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Heron on the wing at Earlswood Lakes, Surrey

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Took this Heron on the wing, using my image stabilised 75-300 Lens, it focused more or less straight away, the Iso is set to auto the aperature is manually set and this seems to be a grey area with me as the varing light levels at this time of year is wide, the camera works out all the calculation, is there any way I can improve on the overal setting up for this type of shotn any help gratefully received, thanks

Camera:Canon EOS 7D
Lens:75.0 - 300.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 117.8 - 471.1 mm)
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Date Taken:17 Oct 2012 - 11:17 AM
Focal Length:300mm
Shutter Speed:1/1000sec
Exposure Comp:0.0
Exposure Mode:Aperture-priority AE
Metering Mode:Spot
Flash:Off, Did not fire
White Balance:Auto
Title:Heron on the wing at Earlswood Lakes, Surrey
Username:johnybegood johnybegood
Uploaded:18 Oct 2012 - 1:08 PM
Tags:Wildlife, Wildlife / nature
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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
Focus_Man  5481 forum posts United Kingdom631 Constructive Critique Points
18 Oct 2012 - 2:53 PM

Despite your 300mm lens this is really too far away from you to be able to give a half decent composition. The EXIF seems to be OK but as you can see most of your image is background.

Compositionally you have placed the edge of the waterline across the centre of your picture and left the main subject right in the middle of it. Setting up a land/seascape like this always looks far better when you apply RoT as a main subject on a junction of thirds catches the eyes better. Reading previous comments on pictures similar to your own before you upload will avoid this kind of thing happening. There is a wealth of knowledge to be gained by reading other peoples comments about other members work, so I recommend it to you.

This shot is also underexposed a bit you can always check this by looking at your histogram on the camera replay section before settling on the final file to use. Had you been able to get the Heron flying towards you as well, this would have been greatly improved.

I will upload a mod to demonstrate my compositional idea but given the size of the file I will have to enlarge it after making my crop. This will naturally denigrate the image a lot. You will also see that I have allowed space for the heron to fly into to the RHS this always improves viewability.


Last Modified By Focus_Man at 18 Oct 2012 - 2:56 PM

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18 Oct 2012 - 7:31 PM

Hi Tony, I know that you have taken some great pictures recently, and those are much closer to the subject with the clarity and composition much better. Build up more slowly. Hope to see you again soon.


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paulbroad  8108 forum posts United Kingdom964 Constructive Critique Points
18 Oct 2012 - 9:05 PMConstructive Critique!This comment was flagged as constructive critique! 

Bird needs to be much larger with a less cluttered background. Your exposure is quite close to correct but you have been lucky in this using spot on auto. The bird is dead central and thus in the spot metering area, but spot is better used to take manual readings, setting the determined value manually.

If the spot does not fall on a suitable tone, the exposure will be wrong. Auto ISO too is a bitdangerous. I use it for candids of people when moving from indoor to outdoor situations rapidly, but for this type of shooting would select the ISO myself depending on subject and required shutter speed.

Aperture priority is the way to go, but the bird dies not look fully sharp. Did you use servo autofocus? You should for this. The bird is flying partly away from you and can easily move out of focus in a fraction of a second at 480mm.

I would have used manual exposure, but I often use a hand meter, aperture priority f8, ISO 400, not a problem with the 7D, and servo autofocus on the centre spot. I would only use spot metering on manual or with exposure lock. Not easy with moving subjects.


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