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Goldfinch about to land on thistle head.
cropped from the original and noise reduced (pic taken @ iso 800)
These are modifications uploaded by other members of the photo above. Download the photo by right clicking Download Photo and clicking Save As.
I think the problem here is over sharpening. This is an excellent composition, but is extremely difficult to do (I've never managed it, and have yet to master birds that sit still!). What you could do to try and save it, is select the bird, inverse the selection and wind the noise right down on all the background. If that fails you could always blur the background. It may then be ok to print at 6x4. Great colours. The shot just shows how very frustrating our hobby realy is! You think you've got the shot, get home and ... damn, just not quite right.
Fantastic effort though, Rich.
You will get a slight increase in grain at ISO800, but nowhere near as much as is visible in this image. I think that you have cropped the image too much from the original. This has caused the overall graininess and lack of detail in the image. Also the focus point is in front of the bird, in the same plain as the 2nd thistle head on the left.
I hope you do not feel I have been harsh, but I have tried to offer you constructive critique to improve your images.
Did you mean to freeze the action as the wings tips are slightly blurred? Secondly the noise for me spoils the shot. As suggested at ISO 800 you will get some graining but I also think this has come from quite a substantial crop. Also I'm not sure that 300mm is large enough when photographing birds. I have a 300 lens and I have never managed to get a decent bird shot. Also the image of the bird or part of needs to be crisp and sharp and I dont see that here. Again I thnk this is due to a large crop - it would be interesting to see the original.
Many thanks for the comments, it's nice to get some decent honest criticism. I think all the comments hit the mark, it was an enlarged crop from a relatively small area and the sharpening was done with picture project. I've since got CS4 and might getter better results. Some of my other shots that I'll upload have also been through the Picture project package, so apologies if, they to seem over sharp !.
I love the challenge of trying to get a decent bird shot (especially in flight) and until I can get a 500ish lens I'll have to hope I can get closer !.
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