Back Modifications (1)
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feeding time

By garreth55
out for a walk and saw this cheeky chap.took me by surprise so didnt ajust camera setting

Tags: Tree Feeding Wildlife and nature Sqirrel

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


NH_Snap 8 24 Scotland
29 Apr 2012 2:00PM
Filling the frame is superb. Grin I am looking at a Laptop screen so not the best but I can not makeout the focus. It looks shaken. If it was handheld you may use a Tripod on the longer focal lense or a Tree Fence post to sablise the canera. Would like to get that close up to a squirrel though.


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mhfore 11 6 176 England
29 Apr 2012 2:50PM
Hi Garreth,

An opportunity spotted and taken well done, although as you say, sometimes with an opportunist shot like this you don't always get the chance to alter the camera settings.

Garreth you can lighten the image in a few ways, depending on which software you use. A very simple way is to use "Shadows/Highlights" which does as it say's on the tin and alters the shadows and highlights which you control with sliders. In "Elements" this option can be found by going to "Enhance" > "Adjust Lighting" > "Shadow/Highlights". In PS go to "Image" > "Adjustments" > "Shadows/Highlights" and if you use Picasa go to Tuning and the sliders appear in the window.

Of course there is more than one way to make these types of adjustments, but this is one of the easiest and this is the only adjustment I made in the mod.

Take care
Trev_B 11 151 68 England
29 Apr 2012 7:48PM
Hi Garreth... you have received good advice from Nils and Martin.

As you say when you need to take a grab shot there is not enough time to change camera settings... however you can think ahead and set the camera into a position that will suit a quick reaction shot.

I tend to set my camera with an f stop that I know works well with the lens I have mounted, then meter the current available light and set the ISO to give me a shutter speed that will give help camera shake at the longest focal point. I know that my Nikkor 70-300 works well at f10 and as my D700 is a full frame camera set the ISO to give me a shutter speed of 1/300. The latter can be explained in more detail by searching the internet for the reciprocal Rule of shutter speeds.

Just an idea.

Davesumner 11 28 300 Australia
30 Apr 2012 3:46AM

In my opinion, it isn't critique about this photograph that you need but info on how to be prepared for taking quick reaction shots. You've received some great advice from everyone above but I like Trev's points about setting up your camera for a quick shot, this is great advice and something that I do all the time and is essential for nature photography as you never know what is around the next corner.

For e.g. I use a Canon 5D Mk2 with a 100-400 L series Canon Lens when I'm out wandering the bush or rainforests for wildlife photographs. Here in Australia it can be really bright sunshine but it can also be dark and gloomy especially in the rain forest so the problem that I have is that the maximum aperture for the lens at 400mm is f/5.6 which can mean some fairly slow shutter speeds. Therefore when the light is low I always put my camera onto AV mode with the widest aperture set and I also use my monopod to give me a bit more stability. I also may up the ISO but I do try to limit this to no more than ISO 800 and the lower the better in my opinion. Now I'm not a Nikon shooter so I don't know the D90 well but on my 5D I can have up to 3 preset camera setups. One I have set for HDR, the other two are set for brighter or darker nature shooting so I can switch between them quickly. The other thing is the focus settings and metering, I would suggest spot or centre weighted metering and continuous shooting mode with the dynamic focus mode (AI Servo in Canon). I think that the reason that your image has the squirrel dark is because you have more than likely had your camera on multi segment metering and a quick visit to the exif data confirms this, which has caused the camera to see the brighter sky and reduce the exposure to compensate. This causes the actual subject to be darker than it should have been. However, if you use spot metering the camera would have exposed the squirrel correctly (provided the centre spot is on the subject) but be aware, it would have probably blown out the sky so it is a bit of a compromise.

SO how do I approach shooting a sudden sighting of that rare animal? A couple of quick shots to capture the moment and then I try to reposition to imrove the shot, this usually means trying to find a better background or get closer. This is the point when you can switch from the quick shot setup to something more appropriate because you captured what you saw in the first instance and anything now is to improve on those initial shots.

I hope this helps as much as the above critique.

garreth55 7 1 England
30 Apr 2012 4:54PM
many thanks for all the usefull advice.will try to take it all on board

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