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Author Topic: gearing up for treks obvious suggestions please!  (Read 2374 times)
Rocco Penny
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« on: January 26, 2010, 11:28:29 AM »
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This is the harrier(?) that must be kin to the big boy that rules the fishbowl.
I've seen the power plays between that big one and the red tail that lives there too.
I have to get out there-
This is taken with my d300,600mm f/5.6 MF, gitzo1325,kirkbh2, MUP, f8, 1/80 sec

I am so doing something fundamentally incorrectly.
I'll be able to get better focus as the rains die down because I'll be shooting more,
but what is the obvious guess/reason that my exposures are so poor?
I'm so hoping to be able to more consistently shoot good exposures this season.
Spring will be here and California will have the greatest weather in a month or 2
I so want to capture my animal companions this year well.
If this is the best I can do, I need to find a way to improve, but I am just so inconsistent.
Any sugestions?
Thank you,
Rocco
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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2010, 11:58:07 AM »
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Quote from: Rocco Penny
If this is the best I can do, I need to find a way to improve, but I am just so inconsistent.
Any sugestions?
Thank you,
Rocco

Are you using your camera on automatic exposure?  It appears your meter was fooled by the gray skies/background and underexposed the raptor, making it too dark.

You can do several basic things in situations like this:

1) Continue to meter as you normally do, but use exposure compensation to open up a stop or so of exposure so the bird is not so dark

2) Use center-weighted or spot metering options so that the meter reads more of the subject and less of the background

NOTE: these 2 options may blow out your background, making it too light and losing details

3) Balance out the exposure using fill flash, possibly with a Better Beamer

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/...er_beamer.shtml

Paul
« Last Edit: January 26, 2010, 03:57:26 PM by Paul Sumi » Logged

Rocco Penny
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2010, 01:17:34 PM »
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thank you for your reply,  this bird is 150 or so yards away but I shoot to 20 or so feet with my 600
I already upped the exposure to +1.0 in acr
I shot this guy out my window this morning early, the sun being very low behind me.
I used iso320 wb preset using the clouds behind.
I also think I'm a habitual underexposer.
I started upping the iso incrementally until I've had overall good results between 200-400 and f/8-f/11
I used to try to shoot my 600 at 5.6 and iso 200 but have pretty limited success like that.
I don't want to gather 10000 exposures this spring.
I want 400 good ones.
Ok I appreciate the comment, I'll consider using exposure compensation and read more about the metering best used and why I have it stuck in my head to use matrix metering
thank you,
all comments or instruction deeply regarded,
Rocco
« Last Edit: January 26, 2010, 01:28:23 PM by Rocco Penny » Logged
Marlyn
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2010, 05:31:27 PM »
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Based on the lighting in the shot,   I'd recomend you need some fill flash.
Use a Flash and a Better Beamer.  with -2 Stops of Flash power.   (Flash on its own would be useless).

All the light seems behind with an overcast sky, and your shooting right into it.     Even if sun was behind you, its not lighting up the bird sufficiently against the background.
Exposing the bird / tree will be tough. As you crank the exposure, that sky is going to completley blow out (close to it now), then wash into the rest of the picture.   However try spot metering the bird, and get off matrix.

Also try and get a better angle, where your shooting with the skylight comming in ON the subject,  with darker background at sufficient distance that you can throw it out of focus.  (not too dark though, this makes it hard).

Regards

Mark
« Last Edit: January 26, 2010, 05:32:18 PM by Marlyn » Logged
Rocco Penny
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2010, 09:43:42 AM »
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thank you,
I've been playing with the idea of changing metering methods.
I use a homemade graycard I printed out from my 3100 to Harman matt fb mp
Sometimes I go off a cloud or something too for wb.
I read some time ago that due to the nature of the magnification of both the lens, and crop sensor, that using sot or center weighted metering was not the way to do it.
That the camera would pick up the dynamic range of the image best using matrix metering given the combination of equipment.
I'm going to try more center weighted and spot metering using my lenses.
The elusive angle huh?
Yes, background issues as far as always.
I'm going to try to find complimentary backgrounds, but the metering is where I'm in the dark!
Thank you,
Rocco

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Paul Sumi
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2010, 01:31:38 PM »
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Quote from: Rocco Penny
I use a homemade graycard I printed out from my 3100 to Harman matt fb mp
Sometimes I go off a cloud or something too for wb.

Are you shooting RAW?  If so, setting a custom white balance is useful but not mandatory.  You can correct white balance in Photoshop or other RAW developer.

Paul
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k bennett
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2010, 07:23:59 PM »
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Sometimes it doesn't matter what exposure settings you use, the light just doesn't work. This shot isn't quite that far gone, but any bird shot with a white sky as the background is going to do this to some extent.
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Equipment: a camera and some lenses.
Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2010, 02:02:01 PM »
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Quote from: Rocco Penny
This is the harrier(?) that must be kin to the big boy that rules the fishbowl.

1) That's a red-shouldered hawk, I think. The relatively orange breast is a giveaway. Harriers are almost always on the ground; you'll rarely see one in a tree. Harriers also have a characteristic facial 'disk' that looks a lot like an owl's face. I'm attaching a Florida red shouldered hawk I took at Loxahatchee. They tend to be paler than other variants, while California birds are more 'orange'.

2) As others note, photographing perched birds against a blank white sky is always difficult, especially when it's backlit. You have to guestimate how much to 'overexpose' to get detail in the bird's feathers, often one and a half to two stops if you're using an evaluative meter. You can try spot-metering the bird, but for me at least by the time I've done that, half the time the critter has flown off.
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David Sutton
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2010, 01:47:49 AM »
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For birds in flight and the situation you describe here, you could also try switching to manual exposure. Take a reading off the sky and add 3/4 to 1 1/4 stops.
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Rocco Penny
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2010, 09:07:54 AM »
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Yes for sure experience will help this year.
My friend has a funny way of looking at things, and consistently gets exposures from even a camera phone that blow mine away.
Just her way of seeing things.
I'm trying to FIND images, where she just captures um...
Some people have talent and some of us have to earn every small success!
OK thanks for the direction, I'm pretty sure I have some more knowledge to use in the field.
Rocco
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fredjeang
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« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2010, 09:37:07 AM »
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Quote from: k bennett
Sometimes it doesn't matter what exposure settings you use, the light just doesn't work. This shot isn't quite that far gone, but any bird shot with a white sky as the background is going to do this to some extent.
I agree with this point. You can improve metering but to some extend, because the most important factor is light quality, (hour, season, etc...) and from wich angle you will choose: one may magnify the image, others would kill it, independently of exposure.
Finding the location according to the specific geography, and when and how the light will embrassed the scene is most of the time a factor that can make you think that you are not good, or your gear is not, and brings doubts when it is just something that has to do with light condition if I can say that. I would follow the advice of choosing central metering in such a case, but if light condition is not accurate, very little can be done.

Fred.
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