Back Modifications (2)
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Escaping his shadow

By Madoldie
Seagull taking off, taken while out the other afternoon using a 200mm lens in the middle of the day. Converted into black and white in photoshop.

Tags: Flight Shadow Seagull Black and white Escaping Wildlife and nature Takek off

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pamelajean Plus
16 1.8k 2263 United Kingdom
27 May 2017 9:15PM
I like your title, Mat, as I have a fascination for shadows, as does Moira.
The first thing I noticed was the strong shadow, which gives another element to the image, and a bit more interest, especially considering that there is nothing else for the viewer to look at. The impact lies in its simplicity, and also in your in-flight capture. Well done for getting the whole of the shadow inside your frame, which isn't easy when you're concentrating on the flying bird.

1.06pm is the brightest time of the day, and that shows on the bird's light plumage, but you've done well to keep detail in the wing feathers. There is, however, quite a bit of shadow on the gull's body, which you have deepened further in your conversion, and made it too dark.

I have done a modification where I firstly straightened the image using the top line. I then removed the dark area and lines at the top, for a cleaner finish.
I think your placement of the gull in the frame is good, with room in front for it to move into, and its centre more or less on a thirds intersectiion.
I used your original colour version, converted it to black and white, and lifted the shadows prior to doing a Levels adjustment.

dark_lord Plus
18 2.9k 824 England
27 May 2017 9:20PM
You've captured the bird at a good attitude and got a nice shadow.
I rather like the starkness of the mono version, definitely more Hitchcockian than the colour!

However, the image is unsharp. and it looks very much like focus error where the camera hasn't quite achieved sharp focus or the bird has moved out of that zone between focussing and the shutter being released.
I don't think the shutter speed is to blame though with longer focal lengths I have seen movement blur even at high speeds.
You need to be accurate using one shot focusing, or use servo focus (that mode will allow you to release the shutter even when the subject isn't sharp though it increases your chances of a sharp shot).
paulbroad Plus
15 131 1294 United Kingdom
28 May 2017 7:25AM
Lighting contrast is somewhat against you, but the real problem is the lack of sharpness as Keith says. Focusing I think, although I would have been at f8 or 11 to give a bit of depth. If you are using single spot auto focus then there is a god chance it missed the subject. Servo auto focus and a central zone - possibly 9 points if available - for flying birds.

banehawi Plus
18 2.7k 4314 Canada
28 May 2017 4:16PM
Use the focus tracking mode and track the bird with the shutter half pressed.
dudler Plus
19 1.9k 1947 England
28 May 2017 5:20PM
How did you convert to mono?

Pamela's mod is far more to my taste tha nthe original, which has largely lost shadow detail. Different conversion filters and routes give different results - so look at a few alternatives, and make sure htat you lose nothign in translation!
Madoldie 8 586 United Kingdom
30 May 2017 5:36PM
Hello, sorry about the delay in replying but been flat out over this bank holiday, haven't even had the camera out since last Wednesday. Thanks guys for the comments really helpful and some good ideas that I will have to take some time to explore.
All the best,

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