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Winter Squirrel

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Hi All, just started to get into photography recently, and thought that some feedback would be beneficial! i took this one at the beginning of last year in all the snows from my backdoor.

Brand:Canon
Camera:Canon EOS 350D
Lens:75.0 - 300.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 117.2 - 468.7 mm)
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:8 Jan 2010 - 10:10 AM
Focal Length:300mm
Aperture:f/5.6
Shutter Speed:1/250sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
ISO:400
Exposure Mode:Program AE
Metering Mode:Evaluative
Flash:Off, Did not fire
Title:Winter Squirrel
Username:Woodiwiss21 Woodiwiss21
Uploaded:23 Jul 2012 - 6:43 PM
Tags:Snow, Squirrel, Wildlife, Wildlife / nature
VS Mode Rating 100 (50% won)
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
banehawi
banehawi Critique Team 10868 forum postsbanehawi vcard Canada2867 Constructive Critique Points
23 Jul 2012 - 7:26 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Welcome to EPZ Adam.

Not a bad shot to start with. Shooting inot snow usually requires you to use a +1 exposure compensation, as the brightness can fool the metering system. Doing this would have brightened the shot, and provided a brighter Squirrel.
I have uploaded a mod, - see the Modifications tab up the page, and Ive also cropped space from the left to place the Squirrel off centre. Google Rule of Thirds for more information.

Your exif data suggests a shutter speed too slow for the focal length, but the image has good detail so I assume you used a tripod or solid support? the rule of thumb for the minimum shutter speed you need to hand hold a shot is 1/(focal lenght X crop factor) so for this shot, thats 1/(300 X 1.6) which is 1/500th effectively. IS can help reduce this a little if your lens has the feature.

Also, when you upload pics to the web, you re size. When you re size, and before you upload, open the newly re sized image, check it for sharpness, and apply some sharpening as needed. re sizing can cause loss of sharpness.

Let us know also what software you use, and how you see your comfort level so we can assist you more.

heres a few things to know as a new member:

There are features in this gallery you may want to use: Theres a "Like" icon beside a comment; and theres the small "Nominate for Constructive Critique" link at the bottom of every comment. The Critique Team approves or denies submissions for constructive Critiques, and members can accrue points. Critique Team members cannot approve comments on their own feedback. When you provide constructive feedback, you can also start collecting points, which can mean you are improving to the point where you can see how to improve other members shots. To qualify as Constructive, the feedback has to improve you image, your skill, your knowledge of the photographic process, or post processing. Comments like nice shot, love the scenery, etc dont qualify.



Hope this helps, and enjoy the site. I used Photoshop for the modifications.


Regards



Willie

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paulbroad
paulbroad  781 forum posts United Kingdom853 Constructive Critique Points
24 Jul 2012 - 7:21 AM

A good attempt. Willie covers most things. The main problem is slight lack of sharpness and you might consider investing in a monopod. They come at about 30, or more, and are, in effect, a single tripod leg. This screws to the camera tripod socket - 1/4 inch Whitworth thread, and supports the camera on the ground.

The improvements you can get in terms of a steady camera are amazing. I have three now. One is always in my car boot, a rather nice carbon version - very light but a bit expensive, and an old one that cost 20 always left extended in my porch ready to grabn and use for garden gritters.

You must always aim for a sharp image subject. Better high ISO and grain than a blurred image.

Paul

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Jestertheclown
24 Jul 2012 - 8:25 AM


Quote: They come at about 30,

Mine came at about 7.50 from, I believe, Amazon. It's aluminium and it works well enough for my purposes. It probably depends how you're going to use it.

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Focus_Man
Focus_Man  4481 forum posts United Kingdom631 Constructive Critique Points
24 Jul 2012 - 9:34 AM

Willies comments are very comprehensive, shutter speed / focal length ratio probably being the most important. Regarding monopods and tripods, it is better to aim for the best quality ie physical diameter of the smallest section of leg(s), greatest weight unless you intend to carry it around by hand a lot,( carbon fibre is best if that is the case IMHO), initially to avoid feeling let down and therefore having to buy another one. Also important is the selection of a tripod head, the thing to secure your camera to.

Monopods tend to come without a head but then you are limited to taking landscape format shots only so I invested in a small ball head for the portrait format shots.

I suppose you need to loook at your budget and what you wish to use it for, your 75-300mm lens suggests for that for starters, then decide either to dive in second hand, buy new or start saving dependent upon your situation.

FRank

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Woodiwiss21
24 Jul 2012 - 1:07 PM

Hi Guys, thanks for taking the time to comment! ive taken everything on-board and will use it in the future and im also looking at various monopods on amazon now. Willie i have Adobe Photoshop Elements 5 and haven't used it really, but now i have got a few tips and have seen what improvements can be made, i will start having a play around with it and see what i can do.

Thanks Adam.

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NEWMANP
NEWMANP e2 Member 61587 forum postsNEWMANP vcard United Kingdom574 Constructive Critique Points
24 Jul 2012 - 3:13 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

was always going to be a tricky one for you with the light falling on the far side leaving the snow with bright rim lighting and then the squirrel in shade. so exposing for the darker would blow the highlight or opposite would block up the squirrel. could really have done with being on the other side to average the light better. all down to being in the wrong place at the right time i guess.

otherwise the snow adds interest to the squirrel but his size is a little small in frame and perhaps places a little to central. a bit less of the left side and less of the fence would have made for a stronger composition but i suspect you had to use the lens you had fited at the time.

i would say its a nice record but having seen similar shots on here of squirrels in snow its a hard game to play to be up there with the best for using in natural history competitions etc. when everything has to be working for you to get the best result. but it comes in time. and sometimes it takes hours setting up things and waiting to get just one excellent frame.

regards
Phil

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