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Goldcrest (Brandon Marsh)

By tom_earwaker
This guy was very hyperactive, was difficult to capture. I ended up using a fairly high ISO (for this camera at least) and trying to get away with a slower SS. I have tried to de-noise the background and sharpen bits of the bird, but do you think there is more that can be done in processing?

Tags: Bird Warwickshire Goldcrest Wildlife and nature Brandon marsh Warwickshire Wildlife Trust

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paulbroad Plus
14 131 1293 United Kingdom
30 Jan 2017 7:52AM
This is very good. The Goldcrest, as you are well aware, is tiny. Wren sized and does not sit still. I'm still trying to get a good shot of one and this is better than I've managed so far! You have done well and I am learning with the Fuji and 100/400 that often upping the ISO is the only way to go.

It is nearly sharp and good enough for most purposes. Ideally, the head and eyes could be slightly better, but, again, well done indeed.

Drighlynne 10 131 1 United Kingdom
30 Jan 2017 10:22AM
Brilliant shot.GrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
30 Jan 2017 12:47PM
I think you have done a great job, they are never still for a moment, there were loads in Northumberland back in October but I only ended up with a couple of decent shots but not as good as this one.

banehawi Plus
17 2.7k 4282 Canada
30 Jan 2017 1:55PM
Its very good.

Underexposing -1/3 was not the best move, +1/3 likely better as there a very bright area behind; the net result is the bird is a little underexposed, and underexposure makes noise more visible.

Loaded mod that has the bird brighter, and tried a bit more noise reduction.


dudler Plus
18 1.8k 1895 England
30 Jan 2017 4:51PM
I'll leave the sharpening issues to the technically-minded: my biggest thought is that the bright sky behind hte bird drags the eye, and has caused the exposure problem that Willie notes. If you can (and I recognise hte difficulty, but it remains the ideal) get a light bird against a dark and even background, and it will glow.

Mod based on Willie's version done - very crude cloning, but it shows how the background affects the overall feel of a picture, and hwo a darker background throws attention onto the bird, a bit like a spotlight on a stage.
dark_lord Plus
17 2.9k 795 England
30 Jan 2017 8:54PM
They are tricky to get, and they are smaller than a wren, they, together with the firecrest, are the UK's smallest bird. Yes it's nice to get a darker/less distracting background but sometimes you have to take what you get no matter how well you plan and position yourself.

You have sharp focus on the eye, which is very good (and not easy with these birds).
Sharper than numerous images of 'less energetic' species we see here.

Unfortunately at this time of year you do need to use higher ISOs in less than ideal lighting conditions.
Trying to remove the noise too aggressively will be at the expense of finer detail so I'd rather see a little noise and a sharper image than one that looks as though it's been heavily smoothed.
You shot RAW, according to the exif above, so you should have finer control over noise reduction. It's always worth going 'too far' in reducing noise, then pull back a bit. That way you'll be able to see what looks 'best' for you.

I'd be quite happy with this.

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