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Ruffled Feathers

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From my last post of this I think it is a Wheatear.

This is not as clear as I would have liked, although I was lying down on the cliff edge in a strong wind Smile

I do struggle a little with photographing birds I seem to get interesting poses but never as clear as I would like.

Taken just past the Lighthouse on the Lizard in Cornwall.

Settings:
1/350 sec
ISO 200
F5.7
400mm - Hand Held with IS switched on

Camera:Canon EOS 50D
Lens:Sigma 120-400mm OS HSM
Recording media:RAW (digital)
Title:Ruffled Feathers
Username:Blundez Blundez
Uploaded:10 Dec 2010 - 12:44 PM
Tags:Birds, Wheatear, Wildlife / nature
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
Len1950
Len1950 e2 Member 4Len1950 vcard England
10 Dec 2010 - 12:56 PM

Nice shot, knows your there as well.

Len

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jeb2012
jeb2012  4 United Kingdom
10 Dec 2010 - 1:00 PM

An excellent capture

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Philo
Philo e2 Member 472 forum postsPhilo vcard England83 Constructive Critique Points
10 Dec 2010 - 1:54 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

This is a good effort given the conditions but it may have paid to up the ISO to get a faster shutter speed.
Compositionally there is a fair bit of wasted space either side of the bird so I have cropped it in portrait format at 10 x 8. The harsh light from the side has possibly left the shot a little under exposed so I have made a levels adjustment whilst protecting the highlights with a layer mask. Finally I sharpened as the image is fairly soft.
The pose, eye contact, movement in the feathers and blurred background are all terrific.
Phil

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Blundez
Blundez  7
10 Dec 2010 - 3:06 PM

Appreciate the comments Phil,
I will have to use ISO more than I do I am always a bit nervous in case of grain but forget that the 50D can cope well with higher ISO settings.

Your Mod works well the cropping does focus the eye more and I hadn't realised that I could get it any sharper so you have given me food for thought - thanks.

Last Modified By Blundez at 10 Dec 2010 - 3:07 PM

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luckybry
luckybry e2 Member 4luckybry vcard Scotland
10 Dec 2010 - 3:54 PM

this isw excellent very sharp and superb details
bryan

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johnjones
johnjones  5 England
10 Dec 2010 - 6:34 PM

A excellent shot and i like the shot as it is but when you clone something out go with the flow of the bg and not in a circle as you can see where you have cloned out.
jj

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DRicherby
DRicherby  5269 forum posts United Kingdom725 Constructive Critique Points
18 Dec 2010 - 12:19 AM

With image stabilization, 1/320s at an effective focal length of 560mm is probably OK in good conditions but maybe not enough in a strong breeze. ISO-400 should give decent noise performance and 1/640s should give better sharpness. If you find you need to do noise reduction, use layers so you can apply it only to the background — noise reduction eats detail, too. (If you're not familiar with layers, duplicate the image as a second layer, apply noise reduction to that layer and then erase the bird from it so it shows through from the original layer.)

The lighting is quite difficult here, with strong light on his back and most of the front in shadow. Ideally, more of the bird would be lit but, hey, you can only shoot him where he decides to stand. Smile

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