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02/09/2009 - 3:20 PM

Long Eared Owl

Long Eared OwlHi John, 3 well focused shots of this beautiful creature - the expressions you've capture in all 3 are excellent
My main critique on all 3 shots, would be that they all tend to be shot from above the subjects eye level. Now I do realise that there are reasons why you may not have been able to take the shots from a lower angle, but if you can, it does make a big difference to the look of the subject within the image. Worth experimenting if you get the opportunity.
Personally, for head shots, as in V1, I like to try to get all the plumage in to the frame, or make a more severe crop into the image(as per mod), and the same applies with V3, where it would be good to see all of the tail feathers, rather than leave them out of frame. Possibly zoom out a tad to get these details into frame, although in my experience you have to be quick, before the subject moves, or flies away : )
Hope this is of some help.
18/08/2009 - 12:01 AM

Canadian Red Tailed Hawk

Canadian Red Tailed HawkYou've captured the detail in the plumage beautifully Norma.
Something worth considering next time, is to try to get the shot level with the bird's head. I know this isn't always as straight-forward as it may be, but it does give the bird a greater sense of grandeur, and can also render a very nice soft-focus bg, rather than oof grass.
An excellent first time shot all the same.
11/08/2009 - 12:46 PM

Red Kite

Red KiteHi Natzdad,
I think the V1 image is superb as a composition, and shows off the upper wing plumage very well, against a nicely blurred backdrop. Upon closer inspection the detail is soft, and there are ways to ensure you get sharper captures in future.
Aim for a shutter speed of >1/1000 if shooting hand-held, but I would really try to get used to panning whilst tripod mounted - it'll make so much difference to the sharpness of the shot. Last time I went to gigrin fm, I used 1/800 and got some good sharp datail.

Focus on the eye of the subject - if this is sharp, all else will look fine.
Sharpen after processing the image in PS, and remember to re-sharpen(lightly), after resizing the image for epz.
02/08/2009 - 5:27 PM

Eagle owl in flight series

Eagle owl in flight seriesHi Angi, great sequence of images - I've done a mod on V5, which is my fave.
As for tips,
I use spot metering, and try to track the eye the whole time, which isn't easy, but with practice, it improves.
Try shooting at ~1/1000, with aperture at F6.3-F8, then adjust the ISO until you get a good exposure metering. If it's a bright sunny day, under-expose by 1/3 to 1 stop to avoid burning out the highlights on the beak/talons and feather ends. Adjust this in photoshop, with a levels adjustment layer mask.
The day before you go again, spend an hour photographing passing cars to practice panning - focus on the nearside wing mrror, and see how many shot you can get with the wing mirror in the centre of the image.
Good luck.
20/07/2009 - 2:27 PM

Bella

BellaOther than what has already been mentioned, I would like to give a couple of tips for any future shots like this - in fact any animal/bird shots benefit.

Get as close to the subject's eye level as is possible to take the shot, with as clear a background as possible.

Try to focus on the eye of the subject (this image shows that the focus is at the end of the nose, leaving the eys slightly soft). If the eyes are the main focal point, the rest of the subjects features will look fine.
01/07/2009 - 8:29 AM

Lake Balboa Park

Lake Balboa ParkI was attracted to this shot as there are lots of interesting features in it.
I have made some adjustments to enhance the image, as outlined beneath the mod.
07/06/2009 - 1:22 PM

Eyes Front

Eyes FrontGood capture and well exposed for wing movement.
A lower POV would improve on an already great shot.
27/05/2009 - 6:26 PM

Messing about on the river

Messing about on the riverHi bigbob2, best way to start - slowl becoming faster : )
Good subject matter, as it adds colour and interest.
In the mod, I have cropped the image to bring the subject matter closer, leaving space for the boat to move into, whilst maintaing the splashes from the paddles, which also add interet.
As for tips, if you're going to photograph anything that's moving, up your shutter speed, in order to capture the subject without any unwanted blur.
If the subject matter has eyes, focus on them as they are the most important thing to get sharp - everything else will look good if the eyes are sharp.
A good way to get your panning technique better, can be as easy as standing beside the road, photographing moving traffic - always pick a point on the vehicle( eg nearside wing mirror), and shoot away as the car passes.
Finally, when uploading images to epz, when you resize your image (to 600pix), the image will soften slightly, so it is necessary to give it a final sharpen before you upload it.
I hope this is of some help - good luck : )
26/05/2009 - 8:30 PM

Whos nicked me nuts!!

Whos nicked me nuts!!Hi Kenfromsot, an excellent starter for wildlife, well done.
The eye looks sharp, with a nice catchlight, and you've left space in the composition for the squirrel to lok, and move into. Would have been nice to have the squirrel moving toward the camera, but wildlife is a bit like that - take what you can get.
The one thing that should be addressed is the burnt out highlights, in the tail and the rear leg fur.
One way to address this is to create an adjustment layer, using levels.
Make the adjustments needed to balance the histogram, and then using the rubber/eraser tool, erase the areas that are too dark, or the burnt highlights, and when it looks right, flatten the layer.
On bright days, I normally under-expose, so that I can make the adjustments in processing.
My only other tip would be to keep your s/speeds high in order to keep the subject sharp.
I will upload a mod shortly.
22/04/2009 - 10:29 AM

Flight

FlightHi Kathryn, this is a great first attempt at an in-flight barn owl, and whilst the focus could be better, you have captured some great wing motion.
It is certainly worth setting your camera up for this kind of shot, and practicing panning for side-on shots, and I have outlined below some tips:
Always focus on the eye of the subject, all else will look good if the eye(s) is/are sharp(I use AI servo and spot metering).
Use a high shutter speed >1/700, and higher if you dont have a tripod.
Open the aperture right up - ie F2.8 if you have it, then adjust iso to obtain above mentioned s/speed.
Hope this is of some help, and dont forget to advise me when I get round to shooting some b/w architecture : )
29/03/2009 - 1:35 PM

Bird of Prey

Bird of PreyI like the crop in V1, but I think the blue is over saturated in V1.
The beak should look grey, not blue, as with the plumage hue.
The yellow eye surrounds are turning green in V1 in contrast to V2, but hey, just my point of view.
A great shot all the same, with good eye contact, and plumage detail.
26/03/2009 - 1:38 PM

Great Tit (Parus major)

Great Tit (Parus major)A well focused capture Ray, although a bit of the white cheek plumage looks blown out to me.
This can be avoided by under-exposing the shot, and then selectively re-addressing the subject in photoshop.
I usually use a 'levels' layer to adjust the entire image, and then use the eraser/rubber tool over the areas that you want to leave with the original shot exposure.
25/01/2009 - 4:38 PM

Airplane show

Airplane showGreat shot. I like that you've left the smoke trails as part of the composition.
I have done a mod to take the add some more contrast and sharpness to the image.
10/01/2009 - 6:25 PM

Yeah... and!

Yeah... and!Hi John,
a good shot of the vulture, just a shame about the over-exposed areas on the beak and head. These things take some practice and perfecting, and your images will improve.
The eye contact and focus are very good in this image, and the feather detail is also good. The adjustments like levels, curves and sharpening are tools that get easier to use and understand over time, in my experience anyway. Just keep adjusting, and see how far you can take it.

You asked Willie about the constructive critique points, well if you think that someone has given your image some critique, and you have learned from it - ie, it has been constructive, click the link 'Mark as Constructive Critique' just below where they have made the comments, and that person is then awarded a point. You can tell how many points a person has by mousing over the medal icon with the 'c' on it, and this will tell you how many points that person has.
I hope this has explained what you wanted to know, if not send me a pm, saying what you need to have explained, and I will try to help.
01/12/2008 - 6:39 PM

Deer

DeerI'm thinking that the exposure is a bit over, but you can easily fix this with your raw image. I used shadows and highlights for a quick fix.
I also thought that the angle of the animal was sloping forward, and I know that this is possibly how it was in the shot, but I rotated the image to bring the neck into a more upward angle, which I think works for the 'call' of the animal.
After rotating, I had to crop, but again by just using the neck and head(and antlers) it looks okay. I was still able to leave some space in front of the face.
03/10/2008 - 11:30 PM

Across Shore

Across ShoreI like this - you can almost hear the helicopter : )

I've done quite a subtle mod - the main thing I noticed was the water line wasn't level, and then added some contrast and enhanced the foreground colour.