September 16, 2014, 05:29:58 AM

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Messages - Vern

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Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: September 15, 2014, 11:42:53 AM »
one in the shade - @1/400

Very nice. I love nuthatches, hilarious little birds.

agreed - their personality really shines through

Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: September 14, 2014, 03:14:19 PM »
hummer from today - not quite sharp on her eyes, but I liked the pose and setting.

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: September 14, 2014, 03:11:56 PM »
one in the shade - @1/400

Animal Kingdom / Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« on: September 14, 2014, 03:09:19 PM »
White Breasted Nuthatch from today. 5DMKIII, 600 II + 1.4X III, Better Beamer at -2, ISO 3200, 1/4000, f5.6.

Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: September 08, 2014, 09:09:02 AM »
A few hummers from today. 5DIII, 600 f4 II + 1.4X III, better beamer fill at -2, f8, ISO 1250.

Cool, I love when you can see their feet for some reason. Here's another Anna's.

tiny foot fetish? I actually like that too.  ;D

beautiful setting for your shot

Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: September 06, 2014, 05:39:25 PM »
A few hummers from today. 5DIII, 600 f4 II + 1.4X III, better beamer fill at -2, f8, ISO 1250.

Canon EF Prime Lenses / Re: Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM
« on: September 04, 2014, 10:58:04 AM »
Good for wildlife too, 5D II, f1.2, ISO 400, 1/1000

Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: September 03, 2014, 06:20:46 PM »
One Anna's and two antagonistic Rufous Hummingbirds

very nice capture of the competitive behavior - I haven't been lucky/skillful enough to get two in the frame and in focus…yet

HDR - High Dynamic Range / Re: My kind of HDR
« on: September 03, 2014, 01:45:16 PM »
One thing I do to tone down my HDR is to process the image 100% all out HDR.  Then take the the middle exposure image and process it normally (conservatively).  Then layer the 2 images in Photoshop, and se the top layer opacity to 50%.  Now use the opacity of the top image as a slider for how much HDR you want.  You could also use the erase tool to effect parts of the image, or add an adjustment layer.

Note your HDR image may be different in total pixel dimensions, as different RAW processors treat the edges differently.  If that is the car, select both layers, auto align and trim the edges.

Nice tip Tex. I use Photomatix for HDR, but it takes a lot of fiddling around to get the effect I want (my incompetence is a possible explanation). In the attached photo, I first took an HDR image of the scene (3 exp), then we posed in the scene and I combined the files and selected us for 'deghosting'. I happen to like the rendering - others are free to disagree. BTW - I enjoyed all the posted photos in this thread. Some appear 'natural' and others not, but they all were nicely composed and pleasing to my eyes. The fact is that a single exposure image does not actually replicate the human visual system in many settings, therefore HDR (however it is defined) can be more 'natural'. And, not all photos have to document our visual reality.

Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: September 02, 2014, 09:20:55 AM »
Vern, what a great collection you got there :)

Few shots from my front yard - no flash.

Nice capture of drinking behavior Dylan and thanks for the positive feedback from others. I sometimes shoot them w a multi-flash set-up to completely freeze the wings, but I think these feel more natural with a little blur. The fill-flash helps to bring out the colors in plumage, plus deal with any backlighting. Too bad the males were no where to be seen. I will try again once we have a cool day.

Animal Kingdom / Re: BIRD IN FLIGHT ONLY -- share your BIF photos here
« on: September 01, 2014, 03:55:25 PM »
Braved the heat to snap a few hummers. Kit = 5D III, 600 II + 1.4X III on a Gitzo tripod with RRS full gimbal, exposures - Fill-flash at -1 & 2/3, ISO 2500, f8.

Canon EF Zoom Lenses / Re: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
« on: August 27, 2014, 01:55:13 PM »
A couple taken last Dec in New Orleans on a 1Dx. Playing w DOF at 2.8.

Software & Accessories / Re: Camera bag for camping
« on: August 24, 2014, 05:30:00 PM »
Per others: if you are backpacking, get a great pack for that and put your camera gear in bags to go inside. I carry a Dana Design pack (big green one in front, pictured below) that fits like a glove. On this hike (round trip of Syncline loop at Islands in the Sky) we spent one night on the trail and I carried a 5DMKII, 70-200 2.8II, 16-35 II, 24 TS II, 300 2.8II, 1.4X and 2X converters + Gitzo tripod and ball head plus accessories. It was a dry camp, so everyone was loaded. One innovation (?) to carry my tripod and access my camera was to place a large "S"-hook above the right shoulder so I could hang the tripod with camera mounted and have the weight carried on my hips. I can snap quick pics w/o removing the tripod from the hook, or easily take it down w/o removing my pack. I've carried this set-up for up to 4 night outings when we had access to water good enough to filter. I also carried food for everyone, clothes etc. though I had my sons and a friend to help with the tents. This was a rough hike (2nd photo shows a downhill section that was the worst), but I felt fine with this gear b/c I had a great pack. I am 6'2" but only 160 lbs, so not a muscle-man (I'm far left in the 1st shot). Last shot is inside the Syncline crater - kind of reminded me of Mordor (pano w 24 TSII). I'd rather handle a heavy pack than not get the shot.

Lenses / Re: 200 f/2.0 vs 70-200 f/2.8 II
« on: August 24, 2014, 04:24:06 PM »
I have used both lenses for portraits but have never done a side-by-side comparison. You should take a look at the Digital Picture ( for the review of the 200 f2. The IQ of the two at their respective max. aperture is pretty much identical and Bryan has a comparison of some portraits at 2.0 and 2.8 with the 200 f2 that will give you a good idea of the relative background blur. I bought the 200 2.0 for indoor volleyball where the extra speed is critical to stop action. I use the 135 f2.0 as well. While a great lens, its IQ is a notch down from the 200. If I was only shooting portraits, the 70-200 2.8II would be fine and adding the 200 2.0 would not be necessary. However, if you are additionally interested in indoor sports, the 2.0 is wonderful - and also can be used for amazing portraits - as Lisa Holloway's work highlights. Are they $6K better than the 70-200 could render? Only you can decide.

Lenses / Re: 85mm f1/2L II and event photography?
« on: August 22, 2014, 11:41:42 AM »
Great topic!

Not only does the camera body make a difference, but personal taste for blur should be taken into account.

For example, Vern's lovely wedding shot above has too much blur for my taste.  I'd rather have a little less blur and be able to identify my friends/relatives in their wedding pix.  I think photographers may have gotten a bit carried away in seeking maximum blur.  Do clients really want that?  I think they are more concerned that we don't make them look fat.     BTW, I'm not a wedding photographer, so my opinion should not be given a lot of weight.  - pun intended :)

Personally, on my 5D3,  I prefer the 85 1.8 for its light weight and speedy autofocus.  In my recent side by side test, the images were quite similar.   But of course the 85 1.2 can create more blur if you shoot at 1.2.

All I need to do now is find a way to paint a red ring on my 1.8!

Thanks - I did also manage to focus a few shots on the subjects.  ;)The 1.8 is a very nice option and certainly much lighter than the 1.2 - although at 1.8, the IQ of the 1.2 is much better. Not sure if the bokeh at the same aperture would be equivalent either. I do shoot at 1.2, but the DOF is so shallow that getting more than one subject in the focal plane is a challenge.

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