should seriously rethink the type of
    photography and subject matter you want to pursue

    MC
     
    MC, Jan 2, 2014
    #5
  6. PeterN

    RichA Guest

    The shot looks gravely but it's ok. Kind of graphic in its presentation. Not bad for what appears to be a heavy crop.
     
    RichA, Jan 2, 2014
    #6
  7. PeterN

    PeterN Guest

    That is a very interesting discussion. I suspect that since I do my PP
    for printing, and web display, I should convert the profile, and then
    export. But, as I said in another thread, these images are getting rough
    processing with an uncalibrated 14" monitor.
     
    PeterN, Jan 2, 2014
    #7
  8. PeterN

    PeterN Guest

    I do not take your comments badly. Indeed, you are not wrong. Yes when I
    do something intentionally, I say so in no uncertain terms. what bothers
    me is that a lot appears to be related to exposure issues, particularly
    in high contrast light. I will not comment on the processing issues, as
    you and I have different tastes, and that has been discussed ad nauseum.

    Here are prior years captures.

    <https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/97242118/Don't Come Back.jpg>

    <https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/97242118/_Red Heron.jpg>
     
    PeterN, Jan 2, 2014
    #8
  9. PeterN

    PeterN Guest

    What do you think my exposure issue is?
    Could it be equipment, error, or user error.
    If the former, I either need to switch to my D300, or am screwed on this
    trip.
    If the latter, what would you suggest?
     
    PeterN, Jan 2, 2014
    #9
  10. PeterN

    Whiskers Guest

    Interesting thread. I'm not familiar with any of the kit being
    discussed; my own efforts at wildlife photography were pre-digital, with
    little or no automatic anything, and that obviously colours my ideas
    about how to do it. But I believe taking a wholly manual approach is
    the best way to learn what is possible, and which factors have what
    effect on the results. Only the photographer 'knows' what should be in
    focus or out of focus, and only the photographer 'knows' which details
    in the image 'should' get optimum exposure - and what that exposure is.
    Setting these things in advance, by anticipating where the subject will
    be and in what sort of light, makes it possible to frame and shoot
    instantly with no reliance at all on the electronics guessing what you
    want and calculating all the settings for you after you've squeezed the
    button.

    Through-the-lens manual focussing is the most accurate option when using
    long lenses, and through-the-lens metering can be useful too as long as
    you know exactly what is being metered and how to interpret the reading
    to get the result you're after - if your 'spot' covers the whole of the
    important part of the subject, it isn't a 'spot' it's in effect a basic
    reflected-light averaging meter for that subject; you still have to
    decide whether to adjust the reading to give more exposure for the dark
    bits or less to stop the bright bits from 'blowing'. This is tricky for
    digital sensors as they seem to be much less forgiving than film.
    Familiarity with your own kit is what counts here.

    Hand-holding a lens longer than (in 35mm camera terms) about 200mm is a
    waste of time (although modern anti-shake systems undoubtedly help, if
    they don't introduce a delay that makes choosing the moment to squeeze
    the button more difficult). From an unstable base such as a boat, all
    your difficulties are amplified.

    I found using a hand-held incident-light exposure meter to be the
    simplest approach; a hand-held 'spot' meter (with a tiny spot) is fine
    for static subjects, but takes too long for anything moving, and of
    course requires the user to decide where on the dark/light scale the
    chosen spot should be in the final image. Bracketing exposures (in
    small steps, ideally) takes care of minor light changes - and this is
    something electronic cameras are very good (and quick) at.

    For speed of action, I still prefer a range-finder camera to an SLR;
    that may seem eccentric for shooting wildlife but until you've tried
    it ... but I find SLRs difficult to focus, as my eyesight seems to lack
    the accuity required for assessing sharpness on the eye-level focussing
    screen. The genuine split-image from a real range-finder is much easier
    for me. Knowing in advance what distance to set also helps, of course!
    (Zoom lenses rarely have distance scales that are much use - another
    reason for using prime lenses).

    I haven't digitised my film images, otherwise I'd share some of my
    own efforts here. So feel free to ignore my unsubstantiated waffle ;))
     
    Whiskers, Jan 2, 2014
    #10
  11. PeterN

    Sandman Guest

    Surely that's Peter mangling his photos in posts, as usual? I'm sure the
    halo is from unsharp mask and then he's cranked up the contrast. I'm sure
    the original NEF looks quite allright.
    Yeah, why use TC on a D800... Strange.
     
    Sandman, Jan 2, 2014
    #11
  12. PeterN

    Sandman Guest

    Sandman, Jan 2, 2014
    #12
  13. PeterN

    PeterN Guest

    Well, the judges in several competitions decided otherwise. The first
    did fairly well, and the second was runner up in several others.
     
    PeterN, Jan 2, 2014
    #13
  14. PeterN

    PeterN Guest

    What equipment and methods do you suggest.
    my ears are open.
     
    PeterN, Jan 2, 2014
    #14
  15. PeterN

    Tony Cooper Guest


    Your current attitude puzzles me. Over time, in this newsgroup, you
    have shown yourself to be an excellent photographer on your own and a
    rational and tolerant critic of the output of others. Lately, though,
    you've been brutal and intolerant of Peter's submissions. Unfairly,
    in my opinion.

    Had I been a judge in that competition I would have rated that image
    highly for both the capture and the creative rendering. Remember, I'm
    in Florida where bird pictures are a dime a dozen in every
    competition, and they all begin to look alike after the first six or
    so flash up on the screen. Something different would intrigue me.

    If you look at the capture itself, it's a good'un. What seems to
    bother you is the rendering in that exaggerated spiky style. You're
    not giving credit to Peter for processing his images in the way *he*
    likes them to look. You're using the Leonard Standard for what looks
    good, and we don't all adhere to the Leonard Standard.

    I know I was highly critical of Android's image, but I don't feel I'm
    being hypocritical in saying you are going overboard. I commented on
    one image, and about the choice of scenes...not the presentation. I
    feel that someone with Android's photographic skills could easily come
    up with a more interesting test scene. I don't care what he does with
    it in post. That's personal taste.

    You've commented several times on Peter's use of an excessively high
    ISO setting. Well, that seems to be what Peter wants. The background
    in this shot adds to the interest in my view. The anomaly is that you
    get a bit cranky about my negative attitude about HDR and near-HDR,
    because you like that look, but don't recognize that what Peter's
    doing is exactly the same: exaggeration of the normal.

    If you took this photograph using your camera settings, and processed
    it to the Leonard Standard, it would be a technically strong, finely
    detailed, very OK photograph...but indistinguishable from the hundreds
    of other bird shots equally well done.

    Different is not necessarily bad.
     
    Tony Cooper, Jan 2, 2014
    #15
  16. PeterN

    PeterN Guest

    Tony, thank you for your understanding. I think that the duck's comments
    are meant to be constructive. As you accurately state, my style is
    somewhat different from other images. I try to abstract the emotion I
    feel when I take, or make an image. One of main the reasons I got the
    D800 is so that i can use the high ISO and its expanded capabilities.

    I also deliberately exaggerate some of the things I shoot. It is rare
    that I do a "realistic" image.

    <https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/97242118/swooper.jpg>

    <https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/97242118/night creature.jpg>

    <https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/97242118/babooninator.jpg>
     
    PeterN, Jan 2, 2014
    #16
  17. PeterN

    Tony Cooper Guest

    Those are interesting. That last one, the baboon, particularly.
     
    Tony Cooper, Jan 2, 2014
    #17
  18. PeterN

    Tony Cooper Guest

    Actually, no.
    I don't assume that technical perfection is what we should always go
    for in a photograph. I'm in the "Photography is art" camp, and think
    that art should arouse the senses, not just copy nature.

    If it's clear the photographer is going for the technically correct,
    then I'd rate that photograph accordingly. If it's clear - as in
    Peter's submission - that the photographer is going beyond technical
    correctness, I'd rate that photograph on a different scale.
    There's no "supposed to say". If you don't like it, call it that way.
    What I'm reacting more to is that you want him to change. I fully
    understand that you may not like something, but I don't go along with
    wanting the person who shoots what isn't liked to change to someone
    else's style.
    What I was critical of was Android's judgment in picking this scene
    and presenting it here as a test, not his skills. If I was
    questioning his skills, it would have been with comments about what
    wasn't in focus, what wasn't lighted properly, or the physical
    composition. I didn't bring up any "skill" factors, and didn't see
    any lack of skill in what was shot.
    If I thought for a minute a D800 would improve my photography, I'd be
    on B&H's website right now.
     
    Tony Cooper, Jan 3, 2014
    #18
  19. PeterN

    PeterN Guest

    If you have any constructive comments I am receptive.
    I am not asking whether you like or dislike my images.

    I am not as wealthy as you, and cannot afford a 500mm lens. I also
    cannot had carry a heavy lens, so I make do with what I can handle, and
    don't mock others.
     
    PeterN, Jan 3, 2014
    #19
  20. PeterN

    PeterN Guest

    What you are saying makes eminent sense. However, shake induced blurring
    at high shutter speeds isn't too much of an issue. There would be more
    of a delay in shooting moving wildlife using the exposure measurement
    system that you suggest. I ry to use my variation of your method when
    possible. With birds, when I meter for white birds, it's almost a
    guaranty that a gray or blue ones will show up. (and visa versa.)
    I I was doing portraits, then I would definitely do what you suggest.
    However, my goal is to create an impression of wildlife doing its thing.
    I am NOT doing a Nat Geo, or catalog image. Simply doing what I like to
    do. If you do not receive my impression, then I have failed to properly
    convey it. If I merly copy anothers style, I am not true to myslef, but
    whoring.
     
    PeterN, Jan 3, 2014
    #20
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