Back Modifications (2)
Views: 89 (40 Unique)  Award Shortlist   


By brrttpaul
not sure which bird it is. Should it be cropped or left as it is?

Tags: Bird Wildlife and nature

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


_ 13 535 4 Virgin Islands, British
5 May 2012 11:26AM
Looks very small in the frame and very central. If faced with a small subject try to frame it so that it becomes a vital element in an otherwise bigger picture. Here, maybe make the tree your main subject with the little bird as a sub plot in it. By placing the bird in a central position you are forcing our eye to the middle of the screen and asking us to ignore all else.

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brrttpaul 6 234 United Kingdom
5 May 2012 11:32AM
yip hear what you are saying, I was going to crop it but because it was sorta looking down to the corner and there is a blur in that corner decided to leave it to see what others thought.
mhfore 11 6 176 England
5 May 2012 12:15PM
Hi Paul,

I think for me a closer crop would work better, with it being a small bird it does look a little lost in this much space. I would also use your "Dodge" tool set to around 8% and click on the catchlight in the birds eye just to brighten that a little. Make sure your brush size stay's within the eye (or it may start to ligthen some of the surrounding area's) and give it a couple of clicks or until it looks right to you.

Take care
puertouk 6 1.1k 17 United Kingdom
5 May 2012 1:41PM
Hi Paul, yes, unfortunately small birds need to be shot closer, even though you had a 500mm lens on. I've made a few adjustments in Photoshop camera raw and cropped it from the right side to balance the image up a little. Getting good close up shots of wildlife is not easy and patience is a must. Like any good wildlife photographer, they scout out the good locations. If it's birds you are looking to shoot, you need to find out where the nests are, especially when the birds have chicks. That is the time to get your best shots, as the parents are always flying in and out of the nest feeding the chicks. Hope this is of some help and good luck in the future.
brrttpaul 6 234 United Kingdom
5 May 2012 3:57PM
Hi guys thx for the feedback, it is appreciated. I got no problem with the getting closer I got plenty more that have been taken closer but i can only add one pic ( do need to become a member asap). I was just seeing what this was like because of that blur down in the corner and the bird seemed to be looking at it, thats why I kept it that size. Nothing ventured lol, thx for the feedback, again it is very much appreciated
DRicherby 9 269 725 United Kingdom
5 May 2012 5:19PM
I think it's a female stonechat (Saxicola torquata), though I'm no expert. The RSPB Bird Identifier is really good for British birds. The Collins Guide to British Wildlife is also useful, if you want something to throw in the car so it's always there when you need it. Amazon are selling it for six quid at the moment, which is a total bargain. (Bleh. If you write "Amazon", EPZ turns it into a link. Good job I wasn't talking about the river...)

As for the photo, it's well exposed and looks decently sharp but the bird's too small for the shot to work as a portrait and the surroundings aren't interesting enough for it to be a photograph of the surroundings that includes a bird. I would definitely crop out the yellow highlight in the bottom left because it draws the eye very strongly out of the photograph.

paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
5 May 2012 7:26PM
Unfortunately the bird needs to be a lot bigger in the frame and you are already at 500mm - 750mm on your Nikon. You need to be closer, but do be careful as many birds are protected and getting too near the nest can get you into trouble without a licence.

brrttpaul 6 234 United Kingdom
5 May 2012 9:34PM
Surely I could crop it to fit the frame rather than get too close and risk spooking them? As I stated earlier, should it be cropped or not lol, Yes it is a female stonechat Dave I see what you mean about the blur distracting it was just a thought thats all about the bird looking at it.
DRicherby 9 269 725 United Kingdom
5 May 2012 10:05PM
You could just crop but the problem is a loss of resolution. For example, if you crop to the middle third, horizontally and vertically, your shiny 14-megapixel DSLR has just become a 1.5-megapixel camera. The results can be reasonable for on-screen display as long as your focus is absolutely spot-on and there's no camera shake or subject movement.

Ultimately, you have to make your own judgment on the compromise between getting close enough to get the perfect shot and staying far enough away to avoid causing distress. You could try asking for advice on the forums, as there are some really good bird photographers on the site.

brrttpaul 6 234 United Kingdom
5 May 2012 10:21PM
Cheers Dave thats very good advice. I guess im trying to do it all at once, trouble is combining everything, i.e walking, bird watching, photography, etc. Im just enjoying the getting out in the morning and learning about the camera and the lens, in fact I learnt today the value of ex comp because im sure most of the photos I took were on plus 5, I did this because of the fast shutter speed and trying to keep the iso down. My first goal was to being able to identify the bird from the photo, my next goal will be more the bird hide side of things. Great fun and loving it
Steve-T 11 56 66 England
6 May 2012 12:41AM
I am not a nature / bird photographer so no real qualification for this view except for 1000s of birds shots I've seen on this site Wink. I quite like the space around the bird. It gives a sense of scale and informs the non- expert about it's preferred environment. I don't really see how the suggested crops improve the reading of the image. I am comfortable that the hawthorn (?) perch is off centre and that the bird is facing into the open space. I would probably lose the flare in the bottom left. Steve.

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