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Coot on nest

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Beginner to photography, originally bought the camera as present to self for giving up smoking in July 2007. However i didn't know an f-stop fom a bus stop at the time. but al ways wanted to get into photography and also enjoy wildlife nature and landscape. Thought this would be a nice and accessable picture to take at a local nature (RSPB) reserve. Further information in response to some kind critique from Overread i.e. Exposure 1/8 sec @ f13 iso 160 and focal length 200 mm, hand held only 20/04/08 18.54 hrs. The picture could probably do with some work but again i'm a novice with regards to editing the photo's.
As for time of day, unfortunately nearly all my photo's are on the hoof and untill recently always hand-held i.e. as and when while out with partner (who is lovely and very patient but not inclined too be too patient). As a result i decided to make a photograhic feature of my partner walking off into the distance as so often happens and will upload when i next get the time.

Camera:Samsung GX10 Check out Samsung NX Generation!
Lens:50-200 D-xenon Kit lens
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Title:Coot on nest
Username:doryram doryram
Uploaded:21 Aug 2008 - 7:50 PM
Tags:Bird, Coot, Nest, Water, Wildlife / nature
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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
vandalp  7
21 Aug 2008 - 8:47 PM

Welcome to the world of Photography, well done on your first upload. I look forward to seeing your progress. Vanda

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Overread  74023 forum posts England19 Constructive Critique Points
25 Aug 2008 - 9:48 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Welcome to the site and to the world of photography!
A shame that in this shot the light was dull and flat - the angle I like and you have eye contact with the subject which is important in wildlife photography (in fact its about the only thing you "must" have is eye contact - sharp eye contact with the viewer -- of course remember all rules are made to be broken once you know how to break them).

As for the light - dawn or dusk (1 hour before or after sunset/sunrise) is the golden time for photography when the light is soft and not overpowering. Of course getting there in those times is not always easy/possible. Though now you know the location of the nest and from where to shoot you can always return in better light.

Another thing you might try is to shoot from a lower angle - getting right down low lets the camera capture a sight that the normal passerby does not usually see and thus makes for a more interesting photo.

I think you are off to a good start - the shot is well composed, exposure looks good considering that you are shooting into a shadow with the face and though results look a little soft that might be a result of compression on the photo.
Out of interest what settings (aperture, ISO and shutter speed) and how were you shooting (handheld, resting on tripod/wall) ?

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