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John Smith Memorial Trophy Prints winner.
Dennis Rowels Shield Prints winner.

Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Title:I Feel pretty
Username:AlanWillis AlanWillis
Uploaded:2 Nov 2010 - 1:53 PM
Tags:Wildlife / nature
Votes:Voting Disabled
Critque wantedCritique Wanted
Has Modifications Modifications Welcome (Upload a Modification)
Awards have been disabled on this photo

Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
Daisymaye
Daisymaye e2 Member 5Daisymaye vcard Canada9 Constructive Critique Points
2 Nov 2010 - 2:00 PM

I feel shy too. Beautiful and cute at the same time........Sandy

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jeb2012
jeb2012  4 United Kingdom
2 Nov 2010 - 2:01 PM

A excellent capture lovely colours

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barbarahirst
barbarahirst e2 Member 6barbarahirst vcard United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
2 Nov 2010 - 2:09 PM

Cant really say anything about this most wonderful image
What a belter ... Looks like a real bird not like most you see on here with false backings and totally stiff looking birds
Brilliant capture

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hinadi
hinadi  7 Egypt
2 Nov 2010 - 2:11 PM

Amazinz shot, well captured. Hisham

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mishu78
mishu78  4 Canada
2 Nov 2010 - 2:14 PM

Wonderful capture!

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tull
tull  11181 forum posts United Kingdom
2 Nov 2010 - 2:21 PM

Really wonderful

Mark.

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EAS
EAS e2 Member 5EAS vcard Scotland13 Constructive Critique Points
2 Nov 2010 - 2:40 PM

So good to see you posting on epz again and what a fab image to retuth with! 1st class and if anyone thinks otherwise they are in serious need of an optician's appointment, at the very least!!

Ann

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ringyneck
ringyneck  7293 forum posts United Kingdom18 Constructive Critique Points
2 Nov 2010 - 2:42 PM

Well now this is superb and as Barbara says it's fantastic to see one doing something at last.
Love all the disturbed feathers which gives a good depth to the shape of the bird,as well as emphasizing the textures.
I would prefer her a little sharper but thats just a personal thing.

Keith

Last Modified By Badger at 2 Nov 2010 - 5:24 PM

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AlanWillis
2 Nov 2010 - 2:47 PM

ePHOTOzine is a place most people are great and where I have made many friends.
Many thanks for your' support.
Best regards Alan

Last Modified By Badger at 2 Nov 2010 - 5:25 PM

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Shroomer
Shroomer  7 England167 Constructive Critique Points
2 Nov 2010 - 3:03 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Now i'm allowed to comment on this Alan, I think I will.
As I said about this Kingy the last time you uploaded it, it is a fine capture and well timed in catching her mid preen and still retaining a good catchlight in the eye. I particularly like the ruffled feathers and detail on them against a dark bg. Overall a very good image, and would be interested to know if you had to crop it to enlarge it or if it is full frame as the sharpness just needs a touch more to pop it out. Also the perch needs to be a little sharper but guessing that you were on a small aperture due to the light and thus dof is minimal. With the perch a little cloning over the left of the perch to hide the snapped piece would help to finish off what is a good capture.
Richard

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barbarahirst
barbarahirst e2 Member 6barbarahirst vcard United Kingdom10 Constructive Critique Points
2 Nov 2010 - 3:05 PM

I think Mossy needs a holiday !!

Last Modified By Moderator Team at 3 Nov 2010 - 7:13 AM

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Clint123
Clint123  42 Constructive Critique Points
2 Nov 2010 - 3:09 PM

Not sure what gear you got this Kingy with Sydney as you haven't said. Surely if you require critique then that would help people. Also I notice you shoot in jpeg and not RAW. Lovely colours and action in the preen here and wish I could get one like this. Would have liked to see more of the perch and as Richard said tone down the white bit on it, maybe clone some moss over it.
Thanks for sharing and welcome to EPhotozine

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Shroomer
Shroomer  7 England167 Constructive Critique Points
2 Nov 2010 - 3:50 PM


Quote: I think Mossy needs a holiday !!

Nah i've had 3 this year Smile

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CarolG
CarolG e2 Member 7128 forum postsCarolG vcard Greece16 Constructive Critique Points
2 Nov 2010 - 4:16 PM

This is absolutely stunning, fantastic colour, pose, background, everything about it is 1st class. Some people nit-pick just for the sake of it, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to criticize this whatsoever. Carol

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Badger
Badger  114736 forum posts United Kingdom20 Constructive Critique Points
2 Nov 2010 - 5:24 PM


Quote: there is absolutely no reason for anyone to criticize this whatsoever.

Except that it has been uploaded to the Critique Gallery, the place where people post images for constructive criticism/feedback/comments.

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bzbee
bzbee  10100 forum posts United Kingdom3 Constructive Critique Points
2 Nov 2010 - 5:26 PM

superb image!!! brilliant shot

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brownsilent
brownsilent e2 Member 7brownsilent vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
2 Nov 2010 - 5:35 PM

I am no expert at bird photography, but I can tell if I like an image, or if I don't. It is always a personal oppinion.
Don't worry now Alan - I like this one very much! Smile
The kingy's pose is brilliant, and the detail in its plumage absolutely striking.
Johanna

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AlanWillis
2 Nov 2010 - 5:49 PM

I always shoot in RAW, convert to J peg for ePHOTOzine!
My pictures are always as taken, I do not use photoshop
as there is always a side effect, eg If you sharpen you get a halo that sort of thing. I use a Sony full frame, because the detail when printed is amazing with 24 mp. For Kingfishers I can be 4 ft away, and use my prime 100Mm this was taken with my 70-400 at about 3 1/2 mtrs from the bird. I beleave closeness gives the best pictures,
no lens will take a good picture of a 6" kingfisher at over 15 mtrs.
I hardly crop pictures because that errodes quality.
Taken at F8 would have preffered more. 1/125 of a second would have preferred more as the kingfisher is very active when preening, ISO400 would have preferred less. as you can see the light was poor. As for sharpness, the perch is not the subject!
I am thinking of calibration!
Malc Kingfisher121 has just had his canon calibrated and just look at his sharp pictures, He was a bit father away from me as he uses a 500mm it's the same perch, as I invite him there most weekends.
And I never clone, Why bother to try for a good picture?
Just take a bad one and photoshop it! Last remark is tongue in cheek. I have a friend who is brilliant with photoshop.

Last Modified By AlanWillis at 2 Nov 2010 - 5:51 PM

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Shroomer
Shroomer  7 England167 Constructive Critique Points
2 Nov 2010 - 6:03 PM

Thanks for explaining Alan. I'm in a dilemma now as the minimum focus distance on the 800 is 21 feet. The quality always drops in reducing for web, printed from the large files should be very good at that size

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AlanWillis
2 Nov 2010 - 6:11 PM

Richard,
800mm has a place and so does a digi-scope?
But the best Kingfisher shots I have ever seen were taken with a Sony 300mm 2.8. It's on my wish list!
Kindest regards Alan

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teocali
teocali e2 Member 6212 forum poststeocali vcard England18 Constructive Critique Points
2 Nov 2010 - 6:18 PM

A beautiful Kingfisher image illustrating a lovely natural and not often seen pose, busy preening itself. Lovely plumage tones and electric blue iridescence - this bird really lives.
On the technical side, however, I feel that a picture speaks a thousand words and IMHO Terry L's mod, accompanied by his description of the tweaks applied, has turned a super image into a stunning one.
Uploading for critique and modification only and inviting the constructive comments of others, whether negative or positive, is the best way of improving one's own skills.
Sylvia

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pluckyfilly
pluckyfilly e2 Member 7282 forum postspluckyfilly vcard United Kingdom33 Constructive Critique Points
2 Nov 2010 - 8:19 PM

a vote from me - no need to add flame to the fire

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ringyneck
ringyneck  7293 forum posts United Kingdom18 Constructive Critique Points
2 Nov 2010 - 10:48 PM


Quote: A beautiful Kingfisher image illustrating a lovely natural and not often seen pose, busy preening itself. Lovely plumage tones and electric blue iridescence - this bird really lives.
On the technical side, however, I feel that a picture speaks a thousand words and IMHO Terry L's mod, accompanied by his description of the tweaks applied, has turned a super image into a stunning one.
Uploading for critique and modification only and inviting the constructive comments of others, whether negative or positive, is the best way of improving one's own skills.
Sylvia

I agree with Sylvia that the mod has just put the icing on the very rich cake......but i applaude your philosophy of attempting to "get it right in camera" as I cannot get it right anywhere and I am in awe of your original and Terry's mod.
Keith

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AlanWillis
2 Nov 2010 - 11:15 PM

Many thanks for comments, I am trying to sort 4 pictures out of about 20 for my local camera club competition. and welcome sensible critique. Im also trying to get natural shots, and hope to move away from perches planted for the kingfisher to land on,such as cameras etc,which are fun shots. but not yet. After a year of almost total Kingfisher photography I feel I have some way to go. ePHOTOzine is a wonderful site, and has taught me a great deal, I am sensitive and hope to ride critique which is not posted with good intention.
Best regards Alan

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malc_c
malc_c  8 England167 Constructive Critique Points
3 Nov 2010 - 4:48 AMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Hi Alan,
Fabulous capture with that wonderful sense that you can almost feel the softness of the feathers. For me (at the size presented here), your posted original is the best - I want nature pictures to look natural, not 'popped', and I personally don't find the broken area of the perch particularly distracting, the most I would do is suppress the brightest highlights.

For the bird itself my only crit would be that lifting the facial area slightly would possibly help lift the image overall, and also lighten the catch light slightly. I personally use a selective curves adjustment for these. However, these adjustments are slight enough that they may be completely unnecessary in a full size competition image, especially if you're working in print rather than PDI. I've posted a mod to illustrate what I mean, but I have to confess that having copied the large version to work on I did apply some sharpening to compensate for reducing the image back down to post the mod.

So, brilliant images, and good luck in competition. Bear in mind for competitions that judges see many bird and indeed many Kingfisher images, so to stand out, at least at a regional or national level, you need to present images showing natural behaviour, like this one, rather than the more common static 'bird sitting on stick' images. The bar at the moment for kingfishers seems to be pictures of the bird emerging from the water with prey in beak, which I guess is the sort of thing you mean when you say you have 'some way to go'. For internal club competitions I imagine you'll already know how your work compares to others in the club.

ps what a shame you're not nearer my club, we have some very strong wildlife workers.

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Lillian
Lillian e2 Member 5Lillian vcard United Kingdom16 Constructive Critique Points
3 Nov 2010 - 8:54 AM

You certainly had a day of advice here Alan...For me this is a wonderful shot of the kningfisher, and cannot recall anyone having captured anything about the bird preening him/herself to this standard before, a truely FANTASTIC shot
Lillian

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DRicherby
DRicherby  5269 forum posts United Kingdom725 Constructive Critique Points
6 Nov 2010 - 5:55 PM

Sydney2 wrote:
> I always shoot in RAW, convert to J peg for ePHOTOzine!


So your 'film' is RAW and your 'print', so to speak, is JPEG. Obviously, you have to convert to JPEG to post to the web because that's essentially all that web browsers understand. Knowing that you shot RAW is useful as it presents more options for editing the image, should that be necessary. Likewise, when you're asking for critique, it really is necessary to post your shooting details — camera, lens, focal length used, aperture, shutter speed, ISO and anything else that's relevant, though I see you've now done that. Your photography is of an extremely high standard but it's impossible to know whether a suggestion of a slightly faster shutter or slightly narrower aperture is feasible without knowing what you did.

Having said that, I think the biggest opportunity for improving this shot is in a little editing, as has been done in the mods. It doesn't need a lot but, as in the mods, a bit of a curves adjustment to counter the slight dullness in the colours and a bit of a sharpen does make the photo just that little bit better. That tends to brighten the broken part of the perch so toning it back down (or applying the adjustment selectively) works well.

I agree that the kingfisher is the main subject but it would still be nice if the perch was fully sharp. Not as important as getting the bird sharp but still something to aim for, I think. (For example, it matters that the background is as far from sharp as possible so the degree of sharpness of something that isn't the subject can still be important.)

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sweetpea62
sweetpea62 e2 Member 3sweetpea62 vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
1 Dec 2010 - 4:16 PM

Beautiful. Well done.

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AlanWillis
14 May 2011 - 9:26 PM


Quote: for my local camera club competition.
As a foot note: This picture won my clubs best Natural history print and the Best print of the year.
Best regards Alan

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Lillian
Lillian e2 Member 5Lillian vcard United Kingdom16 Constructive Critique Points
14 May 2011 - 10:26 PM

.CONGRATULATIONS there AlanGrin
I am so pleased for you and that is so deserving for this image
Lillian

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malc_c
malc_c  8 England167 Constructive Critique Points
15 May 2011 - 7:04 AM

Well done and congratulations Alan.
As a matter of interest, have you entered this into any of the Salons this year?
malc

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AlanWillis
10 Jan 2012 - 5:21 PM

This picture has now had 10 out 10 by Three professional photographer judges.
Good job Mossyoak is not a judge or a professional photographer.

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Lillian
Lillian e2 Member 5Lillian vcard United Kingdom16 Constructive Critique Points
10 Jan 2012 - 6:30 PM

Ditto to that!
Well done

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AlanWillis
25 Feb 2012 - 12:28 AM


Quote: guessing that you were on a small aperture due to the light and thus dof is minimal.
Richard

Must put you right on this Richard.
Small aperture = large DOF.
Large aperture = Small DOF.

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