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White leopard

By MikeRC
FL 200mm.
SS 1/640
ISO 400
+/- -0.7

Tags: Pets and captive animals

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.

Comments


MikeH 11 217 4 England
27 Dec 2009 6:58PM
What aperture was this then Mike?
Mike

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MikeRC Plus
11 3.6k United Kingdom
27 Dec 2009 7:04PM
sorry Mike....missed it off didn't I......2.8

....Mike
miptog 10 3.5k 61 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2009 7:08PM
Which focusing mode were you using. The fur on the nape of the neck looks in focus, whilst the eyes are out of focus.

Also, as a general rule f/5.6 would give you a better chance of getting the eye and nose etc. in focus.
keith selmes 12 7.1k 1 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2009 7:12PM
Seems to me the nose and eyes are a bit soft and low contrast, probably through being not quite in focus. The left ear and the hairs on the top and back of the head are sharp, then it starts to fade again. The right ear looks a bit odd to me, almost as though oversharpened, it might be due to the change in colour around the edge.
The bokeh is very nice, very smooth background, which is partly what you pay for in a good lens.

So I think probably it is dof problem, compounded by the point of sharp focus being not in quite the right place.

I wonder also if it would benefit from brightening up a touch in software.
keith selmes 12 7.1k 1 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2009 7:17PM
So 2.8 would be a touch optimistic and its probably not necessary to cut it so fine, 5.6 probably would have been OK, and 4 focused just behind the snout (muzzle ?) might have done it.
MikeH 11 217 4 England
27 Dec 2009 7:25PM
Looking at this Mike carefully shows that the eyes , nose and mouth area are out of focus while the top of the head is sharper.

The use of f2.8 has restricted your D.OF. At this wide aperture the focus point is very critical as there is little d.o.f . and even a small distance can make a difference to the sharpness of the eyes nose etc.
Trying f4 or f5.6 would give more latitude in focusing while keeping the background still out of focus. However at 4 or 5.6 your shutter speed would be slower so you could nudge up the iso to compensate.
Also I notice you have ev set to -O.7 you would probably get away with -0.3 , this would help with shutter speed.
I know it is a VR lens but a monopod would have really helped here with stability, yet allowing you to retain flexibility of following the action.
Your lens can be used confidentally at f2.8, it is designed that way and is why you paid a shed load of dosh for that confidence, however technique is all and once mastered you will be amazed at what it can give you,
Wish Santa had brought me one!!
pluckyfilly Plus
10 351 33 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2009 7:35PM
I am sure you know this - if you have a VR lens you should not use a tripod (as suggested above) unless you turn off the VR - it does make a huge difference I can vouch for that having read it via Nikon newsletters and then trying it for myself.
Love the shot but have to agree with the point about dof and exposure and focus but you have all the advice you need above so I will stop myself here.
Eviscera 10 1.1k 149 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2009 8:29PM
Mike , the critical thing to look at is how you have set the autofocus area on you camera.

Did you have it set to random wide a/f , or general focus area selection or (imho) the best choice , spot autofocus ?

Setting to spot metering and spot a/f will always give the best results , half click and recompose might have helped !
MikeRC Plus
11 3.6k United Kingdom
27 Dec 2009 9:02PM
Eviscera....not sure I understand, the camera is generally set to 3D colour matrix..recommended in the manual.
I usually shoot on AF-A.
I always try to half click and recompose my shots but doesn't always work for me.
cheers....Mike
shawpaul 11 7 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2009 9:02PM
In order to get the best from your shot, I first applied "clarify" found in my adjust programme in Coral paint shop at strength 4, then I used the burn tool to darken the nose area in CS2, and a little of the "dodge" lightening tool, with more time and effort we could get better results, but the advice on exposure being the smallest we can get away with the sharper is the best advice possible when shooting anything going to, or likely to move fast! - Paul
MikeRC Plus
11 3.6k United Kingdom
27 Dec 2009 9:06PM

Quote:Also, as a general rule f/5.6 would give you a better chance of getting the eye and nose etc. in focus


cheers miptog...is it possible, in simple terms, to say why ? or not ?
..is it more complex than that ?

...Mike
lianna 6 13 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2009 9:16PM
it has potential to be a lovely capture, unfortunately the focus appears to be in the wrong place, the nape of the neck is lovely and sharp where as the eyes are a tad out of focus. other than that the colouring and lighting is really good. this could be an amazing photo, 100% for effort. look forward to seeing some more of your work x x
Eviscera 10 1.1k 149 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2009 9:28PM
Forget the manual. Find the spot a/f option on your cam , and either pre-focus on a place the subject will move into or keep a high shutter speed if able.

The plane of focus is all wrong on this image , you got seduced by the f2.8 and in any event the background tones (greens and reds) dont sit well with the subject tones (greys)

I did you a link on plane of focus , do you want one for the colour wheel ?
MikeH 11 217 4 England
27 Dec 2009 9:42PM
Pluckyfill is quite right that a VR lens on a tripod should have the VR switched off. However with a monopod in use there is also a seperate setting on the lens which allows VR to work only on the vertical plane so allowing for effective panning.
MikeRC Plus
11 3.6k United Kingdom
27 Dec 2009 9:48PM

Quote:I did you a link on plane of focus , do you want one for the colour wheel ?


...thanks Eviscera but I suspect it would be wasted on me.
Eviscera 10 1.1k 149 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2009 9:59PM
Mike , your works really good , just p.m once you've finished trying the app sets and planes mate.

I was never blowing trumpets , I'm in many ways artistically pissed off as you. Hard to find solace eh !
paulbroad 9 114 1049 United Kingdom
28 Dec 2009 2:12PM
There is a very simple basic problem here and it has nothing to do with depth of field or VR. Part of the image is sharp, so the VR worked. You focused on the wrong spot.

The best way to set up your focusing system for most shots - not all - is center spot AF. Just use the central AF point, lock focus and recompose before shooting.

If I were shooting set piece photography - zoos etc. rather than unpredictable images, then I would use a monopod at least and switch off Vr, IS or whatever it gets called. Vr is for spontaneous imaging.

Focus on the eyes.

Paul
MikeRC Plus
11 3.6k United Kingdom
29 Dec 2009 3:53PM
Thanks everyone for you help...still trying to digest it all :
...but getting there.

regards.....Mike

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