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By manorjim
chiffchaff taken hand held with a nikon d7000 300f2.8 lense with a 1.7 convertor,would like to know how i did with this one

Tags: Wildlife and nature



SueEley 16 279 96 Wales
1 Apr 2013 5:42PM
Nice, lifelike colours. The bird is not totally off focus but not biting - so it's a nice picture of the bird but not a stand out picture for me. Your shutter speed should have allowed you to hand hold I would imagine (I wouldn't have been able to, but I have a tremor). In fact, I wonder if you needed such a fast shutter speed for a static subject? The detail in the plumage is not great (a bit smeared looking) - and I suspect the high iso might have something to do with this. Maybe you could have used a lower iso? A portrait crop would put the subject in a better position.
paulbroad 15 131 1294 United Kingdom
1 Apr 2013 6:09PM
Nice image but not sharp enough for this kind of thing. They must be pin sharp over much of the bird if possible, but definately the eyes.. You need a much lower ISO, 400 probably for these high quality natural history images. Camera support, tripod or monopod and an aperture of about f8 to use the lens sweet spot and get some depth of field. Look through this site and you will find some excellent high tech bird images. Aspire towards those. Look at the details of how they were shot.

That's why we ask more experienced people using this section to give full details so that beginners can look and learn.

pamelajean Plus
17 1.8k 2280 United Kingdom
1 Apr 2013 8:13PM
I've had a look at the settings you used for some other bird pictures in your portfolio, Jim, and notice that you often use a very high ISO and that a lot of them look overexposed.
The ISO setting determines how sensitive your camera is to light and also how fine the grain of your image is. You adjust how sensitive your camera's sensor is to the amount of light that's around by changing the ISO. When choosing the setting, ask yourself if the subject is well lit or not. On a sunny day you can choose ISO 100 or the Auto setting as there will be more light to work with.
It may be worth your while experimenting with different settings and then you can see how they impact your images.
You have also dialled in some positive Exposure Compensation, and so you have increased the brightness twice.
You will notice that the highlight on the bird's right side is burnt out (too bright with loss of detail), and this makes me think that there was sufficient light already.
banehawi Plus
18 2.9k 4345 Canada
1 Apr 2013 11:00PM
Ive uploaded a mod that is intended to make the most of this shot. Its soft, - and perhaps this is due to re sizing if the original is sharp, and its very flast, due to lack of contrast, - or, blacks are not = black. This is ;argely due to the light at the time, but can be easily handled in post processing.

I noticed Pamelas comment, and took a look at a few shots where you have shutter speed = ISO. This is an erroneous "rule" Ive come across a few times on the site, whereby having ISO ans shutter speed equal is recommended, and I mention this just to make sure you are not guided (or misguided) by it.

You get the best shots with the lowest possible ISO that allow a fast enough shutter speed to capture the subject with no camera shake or subject movement.

The guide for minimum shutter speed for hand holding, assuming you are very steady, is 1/(effective focal length at 35mm), which is 1/765, or effectively 1/1000. So going to 1/2000 leaves you in very safe territory, and allows you to use around ISO 2000, rather than ISO 6400. Using the min speed of 1/1000, you could use ISO 1000. Each one will provide a better quality image.

Remember too that you are shooting at a bright overall scene, where the bird, being a little darker, may underexpose, so using exposure compensation to dial in a +1/3 or 2/3 can help. It would help with the burned area on the edge of the breast, but the bird can look better, which is largely whats done in the mod, along with sharpening, and adding a catchlight in the eye (use a 1 pixel soft white brush ans adjust opacity on a layer).

Think about stopping down to f/5.6 while reducing ISO for a sharper shot.

Hope this is helpful,



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