July 28, 2014, 03:41:42 AM

Author Topic: What could I do better?  (Read 4725 times)

tntwit

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What could I do better?
« on: March 16, 2014, 03:59:15 PM »
Looking for constructive feedback.

These deer showed up this afternoon and this was about the best shot that I have.

Note:  I didn't crop because I didn't want to marginalize the image quality.

This was processed in Lightroom 3 from a Raw and small jpeg.  Standard Lightroom settings, export file size limit set to 6000K since without it the file size was 12 MB and too large for upload restrictions on CR.

Camera is a 60D with a 70-300 IS non L @ 300 mm.

1/1000, ISO 400, F8.0.

When I zoom in to 100%, the deer are soft and grainy.

No illusions, I know I am the weak link in my photos.  When I went out to take the pictures, I was anxious because I knew the first crunch of snow would upset them.  As soon as I opened the door they knew I was there, so I was in a hurry to make settings on the camera.  The metering was flipping out because of the bright snow.  I made the mistake of setting it on "one shot" thinking the deer wouldn't move, but when they ran off, I attempted multiple shots, all of which were out of focus.  That was one lesson.

But, the shot I uploaded was of the deer not moving.  The auto focus was on the center point.  I believe I focused on the nose and re-composed, but I cannot remember for sure. 

What I want to know, is what could I have done better, and how much might be attributed to the lens and body  as opposed to myself.   

I am thinking it might be out of focus, or is this as good as I can expect out of this lens or this body?

Would a 6D and or a 70-200L lens made a big difference? 

Ideally, I would have been on a tripod and manually focused, but I don't think the deer would have been patient enough.   8)



« Last Edit: March 16, 2014, 04:03:46 PM by tntwit »
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What could I do better?
« on: March 16, 2014, 03:59:15 PM »

sagittariansrock

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2014, 04:23:53 PM »
You shouldn't crop in any case because the framing looks just great!

It's hard to interpret too much from a jpeg, but it seems like the focus is behind the deer, maybe even in the bushes.
I forget how metering works on the 60D, but if you locked focus and exposure on the deer then it wouldn't have been underexposed in my opinion- so I think it was locked on the brighter shrubbery behind.
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Albi86

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2014, 05:57:08 PM »

It's hard to interpret too much from a jpeg, but it seems like the focus is behind the deer, maybe even in the bushes.


+1

I thought the same before even reading your comment.

Sure the AF was on One Shot?

With 1/1000s you don't really need a tripod. Much wildlife shooting, for the reason you mentioned, is off limits to tripods and other cumbersome accessories - not to mention manual focusing.

philmoz

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2014, 06:03:55 PM »
It doesn't look to bad to me - I think you can probably squeeze some more sharpness out of the deer. Experiment with the sharpening tools in LR. You might want to upgrade to LR 5 - there are some pretty significant improvements (you can download a 30 day trial).

To me the gray frame on the right is very distracting - it draws your eye because it is brighter than the deer.
Also the thing at the bottom left detracts from the image - again it draws you away from the main subject as you try to figure out what it is.
In my opinion it would be better to crop both of these out.

Next the white snow, being so bright, pulls you away from the deer. You will need to lighten the deer up quite a bit to compete with the snow. Darkening the snow may also help; but be careful not to make it look too drab.
Brightening the deer and adding a vignette around them might help draw the viewers focus better - again the tools in LR5 are much better for this (the radial filter tool is really useful).

Phil.

Sporgon

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2014, 08:38:48 PM »
If you're going to look at images from that particular lens at 50 - 100% I would recommend using f11 when at 200-300mm, and even then it's only critically sharp in the very centre.

sagittariansrock

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2014, 09:07:20 PM »
To me the gray frame on the right is very distracting - it draws your eye because it is brighter than the deer.
Also the thing at the bottom left detracts from the image - again it draws you away from the main subject as you try to figure out what it is.
In my opinion it would be better to crop both of these out.

True- I didn't notice these. Slight cropping is highly recommended.
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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2014, 09:08:21 PM »
Hi,

I would say that is about the same level as I get with the same combo. I've long blamed myself for getting mushy images above 200mm, but since trying other long telephotos, I've realized it is the 70-300 which makes the images soft and the out of focus objects nervous. I have a hard time understanding all the good reviews of that lens.
What a mess, my camera's sensor is full of massless particules that keep on trying to behave like waves!

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2014, 09:08:21 PM »

Ewinter

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2014, 09:12:12 PM »
I hear the Tamron 70-300 VC stomps the canon, but that's just anecdotal

sagittariansrock

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2014, 09:21:08 PM »
Here is a picture I took with the 70-300@300mm, ISO 1600, f/5.6 1/250s on a 50D (100% crop).
No post processing, converted directly to jpeg from RAW.
IMO, the lens is capable of sharper images than you got.


I hear the Tamron 70-300 VC stomps the canon, but that's just anecdotal

I had both, and while the Tammy is great for the silent motor and non-rotating front element, IQ is pretty similar on both. 'Stomp' is hardly what I'd use.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2014, 09:24:32 PM by sagittariansrock »
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abcde12345

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2014, 09:22:05 PM »
I definitely think that slight cropping to make the deers bigger will be better. Also, the colours seem dull. Some post-processing for that? Perhaps even raise the exposure of the deers slightly while reducing the surroundings.

pdirestajr

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2014, 09:28:17 PM »
I think the bigger problem is you were just unlucky with this opportunity. There is really nothing interesting about this image (besides it being a 2-headed deer), so it just reads as a "snapshot" type photo. I don't think it has anything to do with (1) you, (2) the camera or (3) the lens. The deer ran off before something worth shooting happened, and you couldn't direct them or pose them to your liking.

Sometimes there just isn't a shot.
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tntwit

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2014, 09:43:40 PM »
I didn't crop the first posting because I was trying to maintain image integrity.

Here is a cropped version with some quick processing.
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tntwit

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2014, 09:56:54 PM »
I think the bigger problem is you were just unlucky with this opportunity. There is really nothing interesting about this image (besides it being a 2-headed deer), so it just reads as a "snapshot" type photo. I don't think it has anything to do with (1) you, (2) the camera or (3) the lens. The deer ran off before something worth shooting happened, and you couldn't direct them or pose them to your liking.

Sometimes there just isn't a shot.

I won't disagree with that.

This wasn't intended to be impressive by any measure.  It was more "Hey, cool, deer in the backyard.  Let see what we can get picture wise because that's fun". 

It's always a good learning opportunity and in this case I was disappointed with the results sharpness wise and I wanted feedback as what areas to improve on. 

Some of the shots of the deer running off WOULD have been nice, but they were not in focus, so they weren't.

But again, just really playing with the camera and trying to learn and improve.

I hear the Tamron 70-300 VC stomps the canon, but that's just anecdotal

I've certainly heard the same, however, I bought this from Canon refurbished for $282 with tax on one of their 50% off sales back at the end of December.  I bought it to replace a 75-300 IS that I have read nothing good about (worst lens Canon ever made type of comments).  I never really liked it because it was very slow to focus, hunted constantly (which was really bad combined with how slow it was) and it always seemed soft.

I haven't had much chance to play with this new one yet, but it definitely focuses faster, and the stabilizer is supposed to be a stop better.  It still hunts and with this particular shot, I don't know if it is really any sharper.

But, I was able to sell of the old lens to KEH for $150, so the upgrade only cost $130, so I thought it was worth it for now.

Long run, the 70-200 F4 IS is on my list.  Many have argued that the non IS is a better deal than the 70-300 IS non L (at it's regular price of $500-600) and it may be, but I don't thing I would be happy without IS on a long lens, particularly with the crop factor (minimum shutter speed of 1/320).
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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2014, 09:56:54 PM »

tntwit

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2014, 10:07:04 PM »
Here is a picture I took with the 70-300@300mm, ISO 1600, f/5.6 1/250s on a 50D (100% crop).
No post processing, converted directly to jpeg from RAW.
IMO, the lens is capable of sharper images than you got.

Yes, I agree your shot looks sharper, particularly considering it is at ISO1600.

We'll see what I get on future opportunities.

I'm quite sure I'm part of the problem.
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RustyTheGeek

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2014, 11:41:12 PM »
I'll agree with everyone so far.  All good feedback and advice.  I think this is technically a good photo given the lens (70-300 which I used to own), the APS-C 60D (which I also own) and the circumstances.  I think this is a normal photo to expect.  If you want something more exceptional, it might take a better lens and definitely a better opportunity.

-  Upgrade to LR 5, you'll be glad you did.
-  Um, use the tripod for the landscapes.  A shutter of 1/1000 more than compensates for a little camera shake, esp if the lens has IS, which it does.
-  Don't sweat it.  Just learn from it and move on.  Remember,  a good picture is a good picture regardless of pixel peeping and zooming in looking for sharpness.  Concentrate on making a good picture and have fun!
Yes, but what would  surapon  say ??  :D

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Re: What could I do better?
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2014, 11:41:12 PM »