Show your Bird Portraits

Jul 12, 2013
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450
With a nod to Genesis and Supper's Ready (a 1972 release):

"And it's hey babe your supper's waiting for you
Hey my baby, don't you know our love is true?

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...Carolina Wrens
 

ERHP

EOS RP
CR Pro
May 9, 2013
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San Diego
erhp.smugmug.com
LOL. Years ago I spent the time to sometimes edit the subject more than the background in an effort to bring out the detail I thought should be there. Now, because I'm posting 20MP images but only viewable at 4K, I find that on some browsers my images do look a bit different, possibly oversharpened due to downsampling. Editing is simply a matter of possibly minor cropping after running through ACR, followed by a resize to 18" x 12" for the jpeg.

One of the Great Blue Heron's had flown over and was hunting under the late evening light just before the sun dropped completely. Sadly for both of us, no epic fish captures. 1/200 was not quite enough to stop its twin tassles the wind was blowing around.
SDR14053A-4K.jpg

R5 600 f/4 II 1/200 : f/9 : ISO 800
 

AlanF

Stay at home
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Aug 16, 2012
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Clearly not the place to ask the question....

Carry on.
More the wrong way to ask a question. If you had asked a simple unloaded non-judgemental question like: Hey guys, how sharp do you want your bird images to be? then you stand a chance of starting a good-natured discussion here. If you decide to provoke people by taking an initial stance of rubbishing sharpness, then you put people on the defensive and they ignore it because they don’t want to be forced into yet another on-line argument.
 

AlanF

Stay at home
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Aug 16, 2012
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The next day after seeing my first Chaffinch for ages, a second one in a different location, plus a Longtailed Tit. They were close enough to show the detail. I have been trying to photo a Cetti's warbler for years but they are an inconspicuous tiny bird with a marvellous brief song but are usually invisible. Got one this morning far away and backlit, required a lot of processsing but the image means more to me than the other two. (R5/100-500).

309A9078-DxO_chaffinch.jpg
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309A9282-DxO_Cetti's_Warbler-issm.jpeg
 

usern4cr

R5
CR Pro
Sep 2, 2018
989
1,391
Kentucky, USA
The next day after seeing my first Chaffinch for ages, a second one in a different location, plus a Longtailed Tit. They were close enough to show the detail. I have been trying to photo a Cetti's warbler for years but they are an inconspicuous tiny bird with a marvellous brief song but are usually invisible. Got one this morning far away and backlit, required a lot of processsing but the image means more to me than the other two. (R5/100-500).

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Beautiful blueish-silver color in the chaffinch. Well done!
 
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dcm

It's not the gear.
CR Pro
Apr 18, 2013
895
337
Colorado, USA
Not provoke, that is too confrontational, start a discussion? Yes. What concerns me slightly is the ever increasing seeming requirement for ‘sharpness’ beyond natural levels.

I did not name a photographer and will not, that absolutely was not my point and you know it, my point was much broader.

But it does seem to me this focus on sharpness creates two potential issues, the first is that the subjects cease to look realistic, lets remember the concept of post processing sharpness is all to do with micro contrast levels and the levels seen in a lot of images, not just birding but landscapes, real estate, portraits etc, are no longer ‘natural’. And secondly, people automatically reject otherwise very worthy images because they don’t fit into this current style.

As for the fashion photographer, they must represent the clothes/fashion in a lifelike and realistic way and detail and texture is normally of huge importance.

To me both types of photographer, in ‘representative’ types of images (not artistic interpretations), are looking to achieve the same thing, that is detailed and accurate representations of real world subjects.

I am not picking on bird photographers, I am not questioning the ethics of feeding, cloning out twigs, the general aesthetic of positions or the like, I am making a much broader comment on a current photographic style that is used in some bird photography as well as many other genres. I asked the question here because this is a very well supported area of the site with intelligent and thoughtful contributors.

An interesting discussion that definitely extends beyond birds. On birds there are times that the fine details are the object of the shot and other times when the bird in its environment is more important. I can appreciate both.

Years ago ago when I was still shooting film, my mother-in-law (now 90) told me "No closeups! I don't want my wrinkles to show." Digital gives me more detail, but also makes it easier to remove the detail. I still spend time "softening" her in images, particularly when I shoot the 4 generations with daughter, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters spanning 85 years.
 
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ISv

"The equipment that matters, is you"
CR Pro
Apr 30, 2017
1,289
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Pied Wagtail? Nice pose.
Yes it is! But Corn crake?!!!!!
My question is how much it's cropped? These are hard to approach - very hard! The pose is excellent but it lacks that natural view - and I mean sharpness:)!
Any way - successful photo, exactly because of the difficulty to approach, the pose and the background! With the real sharpness I would say 5+ out of 5!
 

ISv

"The equipment that matters, is you"
CR Pro
Apr 30, 2017
1,289
2,674
Clearly not the place to ask the question....

Carry on.
Well, here I will post photos from today (I was busy and these were taken in the UH Campus when I finished today). In PL4 the contrast was at 1 (microcontrast - auto - depends on the ISO!). The "total sharpness" was at 0.66 - these are my very standard settings*. And because in some cases the bird's eyes were in very dark: in the "local adjustments" I pushed the "shades" (for the eyes!) a little bit. And since I have no RF5 and I'm in the "local adjustments" already, I add some little sharpens in the eyes!
*- means that sometimes I'm going to 0.50 (like very stable tripod - I mean it stays on very stable ground! The tripod itself is very stable). In this particular case the tripod was not at all balanced neither on stable ground. And pretty good winds - the non-flying birds were somewhat flying:)!

The idea that the feathers are so soft (because we use(d) them for pillows) is kind of anecdotical at least: what kind of feathers exactly? Are all the bird's feathers so soft, and what kind of bird do you mean?
In the photos below the sharpness of the feathers looks pretty much as I saw it TTL.

DSC_5574_DxO.jpg
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Some times, some guys are using to much sharpening, sometimes they use to much contrast and in the worst case - microcontrast. Some (hmm... AI for example) "sharpening" programs are using to much microcontrast (creates a sense for "sharpness" but not a real sharpness) and I definitely don't like them!

And finally - it's a legitimate question and you are very welcome to ask such a questions! Even here:p! What is reasonable is reasonable!!! On other hand - see what was Alan's answer - it makes a lot of sense too!
 

AlanF

Stay at home
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,845
8,877
Well, here I will post photos from today (I was busy and these were taken in the UH Campus when I finished today). In PL4 the contrast was at 1 (microcontrast - auto - depends on the ISO!). The "total sharpness" was at 0.66 - these are my very standard settings*. And because in some cases the bird's eyes were in very dark: in the "local adjustments" I pushed the "shades" (for the eyes!) a little bit. And since I have no RF5 and I'm in the "local adjustments" already, I add some little sharpens in the eyes!
*- means that sometimes I'm going to 0.50 (like very stable tripod - I mean it stays on very stable ground! The tripod itself is very stable). In this particular case the tripod was not at all balanced neither on stable ground. And pretty good winds - the non-flying birds were somewhat flying:)!

The idea that the feathers are so soft (because we use(d) them for pillows) is kind of anecdotical at least: what kind of feathers exactly? Are all the bird's feathers so soft, and what kind of bird do you mean?
In the photos below the sharpness of the feathers looks pretty much as I saw it TTL.

View attachment 197050 View attachment 197051 View attachment 197052 View attachment 197053 View attachment 197054 View attachment 197055
Some times, some guys are using to much sharpening, sometimes they use to much contrast and in the worst case - microcontrast. Some (hmm... AI for example) "sharpening" programs are using to much microcontrast (creates a sense for "sharpness" but not a real sharpness) and I definitely don't like them!

And finally - it's a legitimate question and you are very welcome to ask such a questions! Even here:p! What is reasonable is reasonable!!! On other hand - see what was Alan's answer - it makes a lot of sense too!
I too try to be minimalist. For the best shots where the lighting has been right, which what we aim for, all I do is have PL4 set at its standard settings for sharpening, Prime noise reduction, lens correction and chromatic aberration and all others off. Then I just crop and adjust exposure as I shoot in full manual and guess exposure. That was done for the last post of the Chaffinch, but the Cetti's Warbler needed real work to get it worthy for the "record".
 
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