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Author Topic: Blue heron, Louisiana delta  (Read 7990 times)
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« on: November 07, 2007, 12:17:21 PM »
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Enjoy!

John
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peter.doerrie
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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2007, 01:59:29 PM »
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hmm Compared to other shots I ve seen here, it is not so great. The Heron is - as far as I can tell - unsharp and does not combine well with the Background.

Sorry, but in my view not a keeper (even though I never managed to do adecent bird-shot neither)
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2007, 02:58:11 PM »
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Nice try, but it's out of focus and overexposed.  The latter one can deal with, but the former not so much.  Try this one:

http://www.chriskaylerphotography.com/GreatBlueHeron.htm

for comparison...

Mike.
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Rob C
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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2007, 03:06:41 PM »
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Nice try, but it's out of focus and overexposed.  The latter one can deal with, but the former not so much.  Try this one:

http://www.chriskaylerphotography.com/GreatBlueHeron.htm

for comparison...

Mike.
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Mike, in one case the birdīs in flight; in the other, itīs doing the bird equivalent of sitting on its ass. The two different situations do not make for fair comparison of photographic shooting skill. Anyway, I prefer my birds in half-bikinis.

Rob C
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mahleu
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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2007, 03:16:11 PM »
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If it was sharp it would be a very impressive shot. Very nice try, but not quite.
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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2007, 05:06:13 PM »
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I hate to pile on, but I agree. Unsharp "interpretive" works may have their place, but not in a wildlife shot like this. "Delete".
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michael sebastian
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2007, 05:13:16 PM »
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Thank you for posting your image.

Sometimes it helps to really detach oneself from the image and view it totally as if someone else had taken it. This then removes the emotional attachment one has with the image.

I suspect that you were rather thrilled with the fact that you had made the composition...with the bird and the water splashes, and this overrode the objective view of the result.

Julie
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« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2007, 06:41:33 PM »
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Thanks everyone, for the comments.  I agree, after looking at my original post, that image is not very strong.  I pretty much just developed the RAW image with no sharpening, and jpeg'd it for the web.  Believe it or not, the image was properly exposed, although you'd never know it.  Here's a PP'd version, sized at 72 ppi, which I hope will translate better.



Thanks for looking,
John
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jule
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« Reply #8 on: November 07, 2007, 09:47:35 PM »
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Sorry John, but sharpening doesn't usually fix out-of-focus subjects and I think in this instance it hasn't.
Julie
« Last Edit: November 07, 2007, 09:49:08 PM by jule » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2007, 09:08:59 AM »
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After staring at the RAW original for awhile, I'll have to agree that the image is not as sharp as I think it could have been, especially with respect to the neck feathers.  However, I'm not sure that the problem is focus (although I'm certainly not ruling it out): when I look at the leading and trailing wings, they seem equally unsharp, and I can't discern that any of the foreground or background is any more sharp than the heron (which would cofirm front or back focus).  The shot was made with a Pentax k10d and an FA* 300mm 4.5 lens, 1/4000 sec, f4.5, ISO 800, handheld with shake reduction on from a slowly moving boat.  I don't think motion blur is the issue here, at 1/4000 sec shutter speed.  Perhaps ISO 800 noise has obscurred some detail?  Maybe the image is as sharp as this lens/camera combo can produce?  I know, it's a poor craftsman that blames his tools, and I'm definitely not making excuses.  I'm just trying to conclusively identify the root cause of the problem here, so that my next efforts are more successful.  If anyone has any further thoughts, I'd very much appreciate the input.   Reading what has been written so far has definitely elevated my standards.

Thanks,
John
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spidermike
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« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2007, 11:30:17 AM »
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is this the full-frame shot or a part of it?
If it is a part, about what fraction of the original picture is it?
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Rob C
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« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2007, 12:59:59 PM »
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Also worth  noting - it might just be my eyes, however: are the reeds in the b/ground not a little sharper, indicating, perhaps, that the focus was on something other than the main target? At any rate, finding much DOF wide open is always in conflict with the maximum sharpness of the lens, which is perhaps not found wide open!

I had a Nikkor 300/4.5 IFED for some time; it was nice on a tripod, but that was it. There was no IS on it, of course, but as I have yet to sample the pleasures of any of that, I have to remain sceptical.

Rob C
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« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2007, 02:38:54 PM »
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Rob: my wife said the same thing- I think that you are right about the background being a bit more in focus (are the ripples between the bird and the reeds in max focus?).  I have a hard time believing that the FA* 300mm/k10d combo is at fault.  Looking back, I think I realize the mistake I made to cause the focus miss: I held down the continuous focus button during the shot, which makes for some pretty aggressive corrections.  I might have had better luck by simply prefocusing and waiting for the bird to leap.

Mike: the image is a crop, maybe 65-75% of original size.

Thanks,
John
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jule
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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2007, 03:07:56 PM »
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To be honest John, I just can't see how this image has a hope of working with the background of reeds being so close to the subject - even if you amend your technique and try a re-shoot in the same location. The shallow depth of field required to keep the background from conflicting with the bird I just don't think is possible in that spot.

You mention pre-focussing and waiting for the bird to leap - are there any other spots where the bird is further from the reeds?

Julie
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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2007, 06:49:52 PM »
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I guess it's my function here to let the others do the thinking and just agree with them--like the guy who shows up at the wedding for hors d'oeuvres and drinks but no gift.

Had my eyes examined today so maybe I'm still not seeing clearly--but you are right, it's not motion blur; the autofocus seems to have locked on the background. Note the water drops raised by the heron's legs--they are slightly soft, but not motion-blurred. i think Julie summed up your conundrum nicely--lens wide open, bird very close to a busy background that wants to grab the autofocus's attention. If you can maybe hold up a nice big fish so the heron will consider your plea to move away from the reeds, you'll be just fine!

As an aside, where in Louisiana was this taken? I was born in New Orleans, grew up in Baton Rouge, but haven't lived there since the 80's. The state is not called "the Sportsman's Paradise" for nothing. Amazing array of wildlife there, especially in the wetlands along the coast and in the Atchafalaya basin farther inland. The state is also along a major waterfowl migratory route.

The shot reminds me of the work of C.C. Lockwood, a documentary film and stills photographer who did some amazing work in the Atchafalaya in the 60's onward. i think he's still at it. If you can ever find "Atchafalaya" on video, it's a worthwhile watch.
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michael sebastian
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« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2007, 10:07:01 PM »
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Unrelated to the discussion of the merits of this image.  I find that this image does pretty well with the "Surreal edgy effect" mentioned at Lightroom killer tips.  (http://www.lightroomkillertips.com/2007/video-surreal-edgy-effect/)
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Rob C
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« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2007, 11:56:59 AM »
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Taking a trip back to the lens: it might be the case that even a 300mm needs f2.8 to get itself into a sufficiently shallow DOF mode; my own 4.5/300 was never fast enough to provide the shallow depth I wanted when I first bought the damn thing; but thatīs the price you can pay for living in a backwater -  no way of testing by yourself. Since the 2.8 was and is still so expensive, there was only slight justification then and certainly none now for that sort of outgoing.

I wonder how many more units the makers could shift if they priced with less venom. Perhaps theyīd surprise their accountants and sell even more. I simply wonīt accept that the difference in price for going up a stop or two is fair reflection of production costs. Itīs like badge engineering in cars: Plymouth came at the lower end, Dodge, De Soto and Chrysler padding out the bank books; was the Plymouth that inferior? (I might well have confused my brands here - my experienc of American cars goes back to the time when Hudson Hornets were doing okay in stock car races and Studebaker were making their two-way cars - you couldnīt tell if it was coming or going, needed navigation lights, red and green.)

Rob C
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Gordon Buck
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« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2007, 12:36:31 PM »
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... Hudson Hornets ...
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Wow, does that bring back memories!  In my mind's eye, I can still see that junked Hudson Hornet in my friend's yard.  At age 15, the Hudson was our only hope for wheels but, alas, with no money, no tools and no skills we were doomed to walk a while longer (bicycles not being considered to be babe magnets).

Sorry for getting off topic but I couldn't resist.
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Rob C
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« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2007, 03:42:24 PM »
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Wow, does that bring back memories!  In my mind's eye, I can still see that junked Hudson Hornet in my friend's yard.  At age 15, the Hudson was our only hope for wheels but, alas, with no money, no tools and no skills we were doomed to walk a while longer (bicycles not being considered to be babe magnets).

Sorry for getting off topic but I couldn't resist.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=151544\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Gordon

Yes, those were the days. You know, there was a majesty about US cars of that period. We lived in India for a few years, going back to the UK in ī53. Most of the cars out there were American - we had a shiny black ī49 V8 Ford (last of a line, before the rocket nose motif started) - and I remember seeing a lovely Lincoln Capri in red - I swear it was metallic paint, but time could have fooled me again - and years later, when Ford produced the Capri in Britain, a stupid little thing built out of a Ford Cortina to what they considered utilitarian UK tastes and standards, I knew we were doomed. The bit that hurt most, was reading American price lists for US machines and then translating that sum into pounds and realising the crap we were buying for more money still! Yep, we were all getting effed big-time in Blighty!

Why you guys allowed the car industry to go all sloppy shapes and no glamour Iīll never understand. A car is nothing if not an expression of glamour, desire, sex-appeal and, of course, a mover from A to B. Okay, nobody needs eight cylinders and Dodge Ram power, but style, surely, could be maintained?

Still enjoying KLRZFM.com as I write; you must be able to get it on your computer! However, Iīll be happier when the elections are past: to foreign ears it all sounds so, well, provincial! Much like our own elections, in fact.

By the way, to you non- Cajun fans: one politico in Louisiana is disparaging another by saying that the other one is not worthy of the vote because he would back the Sierra Club (!) and has doubts about the right to carry hardware and blow each away in true Sergio Leone style. I thought the folks down there were very environment-conscious, what with all that water just lurking about...

Oh well, past my bedtime - off to dream about Dorothy and the Wizard of O. or maybe just about Dorothy?

Rob C
« Last Edit: November 09, 2007, 03:45:15 PM by Rob C » Logged

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« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2007, 07:29:34 PM »
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Here's a similar shot, taken just a few minutes after the blue heron.  Comments?

Thanks,
John
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