Back Modifications (6)
Views 116 Unique 58 Award Shortlist   

grave kestrel

By po
Waiting for its prey, too busy to notice me. Always trying to get closer to nature and wildlife, could be sharper, need to upgrade?

Tags: Wildlifeandnature Wildlife and nature


paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2014 9:56AM
Yes, must be sharper. This type of image has to be pin sharp in the right place and you have movement here. Your camera should do better and I suspect hand held at full zoom. You need a faster shutter speed or support. A monopod is very useful.

OK, upgrade. If you are really interested in photography, you need a DSLR to get the full features or, in these days, at least a compact system camera for a lighter load. The problem with a CSC is not the full range of optics and the cost can equal a DSLR.

You can learn from a compact, or even a bridge camera, but they cannot finally compete with a full system unit. If nature and wildlife are your thing, you need a DSLR and then learn how it works.


Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

IshanPathak 5 202 12 India
21 Oct 2014 12:01PM
Hello Pauline,

Always trying to get closer to nature and wildlife, could be sharper, need to upgrade?

Well i am along the same lines as you, i still have a compact camera and have learnt a lot from that.

If you can upgrade at once, then you should go for a better camera, but if not, then i would advice you to start using the manual mode of your camera and understand the basics. I see you have used one of the preset modes of your camera, which are often wrong for shooting.

Back to image, yes it needs to be pin sharp as Paul said, also i think the framing is a tad too tight.

banehawi Plus
15 2.1k 4032 Canada
21 Oct 2014 1:23PM
Hi Pauline, welcome to the critique gallery.

For the camera youve used, this is a decent shot.

Its a high ISO for this model, so it has some noise, which can affect sharpness. The shot is 4 years old too, so even in that time a comparable 2014 model would probably perform better as far as noise is concerned.

The focal length, 126mm, in 35mm terms is 720mm which suggests the shutter speed is slower than it should be, unless theres a very good image stabiliser system in the camera.
Youve zoomed in fully, and to leave some space around the bird (its tight as Ishan points out) you could zoom in a little less.

The light was poor as far as I can determine.

So as far as upgrading, it depends on what you intend to shoot the majority of the time. if it is indeed this type of shot, and you want high quality output, you need to move out of the bridge camera market. But, it will be expensive. If this is an occasional shot, and you want it to look better, perhaps a better spec bridge camera would do. In either event, you need to understand the camera controls first, - rather than depend on action modes, and other preset modes. It would not be appropriate though for us to recommend a course of action though on a single shot; only you know if you are happy with the current camera, and if you are actually getting the most out of it that its capable of. For example, theres no guarantee a DSLR or higher spec bridge would produce a much better shot if you use preset modes, and dont fully understand how to get the best out of the equipment.

If you look in flickr HERE you will find many examples of very good images from the HS10

There is already a mod uploaded thats an improvement, and Im uploading another.
paulbroad Plus
12 131 1285 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2014 3:15PM
When you buy higher end gear you are buying the ability to perform, not a guarantee. You must learn how to use the functions available. The point is that the capability needs to be there and almost all compacts and bridge caneras have very definate ceilings beyond which yiu cannot go.

Even a basic DSLR, fitted with the relevant accessories will handle almost any imaging need to a very high standard, butonly if you naster it.

craggwildlifephotography Junior Member 11 137 1 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2014 4:41PM
just done another quick mod ..hope you like it


richmowil Plus
10 369 2 England
21 Oct 2014 5:57PM
Your field craft got you closer and that's the main objective to be able to record the image! Its impossible to control the weather - it is what it is. Good Equipment will only help you produce better images, after you have got closer!! So you are part way there. Once you have the image you then need to enhance the image you have !! Your well on the way!!
pamelajean Plus
13 1.2k 2089 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2014 6:46PM
Hi, Pauline, I see you have been with us since June, but only have this one picture in your portfolio.
I therefore don't know if you have uploaded before, visited the Critique Gallery, and perhaps deleted the other pictures.

If this is your first, welcome to the CG and I hope you will enjoy it and find it a good place to learn. We try to give advice that will help people to improve their photography both the taking and the editing of images.
Remember that the more information you give us as regards your photographic aims and intentions, the better.
It also helps us if you respond to critique and indicate which ideas you found helpful. That means we can tailor advice according to your needs and abilities.

I use the HS20EXR and find it adequate for my needs. If I were interested in bird or wildlife photography, I would probably be looking to upgrade, but not otherwise. I like the camera's ease of use and portability, with no need to carry extra lenses. I try to get the best out of my camera that is possible. That's sometimes a challenge in itself.

You used a preset mode for this image. You need to take control of your camera settings in order to achieve the best that the camera can give you. I hope you will move out of the automatic settings, with the help of people on this site, in order to improve your photography.

The kestrel would look better with a bit more space over its head and without its tail being clipped, so you didn't need for it to be this close, this tight in the frame. And remember that a bird's eye is very important to get clear and sharp, so focusing accurately on the eye is something to bear in mind.
As Paul says, your camera could do better. No matter what camera is used, it's the photographer that counts, and how he or she controls it.

Keep up your interest and enthusiasm, get to grips with the camera controls, and I know you will be a lot happier with future shots.

dudler Plus
16 931 1517 England
23 Oct 2014 4:03PM
With some trepidation, as I don't do wildlife shots myself - I am aware of both personal and technique shortcomings that mean I really shouldn't try!

My feeling is that you actually need just a tiny bit more space around the bird: certainly, include the tip of its tail; and I'd like to see slightly more space in front and above.

I'll do a mod to show roughly how I'd like to see it framed.

It's easy, especially under stressful conditions, to put the subject right in the centre. A more effective composition, usually, puts it on the thirds - from one side, from the top or bottom. My mod doesn't quite do that, but it gives breathing space - appropriate for a bird of prey. I can conceive that a close-up might make it claustrophobically large, with the eye or talons as a he focus (maybe a second mod...)

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.