Show your Bird Portraits

AlanF

Hands. Face. Space.
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,330
7,106
Critique
So, Buffleheads. (not you, the subject in the photos)

If you don't have these little ducks where you live you're missing out.

They're perpetually happy (look at the bill and tell me you don't see them smiling).

They're excellent swimmers.

They're also really hard (for me) to get a good picture of - the males anyway. Either I don't capture the colors in the head feathers adequately, or in the process of trying to capture the colors in the head feathers I blow out the highlights of that screaming white body.. Add to that the fact that the eyes are totally dark - almost black - and it always presents a challenge in any kind of decent light.

Three pictures - the first because of the colors in the head really stand out, the second because the reflection was really nice, and the third is of the hen in honor of the upcoming "season..."

Critique welcome.

Top Two - EOS-R / 100-400L II w/1.4X III @ 560mm / F8 / 1/800 / ISO 250

Bottom - 5D4 / 100-400L II w/1.4X III @ 560mm / F9 / 1/320 / ISO 800

View attachment 188959


View attachment 188960


View attachment 188961
Expose on the whites in RAW and bring up the shadows. It depends on the sensor how well this works.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,670
2,062
Alberta, Canada
So, Buffleheads. (not you, the subject in the photos)

If you don't have these little ducks where you live you're missing out.

They're perpetually happy (look at the bill and tell me you don't see them smiling).

They're excellent swimmers.

They're also really hard (for me) to get a good picture of - the males anyway. Either I don't capture the colors in the head feathers adequately, or in the process of trying to capture the colors in the head feathers I blow out the highlights of that screaming white body.. Add to that the fact that the eyes are totally dark - almost black - and it always presents a challenge in any kind of decent light.

Three pictures - the first because of the colors in the head really stand out, the second because the reflection was really nice, and the third is of the hen in honor of the upcoming "season..."

Critique welcome.

Top Two - EOS-R / 100-400L II w/1.4X III @ 560mm / F8 / 1/800 / ISO 250

Bottom - 5D4 / 100-400L II w/1.4X III @ 560mm / F9 / 1/320 / ISO 800

View attachment 188959


View attachment 188960


View attachment 188961
I, like you, am instantly drawn to the smile of these little ducks. In going over my 2013 shots, I have one family I can post here since the topic has come up. They typically have large families and so it's sometimes hard to get them all in the photo. Mama is always so proud.

Bufflehead family_s_4974.JPG


Jack
 

Bert63

What’s in da box?
CR Pro
Dec 3, 2017
928
2,012
I, like you, am instantly drawn to the smile of these little ducks. In going over my 2013 shots, I have one family I can post here since the topic has come up. They typically have large families and so it's sometimes hard to get them all in the photo. Mama is always so proud.

View attachment 188963

Jack
Amazing shot. I'd love to see something like this. Too much awesome for one photo...
 

Bert63

What’s in da box?
CR Pro
Dec 3, 2017
928
2,012
Critique

Expose on the whites in RAW and bring up the shadows. It depends on the sensor how well this works.

Speak slower. I am not understanding the words coming out of your mouth. :)

Are you saying underexpose based on the white highlights and then correct the exposure in post?
 

AlanF

Hands. Face. Space.
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,330
7,106
Speak slower. I am not understanding the words coming out of your mouth. :)

Are you saying underexpose based on the white highlights and then correct the exposure in post?
Yes. Underexpose and then raise the shadows. It will be better with your 5DIV or EOS-R than the 7DII as they have improved sensors. Avoid clipping the highlights in the original exposure.
 

Valvebounce

EOS R5
CR Pro
Apr 3, 2013
4,475
373
53
Isle of Wight
Hi Bert.
My understanding is to get the whites to the point just below blowing out or clipping on the raw, which is quite a lot “brighter“ (expose to the right) than the jpeg and then raise (lighten) the shadows in post processing.
There is much more latitude to a raw, you can recover more detail from the highlights and the shadows than you can from a jpeg.
Try for yourself, find a white item, stick it in front of a darker background and keep lightening the shot until the white is blown then play with the raw!

Cheers, Graham.

Speak slower. I am not understanding the words coming out of your mouth. :)

Are you saying underexpose based on the white highlights and then correct the exposure in post?
 

Bert63

What’s in da box?
CR Pro
Dec 3, 2017
928
2,012
Yes. Underexpose and then raise the shadows. It will be better with your 5DIV or EOS-R than the 7DII as they have improved sensors. Avoid clipping the highlights in the original exposure.
That's exactly the technique I try to use but very often I just fumble finger it and try to patch things back together later in post lol..

We see the Buffles in the spring and then again in the late fall so the opportunities to experiment with these specifically are pretty limited - not to mention that they are rarely close enough for my gear to give me an honest attempt at a decent shot. I need that 600mm + 1.4X that the guy using the new 1DX was using the other day.

It was a Youtube video showing Adam Jones doing a little birding with the 1DX and his short lens was the 200-400 F4 and when things got tough he threw on the 600mm. Rough life.

Thanks very much for the advice! It will be in my head next time I have a go at these little buggers.
 
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Bert63

What’s in da box?
CR Pro
Dec 3, 2017
928
2,012
Bufflehead ducks are also my favorites but challenging. Light direction and intensity are to be perfect to get the head color right.
The first one was taken on a cloudy day and in the second one sun was behind me.
Both with EOS-R.
View attachment 188967

View attachment 188968

Excellent shots. Grinning smug little buggers. I can hear the bottom one saying "yeah Bob, just out of reach for that paltry set up... You can see me, but you know you can't crop me."
 
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Bert63

What’s in da box?
CR Pro
Dec 3, 2017
928
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They are very common in my back yard, so to speak. I'll modify that; they used to be before the country trapped out the beavers and blew up the dams.:mad:

Jack

That's a shame. We get a bit of that around here too - the destruction of habitat. We're just down the street from you over here in western Washington.
 

Jack Douglas

CR for the Humour
Apr 10, 2013
6,670
2,062
Alberta, Canada
That's a shame. We get a bit of that around here too - the destruction of habitat. We're just down the street from you over here in western Washington.
I'll trade you locations ... at least temporarily. On second thought, considering the politics, maybe not.;)

From the good old days of 2013: King Tut and his wife. And the caretaker.
Cedar Waxwing_M_s_7568.JPG
Cedar Waxwing_F_s_7627.JPG
Crow_s_7622.JPG


Jack