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Author Topic: Show your Bird Portraits  (Read 1170290 times)

Jack Douglas

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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5745 on: June 08, 2014, 04:18:03 AM »
Now, in my little pond a stones throw from my house a male Bufflehead patiently waits for his mate to show up with their young.  He won't let me get close so this is a pretty heavy crop of 300 X2.

Jack
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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5745 on: June 08, 2014, 04:18:03 AM »

rpt

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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5746 on: June 08, 2014, 01:51:52 PM »
Nice shots Jack!

Click

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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5747 on: June 08, 2014, 01:54:03 PM »
Nice shots Jack!

+1 I especially like the Bufflehead.

bob118

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Nest of Robins
« Reply #5748 on: June 08, 2014, 03:37:41 PM »
I took these photos today June 8th, 2014 under my deck in my backyard. I was using my Canon 7D with a 300 MM f4 lens and a 1.4x tele convertor as well. Images were lighted with my 600EX wirelessly as I had it outside on a table at the same height as the nest was. I had to shoot from inside my back door in the cellar so that the mother would show up to feed them all. Enjoy them as I had a blast trying to get these shoots.
Bob
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Jack Douglas

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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5749 on: June 09, 2014, 02:08:21 AM »
Thanks Click and rpt.  Bob, wonderful to see the hungry mouths and the faithful mom!

Here's another of Mama Pileated that's nice enough to post large - gives a better impression of just what these guys are like!

Jack
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Click

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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5750 on: June 09, 2014, 08:45:59 PM »
Bird by a lake

Very nice. I really like this shot.

ERHP

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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5751 on: June 10, 2014, 10:25:47 AM »
As I was getting ready to head out of Lee Metcalf for the evening, some of the Magpie Jay fledglings were raising a ruckus.   

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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5751 on: June 10, 2014, 10:25:47 AM »

Jack Douglas

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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5752 on: June 10, 2014, 03:00:13 PM »
ERHP, very cute.  Is that the name of the bird??  Almost looks like a cross between the two birds I know!

This morning, finally a decent male Pileated shot.

Jack
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jrista

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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5753 on: June 10, 2014, 03:07:02 PM »
Your starting to get some really great shots, Jack! Your exposures are getting better as well, although I still recommend you boost your exposures more in-camera a bit. Your definitely under-exposing more than over-exposing...a bit more light will really help you bring out more contrast in your final results. One other recommendation...pull back just a bit. It's good that you can get close, but you want to have some negative space around your birds...when they are real tight in the frame, the birds tend to feel a little crowded.

jrista

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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5754 on: June 10, 2014, 03:07:38 PM »
As I was getting ready to head out of Lee Metcalf for the evening, some of the Magpie Jay fledglings were raising a ruckus.   



Very nice! Love that gaping birdmaw! :D "Gimme FOOOOD!"

jrista

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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5755 on: June 10, 2014, 03:32:28 PM »
So, finally got around to picking up a Canon 5D III. Way past due, been meaning to do it forever, just...gotta scrounge up the funds, you know? First it was the 600mm lens, then it was a crapload of astrophotography equipment (kind of unexpected, but I realized I'd been putting off astrophotography for YEARS, way longer than the 5D III, so I decided to just dive in head first).

I'm pretty happy to have the 5D III now, though. Now with almost five hours strait using the 5D III on the kinds of things I generally shoot (I'd only used it by borrowing another guys out in the field, or in stores before), I have to say...compared to the 7D, the 5D III is EFFORTLESS. It just works. No fuss, no hassles, no fiddling with the AF system or anything like that.

For all that people croon (and scream) about the IQ benefits of full-frame sensors, the SINGLE biggest and most immediate benefit I saw with the 5D III was focusing. It is BLAZING fast, locks in instantly, seems to intuitively just know what thing you want focused, even when there are potential obstructions (right out of the box, it was focusing on deer through foreground tree branches and other obstructions without any effort on my part), and it nails it over 90% of the time. I've noticed a little bit of jitter a couple times, but no where even remotely as bad as what I experienced with the 7D. There is the full-frame IQ benefit for sure as well. I haven't noticed it quite so much in my subjects themselves, however background boke is AMAZING. It used to be so noisy with the 7D...and difficult to clean up without greater measures than just the Lightroom NR tool. The 5D III has so little noise in the background, and it cleans up super well.

I do feel the frame rate difference. It sounds a lot slower, and feels a bit slower. I am quite certain I'll miss the 8fps of the 7D. I can also tell that unless I fill the frame more, there is a slight loss of resolution. A number of the birds I shot just ended up so small in the frame (I forgot to take my TCs with me as I never really used them with the 7D, and at the moment I have no idea where they are), and while they don't look bad when cropped, they definitely don't have quite the same detail. I think that will be OK, though...once I find my TCs, I think 840mm f/5.6 will become the sweet spot, and if I need it, 1200mm f/8 will completely close the magnification/resolution gap.

Most of my shots so far are ever so slightly out of focus due to not having run the camera through FoCal yet (I need to move my license over to the 5D III), but I don't think you'll be able to tell at these sizes. Anyway, here are some of my first bird shots.



Snowy Egret

Smallish wading bird, brilliant white with a black bill, yellow facial patch and yellow eyes. Tall, with long black legs and yellow feet.

The sequence of photos here is out of about 1500 I took (the first 1500 with the 5D III). I chose this particular sequence to share first, as it shows the ISO capabilities pretty well, ranging from ISO 400 to as high as ISO 6400. ISO 6400 on the 5D III is easily as good as ISO 1600 on the 7D, and the way the noise cleans up, it's maybe even as good as ISO 800 or somewhere between 800 and 1600.

This particular Egret was a skilled and prolific fisher. It must have caught a dozen or so fish wile I was photographing it. Some of them were so large I was surprised it managed to squirrel them down it's gullet! :P

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1/2000s @ f/4 ISO 400






1/160s @ f/7.1 ISO 640


1/500s @ f/9 ISO 800


1/125s @ f/8 ISO 1600


1/400s @ f/8 ISO 6400


^^--- OH HELL YEAH, BABY!! --^^

ISO 6400 kicks ass on this camera. SO much more color fidelity and way less noise. :D No way in hell could I have ever gotten that shot, that late after sunset, with the 7D (it was probably 15-20 minutes AFTER sunset, so quite dark in the grand scheme of things).

Jack Douglas

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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5756 on: June 10, 2014, 03:37:27 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions Jon.  Actually I was way over-exposed and cut back in raw.  A friend has been commenting that I'm usually overexposed and a little on the yellow side of the spectrum.  Unfortunately, I think that the monitor is playing a part in this.  I have two hooked up and they don't quite agree.

It's been lightly raining and is completely overcase and the sky is washed out in these shots.  Not sure exactly how to handle them.

Jack
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Jack Douglas

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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5757 on: June 10, 2014, 03:43:30 PM »
As I see it now here in the thread this last shot is overexposed - don't like it.

Jack
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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5757 on: June 10, 2014, 03:43:30 PM »

jrista

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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5758 on: June 10, 2014, 03:52:11 PM »
Thanks for the suggestions Jon.  Actually I was way over-exposed and cut back in raw.  A friend has been commenting that I'm usually overexposed and a little on the yellow side of the spectrum.  Unfortunately, I think that the monitor is playing a part in this.  I have two hooked up and they don't quite agree.

It's been lightly raining and is completely overcase and the sky is washed out in these shots.  Not sure exactly how to handle them.

Jack

Based on what I see there, if that is the original exposure, it isn't overexposed at all. Exposure in digital is not the same as with film. You want to shift the histogram as far to the right as possible, without clipping highlights. It is STANDARD course to pull the exposure back down in post. That's how you maximize your use of the camera's dynamic range, reduce noise to the minimum potential, etc.

I think your initial exposure there is good, actually quite ideal. Given that your already exposing well, the trick then would be learning how to stretch the exposure to improve contrast and enhance detail. You might be inclined to just reduce exposure by a stop and a half or so. Instead, reduce it by a stop, then pull down the shadows a little bit more, and push the highlights a bit. That will expand the tonal range to fill up the dynamic range of a 14-bit RAW file, improving contrast and bringing out detail.

jrista

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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5759 on: June 10, 2014, 03:53:55 PM »
As I see it now here in the thread this last shot is overexposed - don't like it.

Jack

I think it's perfect, honestly. :P Are you willing to share your RAW? I can do some processing in Lightroom, and share it back, just to show you how useful your exposure in the last image is.

BTW, when I mentioned underexposure, I was actually referring to Reply #5784 in this thread. It's still the woodpecker, but the exposure was a lot dimmer, contrast was lower. I noticed you posted this latest image before...that one actually looks pretty good, and does not actually look improperly exposed.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2014, 03:56:08 PM by jrista »

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Re: Show your Bird Portraits
« Reply #5759 on: June 10, 2014, 03:53:55 PM »