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Cygnets

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i took this photo of the cygnets at kings mill reservoir Mansfield of the A38 I believe its one of the best photos i have taken so far. its going to be hard for me to beat this. i welcome any comments and would like to thank you for your comments and votes

Camera:Canon EOS 400D
Lens:Tamron 28-200mm Check out Totally Tamron!
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Date Taken:22 Jun 2012 - 5:52 PM
Focal Length:121mm
Lens Max Aperture:f/4.0
Aperture:f/7.1
Shutter Speed:1/800sec
Exposure Comp:none
ISO:400
Exposure Mode:shutter priority
Metering Mode:N/A
Flash:none
Title:Cygnets
Username:hunter031072 hunter031072
Uploaded:1 Aug 2012 - 3:48 PM
Tags:Black & white, Close-up / macro, Digitally manipulated, General, Pets / captive animals, Specialist / abstract, Wildlife / nature
VS Mode Rating 99 (42.86% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
BIGRY1
BIGRY1 e2 Member 2BIGRY1 vcard United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2012 - 4:08 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

This IS one of your best pics. The pov of the cygnets is perfect and the slight bluriness adds a nice feel to it. However, my only criticism is that down both sides there is two dark patches, probably two other birds trying to get into the frame. But these can quite easily be removed in photoshop. If I get time I will have a playSmile

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hunter031072
hunter031072 e2 Member 2hunter031072 vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2012 - 4:17 PM

This IS one of your best pics. The pov of the cygnets is perfect and the slight bluriness
adds a nice feel to it. However, my only criticism is that down both sides there is two
dark patches, probably two other birds trying to get into the frame. But these can quite
easily be removed in photoshop. If I get time I will have a play


if you like I can email original raw image.

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SUE118
SUE118 e2 Member 6SUE118 vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
1 Aug 2012 - 4:31 PM

Superb capture.

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Sooty_1
Sooty_1 Critique Team 41207 forum posts United Kingdom198 Constructive Critique Points
2 Aug 2012 - 12:36 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

It is quite well captured, but for me, there are a couple of things.
The dark intrusions at the sides of the frame, as mentioned above, can be cloned out.
The whole image appears dull. It looks like the light is poor, and you've had to push it to get the image, which in places is a bit dark. This is good for retaining detail in the white feathers, but some careful selective dodging and burning can bring the faces of the cygnets out more. Unfortunately, they are also sitting in a rather colourless spot.
Looking at the ground, it looks like the plane of focus is slightly ahead of the nearest chick, and so you have got nothing of any of them really sharp. With no exif to go on, it's hard to say anything about your settings, but a smaller aperture would have got all the birds in focus, yet kept the background blurred as you are quite close to them.
A tiny bit of fill-flash would have pepped this image up, and given their eyes some much-needed sparkle - (probably around 2 stops under if you can adjust it, so the flash doesn't dominate the exposure).

Nick

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hunter031072
hunter031072 e2 Member 2hunter031072 vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
2 Aug 2012 - 8:22 AM


Quote: It is quite well captured, but for me, there are a couple of things.
The dark intrusions at the sides of the frame, as mentioned above, can be cloned out.
The whole image appears dull. It looks like the light is poor, and you've had to push it to get the image, which in places is a bit dark. This is good for retaining detail in the white feathers, but some careful selective dodging and burning can bring the faces of the cygnets out more. Unfortunately, they are also sitting in a rather colourless spot.
Looking at the ground, it looks like the plane of focus is slightly ahead of the nearest chick, and so you have got nothing of any of them really sharp. With no exif to go on, it's hard to say anything about your settings, but a smaller aperture would have got all the birds in focus, yet kept the background blurred as you are quite close to them.
A tiny bit of fill-flash would have pepped this image up, and given their eyes some much-needed sparkle - (probably around 2 stops under if you can adjust it, so the flash doesn't dominate the exposure).

Nick

thank you Nick for your honest opinion I am going to the original image and re-edit the file and repost. I am still new to photography and your comments will help in future. thanks Roger

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8770 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1599 Constructive Critique Points
2 Aug 2012 - 5:06 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

It's good to know that you consider this to be one of your best pictures, Roger, and I wouldn't want to burst your bubble, but you have put it into the Critique Gallery, and so I will just say a few things that come to mind.
I like the grouping of your cygnets, and the fact that each of their faces is visible. They do tend to huddle together and this is a nice natural image of them. Sometimes you have to wait patiently for them to settle, so you did well to capture this moment.
With adult swans, exposure can be problematic simply because of their colour, and so it's advisable not to photograph them when the light is bright. With cygnets, they are not so white, but the same problem can occur, as it has done here, inasmuch as there is strong light overhead which has caused a small amount of burn-out (feathers bright, with no detail) on the cygnets. Also, the faces and necks are in shadow because most of them are looking downwards. If this was the only time you had in the day to capture them, I would suggest using some negative exposure compensation together with a touch of flash, as long as you didn't feel it would "spook" them.
As Nick has said, it's difficult to comment further on your camera settings because you have given no Exif data, but I agree with him about the use of a smaller aperture because it would have been nice to have all of the young ones in focus.
There is no detail in the eyes. In any wildlife photography, the eyes are of paramount importance. Since the heads are in shadow, there was no light available to lift the eyes, so they are tending to look "dead" instead of bright and sparkling.
So, as cute as the image is, there are little things that you might like to consider when trying this type of shot again. Firstly, the time of day, available light, and whether there is sufficient light coming from the right direction in order to get detail on the faces. Secondly, whether you have chosen the correct aperture in order to get all of your subjects in focus.
Pamela.

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hunter031072
hunter031072 e2 Member 2hunter031072 vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
2 Aug 2012 - 6:34 PM


Quote: It's good to know that you consider this to be one of your best pictures, Roger, and I wouldn't want to burst your bubble, but you have put it into the Critique Gallery, and so I will just say a few things that come to mind.
I like the grouping of your cygnets, and the fact that each of their faces is visible. They do tend to huddle together and this is a nice natural image of them. Sometimes you have to wait patiently for them to settle, so you did well to capture this moment.
With adult swans, exposure can be problematic simply because of their colour, and so it's advisable not to photograph them when the light is bright. With cygnets, they are not so white, but the same problem can occur, as it has done here, inasmuch as there is strong light overhead which has caused a small amount of burn-out (feathers bright, with no detail) on the cygnets. Also, the faces and necks are in shadow because most of them are looking downwards. If this was the only time you had in the day to capture them, I would suggest using some negative exposure compensation together with a touch of flash, as long as you didn't feel it would "spook" them.
As Nick has said, it's difficult to comment further on your camera settings because you have given no Exif data, but I agree with him about the use of a smaller aperture because it would have been nice to have all of the young ones in focus.
There is no detail in the eyes. In any wildlife photography, the eyes are of paramount importance. Since the heads are in shadow, there was no light available to lift the eyes, so they are tending to look "dead" instead of bright and sparkling.
So, as cute as the image is, there are little things that you might like to consider when trying this type of shot again. Firstly, the time of day, available light, and whether there is sufficient light coming from the right direction in order to get detail on the faces. Secondly, whether you have chosen the correct aperture in order to get all of your subjects in focus.
Pamela.

Pamela, Thank you for your kind input (hurts but very good useful comments lol) i have hunted the original file and found the info that was missing. i will add to the Eixf, thank you for your honest comments, i have found them to be very illustrating, what i thought was my best photo was in actuality a photograph with loads of faults in it, i am a new to photography with only 6 months experiences. but thanks to the good people like your self and other Ephotozine users i will be pushed to improve my self and my photos. many kind regards and thank you Roger.

Canon EOS 400d
1/800s
Focal length: 121.0mm F/7.1 +0.67, ISO:400

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paulbroad
paulbroad  781 forum posts United Kingdom854 Constructive Critique Points
3 Aug 2012 - 7:31 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

The initial effect of the image is nice and it is a good shot. There are also a number of things that could be better and these are well documented above. I would also like to see a tiny bit more crispness - a bit of software sharpening would possibly do it, but even at 1/800 sec you can get a little movement if you hand held and you may well have been in an awkward position to get this shot.

OIne of the most used accessories in my kit is a monopod. I have 3. One in my porch ready to use, one spare in the garage and a nice compact carbon version in my car boot. A monopod is a single legged tripod, but gives you that bit of support that can make all the difference.

Paul

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hunter031072
hunter031072 e2 Member 2hunter031072 vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Aug 2012 - 1:39 PM


Quote: The initial effect of the image is nice and it is a good shot. There are also a number of things that could be better and these are well documented above. I would also like to see a tiny bit more crispness - a bit of software sharpening would possibly do it, but even at 1/800 sec you can get a little movement if you hand held and you may well have been in an awkward position to get this shot.

OIne of the most used accessories in my kit is a monopod. I have 3. One in my porch ready to use, one spare in the garage and a nice compact carbon version in my car boot. A monopod is a single legged tripod, but gives you that bit of support that can make all the difference.

Paul

Thank you Paul, for your comments i have to admit that I did not use a tripod, i was on my knees as low as i could get, i have been considering getting a monopod. it will have to go on my shopping list. may thanks for your advise.

Regards Roger

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pamelajean
pamelajean Critique Team 8770 forum postspamelajean vcard United Kingdom1599 Constructive Critique Points
8 Aug 2012 - 8:50 PM

You took all that very well, Roger, and I hope it hasn't put you off uploading again into the Critique Gallery.
Pamela.

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hunter031072
hunter031072 e2 Member 2hunter031072 vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
8 Aug 2012 - 9:06 PM


Quote: You took all that very well, Roger, and I hope it hasn't put you off uploading again into the Critique Gallery.
Pamela.

Hi Pamela. thank you it did hurt a bit, but it was constructive criticism and as such I take it on and learn from it. your very experienced photographers and I respect that. good thing I have thick skin lol you should hear what my colleges cal me you would be shocked lol hence the thick skin. I have since replaced my lenses and if you look at some of the pictures I have posted I would say there is some improvement. Pamela thank you for your concern it shows you really care and that is an almost lost concept. thank you regards Roger

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