Give huggin a try. It is my goto perspective correction/pano stitcher tool. It takes a few minutes to figure out how to use it, but it is very powerful and very accurate and free! http://hugin.sourceforge.net
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USAF MC-130 Talon II
Whilst the 70-200 f/2.8 v2 is a magical lens on full frame, somehow, as someone else mentioned, it doesn't really gel on a crop body.
Forgot to mention this.... Turn IS off on your lens or it will become part of your soundtrack.... Or better yet, get an external mike, or take a phone, get a sound recording app, and let it sit by the people and mix it in at production time.
Thanks for all of the advice!!
I have the Rode videomic I keep on the shoe....I got a Rode stereo mic, if I had help I'd set that up too maybe...
On the other hand, I'm guessing this will mostly end up a montage with music over it...so, sound likely not that big a deal.
I'm meeting with the organizer this weekend to see what's exactly expected. this is a non-paying gig for charity.
On rental lenses....what would be the best to get?
85 f/1.2? 50 f/1.2?
I have the 85 f/1.8...so, should I got for renting the 50 f/1.5....
I was hoping since my 17-40mm, while being f/4...would still be usable at the wider angles...?
Thanks for all the advice so far.
Unless, 7D II has super battery - I just don't see 12fps. It will be slower than 1D X. 10fps is fast enough for outdoor sports camera
2. 51-61pts AF system
3. Solid body
4. Half stop better in high ISO over current crop cameras - useable at 1600ISO
It's already cheaper than the 5DII when it was at it's lowest. Can't see it dropping much lower than the $1500 zone. Am sure there will be some deals on ebay now and again. Personally I would buy it at $1200, that would make me sell my 5D2.
Anyways, have a look at how painters portray birds. Painters are interesting because the artist can pose and frame birds in any way imaginable - So they are free to choose the most aesthetically pleasing options. It is really interesting to ponder "Why did they choose to do that?". As one suggestion, John Audubon's Birds of America (http://www.lib.umich.edu/audubon-room/pictureit-rare-book-reader) is good to look at.
I'd say that is a good practice. If you are anything like me, you will know when your gear is holding you back. I also have the 100-400. I think the 7D is a fine camera, produces great IQ in most circumstances (which for my bird photography is usually in good to evening light, ISO 200 - 1600), and has great features that support bird photography. The 100-400, when properly tuned with AFMA, produces acceptably sharp images most of the time. It should be noted that at 400mm, f/7.1 tends to be the sharpest, while f/5.6 will be visibly soft. Before getting my new lens, I shot at f/7.1 almost exclusively, sometimes stopping down to f/8 and rarely opening up to f/6.3.
I would tune your lens for your copy of the 7D, and start shooting at f/7.1. You should see individual barbs of each feather (a feather is a central shaft, on either side of which is a vane of barbes, which are interconnected via barbules off each barb...you will RARELY see barbules in a photo, but in an acceptably sharp photo, you should see barbs.) There are three things that will soften the barbs of a birds feathers...distance too great, missfocus, bird motion or camera shake. Distance is usually the biggest problem early on. Depending on the type of bird, either learning the right behavior to exhibit that gets you close, or camouflaging yourself to hide in plain side, are was of solving that problem.
Sure there are many "better" lenses, but the one he has is capable of much higher quality output. Why not move forwards with what we have, the 100-400 and PS, than spend other peoples money when there are basic techniques we can suggest to improve our skills and output that would need work even if he had a 600 f4 IS MkII.
One of the most important things in bird photography, more so than composition IMO, is head angle. You want the bird to engage the viewer...do a HA where the bill is 3-4 degrees inward towards the viewer tends to be best. Parallel to the sensor is ok, too. More than 5-7 degrees, and your getting into more specialized territory...it can work, but often not as well as a slighter angle. Any angle outward, away from the viewer, and the photo quickly loses its appeal, with a few exceptions (i.e a parent feeding a chick, where the parent may be facing slightly away.)
Once you get HA down, then worry about composition. BTW, I should note that the HA in your posted photo is a good example of GOOD HA...so keep striving for that. I think as long as HA is good, explicitly following the "rules" of composition is less important (especially since they are guidelines, not rules, in the first place.)
Referring to the OP. Overall you did a great job on this. The birds beak is a little "hot" Bringing back the highlights would help this. Also, image looks a little soft. Nothing that some layer masking sharpening or a simple smart sharpen would not fix.