Back Modifications (3)
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By Headverger  
A quick shot of our garden visitor. This is a handheld shot taken on the spur of the moment.

Tags: Wildlife and nature

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banehawi Plus
16 2.3k 4176 Canada
7 Dec 2015 12:48PM
For a spur of the moment "grab" shot ots quite good.

Nice high ISO performance, good focus, decent detail. Your image stabilisation system, in-camera worked very well with a shutter speed relatively slow; the Robin cooperated too!

Its a touch underexposed, and it can be sharpened a little more, - you can do this yourself.

Ive done both in the mod, along with a crop from the right to remove that piece of vegetation upper right.


7 Dec 2015 1:39PM
Thanks for the feedback Willie and, yes, your edit looks better. Up to now I've tended to be a point, click and show type of photographer. However with comments like yours and those on one of my other images maybe its time I upped my game.

My editing has mainly consisted of cropping, contarst and brightness and some fiddling with saturation using Microsoft Picture Manager. I've done a couple of colour pop edits but these were using the edit feature on the camera. I have recently bought Photoshop Elements 13 and have yet to do anything with it.

I'm also still exploring the camera settings rather than relying on Auto.


dudler Plus
17 1.4k 1736 England
7 Dec 2015 2:39PM
I think you are on the verge of getting control of your pictures, Jon.

Have a play with Elements, and aim to learn one or two new tools a week - start with cropping, dodge/burn, and Levels, I suggest. OK. Three the first week!

Getting started is slow, but once you begin to get the hang of it, you find that other tools work in the same sort of way as the ones you know: there are adjustments and fine-tunings available.

As to camera settings: try aperture priority, always watching the shutter speed you are getting, and possibly adjusting ISO to get the aperture/shutter combination you want.

Or reverse this, with shutter priority, always watching aperture. But I go for A myself!
mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.4k 2289 United Kingdom
7 Dec 2015 6:06PM
Really attractive! A couple of points - yes it was a grab shot, but robins are cheeky little ******s, they hang around. Take a second to duck down a bit lower, onto the bird's level, if possible...

Plus - you have used Action (high speed) mode, good thinking! It gave you a fast shutter speed. At that focal length I would look for even faster, but you clearly have a steady grip.

Well done!

I have uploaded a very quick modification (I timed it at thirty seconds). Here's what I did:

Cropped to square to get rid of the out of focus leaf top right and reduce the rest of the fairly unexciting background. Concentrate on the robin.

Made a Levels adjustment, moving the outer sliders inward. That increases tonal range, it gives real dark and light tones. The original is a bit flat. I haven't touched colour saturation by the way, look at the way improving the light balance also improves colour!

Then I flipped horizontally because looking to the viewer's right gives a more positive, jaunty, upbeat feel. It's how the Western brain expects to see an image develop.

Now this just needs text and a border and you have a Christmas card design.

You understood the appropriate mode setting, next stage is to move out of modes!
dark_lord Plus
16 2.7k 709 England
7 Dec 2015 6:50PM
Not bad for a grab shot. Even experienced photographers have to grab a shot now and then! And in such cases the finer points of technique and composition get relegated in favour of getting the shot. However, sometimes getting the shot is the more important aspect. For example if this were a rare migrant in your garden.

Willie's crop removes the unsightly top right corner but more importantly provides an image with better balance, more room in front of the bird for it to 'look or move into'. When shooting birds that are small and quick you may not have time to recompose the image, so once you've one shot in the bag then you can think about composition more.

You were struggling with low light looking at the exif data so you've managed commendably to get the shot you have.

It's better if you can take an image on the same level as the subject. Again, not the first thing to consider in a grab shot scenario. Even under controlled conditions the bird won't always go where you want it to!

So, there are a few things to bear in mind in the future when you can take a more considered approach.

As for using software, cropping, brightness, contrast etc. are the most often used adjustments for 90 or more of images. Many experienced photographers use little more in their post processing so if that's all you do then there's no need to fell that you aren't doing enough.
That's not to say you'll never need to learn some of the more advanced features, but worry about those when the time comes. Master the basics first.
In fact, I'd add colour balance as a basic, too.

7 Dec 2015 9:36PM
Thank you all for your extremely useful comments. Thanks to the guy at ProAm in Bradford for pointing me in your direction.

paulbroad 13 131 1290 United Kingdom
8 Dec 2015 8:29AM
Mostly covered. For me, the main thing is that it is slightly soft. Bird pictures need to be crisp and sharp on the head in particular. You need to use the lowest ISO possible for quality but if hand holding in low light, then high ISO can solve the problem to a degree. The higher the ISO, the softer the image.

1/200 is not fast enough for 300mm, and you have actually done well to get it this sharp. Treat yourself to a monopod. Google it if you are not aware of them. Relatively cheap, portable and add great support

mrswoolybill Plus
14 2.4k 2289 United Kingdom
8 Dec 2015 9:57AM

Quote:Thanks to the guy at ProAm in Bradford for pointing me in your direction.

I wonder if he's a member here?
9 Dec 2015 1:29PM
Sorry I was mistaken. This site was recommended to me by someone from the Bradford Camera Exchange. I know that they are joined together but I best get my facts right!


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