Back Modifications (6)
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Seagull Taking Off

By heyitshenry
Hello There,
I was in Raglan today taking some pictures on my D200. There was lots of seagulls about that would let me get quite close to them. Out of the Lot I took this is my favourite one. I am going to add a mod of my crop. Is there any more modifications you would make to the lighting or the composition (My dad thinks my crop is a crock Tongue)

Henry FGrin

Tags: Beach Bird Seagull Wharf Wildlife and nature

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mrswoolybill Plus
15 3.2k 2518 United Kingdom
22 Jun 2019 8:48AM
I love this, it's my sort of wildlife shot. It has energy, life, character and movement, it's the antithesis of the bird-on-stick approach.

Above all it's perfectly timed. It's very well taken, with just one caveat. Pointing the camera into the sky will trick the camera's 'brain' into underexposing, so check out your exposure compensation button. I haven't used a D200 but assuming that it follows standard Nikon procedure it will be near to the shutter release button, marked +/-. Hold it down and use the thumb wheel to set a plus or minus exposure adjustment - a plus one stop setting would have helped here.

I've uploaded a mod, lightened and brightened. I haven't cropped, I like the space that the bird has to fly into. And I resisted the urge to get rid of the foliage bottom right, it weights the composition down and adds to the quirkiness.

I rather covet this one...
dudler Plus
18 1.8k 1928 England
22 Jun 2019 11:01AM
I didn't resist the crop that Moira mentions! Simpler and more airy.

I also went for brighter, and higher contrast - which is mainly a matter of opinion. I have one or two other thoughts for this, involving more processing. You don't have to do that stuff, though...
dudler Plus
18 1.8k 1928 England
22 Jun 2019 11:06AM
Second mod added - I used the Nik Efex Detail extractor filter to get more tone in the sky, and cropped differently.
22 Jun 2019 12:18PM
Thank you both, It's very interesting the two different takes of my picture.

I must remember to change the exposure compensation when taking pictures or remember to edit later, I did notice the low exposure when I was taking pictures after this one.

The changing of the RGB is rather interesting to change the light even though it's black and white. That seems like another useful tool to use later on. What is the Nik Efex Detail Extractor and how do I get it?

Henry FGrin
banehawi Plus
17 2.7k 4307 Canada
22 Jun 2019 1:34PM
Hi Henry, - nice shot. Ive added two mods, one is a very different crop, with significant exposure increase, and the second is a screenshot of your original upload where we can see the Histogram, which indicates just how underexposed this is.
In fact, its -1.6, which is significant. This means that you would have had to use a +1.6 to get it close to right; the downside here is that since you are in Aperture Priority mode, the camera would have slowed the shutter, and that would not be good for a bird in action shot where you need a fast shutter. That means, for a shot like this, the best mode to be using is Shutter priority, so when you use a + exposure compensation, the camera will open the aperture, and/or, - if the camera has an Auto ISO mode, increase the ISO. Im not familiar with how Nikon operates, so im not certain about ISO. Anyway, for birds, set Shutter priority, 1/200th or so, and off you go.

I think this would look better with a lot more height, as in the mod.

I will add a link to NIK below. It used to be free when Google owned it, but then DXO bought it and charges money. Its a nice to have tool, not a must have. Its either a plugin for Photoshop, or a stand alone programme. Interestingly, the video shows how to still get it for free...

What software do you currently use, - it would be good to know.


pablophotographer 10 2.0k 423
22 Jun 2019 2:24PM
Lovely shot, but bad exposure. Banehawi suggests you right.
To be frank you don't even need to see the histogram. Just think for a second: Seagulls are white. If the seagull looks other that snow white, it's underexposed.
For fast moving subjects, better use. Shutter Priority.
pablophotographer 10 2.0k 423
22 Jun 2019 2:25PM
...keep shooting!

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