Back Modifications (2)
Views: 399 (154 Unique)  Award Shortlist   

I Feel pretty

By AlanWillis    
John Smith Memorial Trophy Prints winner.
Dennis Rowels Shield Prints winner.

Tags: Wildlife and nature

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

Comments


Daisymaye Plus
8 23 10 Canada
2 Nov 2010 2:00PM
I feel shy too. Beautiful and cute at the same time........Sandy

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2 Nov 2010 2:01PM
A excellent capture lovely colours
2 Nov 2010 2:09PM
Cant really say anything about this most wonderful image
What a belter ... Looks like a real bird not like most you see on here with false backings and totally stiff looking birds
Brilliant capture
hinadi 9 Egypt
2 Nov 2010 2:11PM
Amazinz shot, well captured. Hisham
2 Nov 2010 2:14PM
Wonderful capture!
tull 13 181 United Kingdom
2 Nov 2010 2:21PM
Really wonderful

Mark.
EAS 7 1 13 Scotland
2 Nov 2010 2:40PM
So good to see you posting on epz again and what a fab image to retuth with! 1st class and if anyone thinks otherwise they are in serious need of an optician's appointment, at the very least!!

Ann
ringyneck 10 315 18 United Kingdom
2 Nov 2010 2:42PM
Well now this is superb and as Barbara says it's fantastic to see one doing something at last.
Love all the disturbed feathers which gives a good depth to the shape of the bird,as well as emphasizing the textures.
I would prefer her a little sharper but thats just a personal thing.

Keith
ePHOTOzine is a place most people are great and where I have made many friends.
Many thanks for your' support.
Best regards Alan
Shroomer 9 14 167 England
2 Nov 2010 3:03PM
Now i'm allowed to comment on this Alan, I think I will.
As I said about this Kingy the last time you uploaded it, it is a fine capture and well timed in catching her mid preen and still retaining a good catchlight in the eye. I particularly like the ruffled feathers and detail on them against a dark bg. Overall a very good image, and would be interested to know if you had to crop it to enlarge it or if it is full frame as the sharpness just needs a touch more to pop it out. Also the perch needs to be a little sharper but guessing that you were on a small aperture due to the light and thus dof is minimal. With the perch a little cloning over the left of the perch to hide the snapped piece would help to finish off what is a good capture.
Richard
2 Nov 2010 3:05PM
I think Mossy needs a holiday !!
Clint123 6 2
2 Nov 2010 3:09PM
Not sure what gear you got this Kingy with Sydney as you haven't said. Surely if you require critique then that would help people. Also I notice you shoot in jpeg and not RAW. Lovely colours and action in the preen here and wish I could get one like this. Would have liked to see more of the perch and as Richard said tone down the white bit on it, maybe clone some moss over it.
Thanks for sharing and welcome to EPhotozine
Shroomer 9 14 167 England
2 Nov 2010 3:50PM

Quote:I think Mossy needs a holiday !!

Nah i've had 3 this year Smile
CarolG Plus
10 198 19 Greece
2 Nov 2010 4:16PM
This is absolutely stunning, fantastic colour, pose, background, everything about it is 1st class. Some people nit-pick just for the sake of it, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to criticize this whatsoever. Carol
Badger 14 4.7k 20 United Kingdom
2 Nov 2010 5:24PM

Quote:there is absolutely no reason for anyone to criticize this whatsoever.


Except that it has been uploaded to the Critique Gallery, the place where people post images for constructive criticism/feedback/comments.
bzbee Plus
12 102 3 United Kingdom
2 Nov 2010 5:26PM
superb image!!! brilliant shot
2 Nov 2010 5:35PM
I am no expert at bird photography, but I can tell if I like an image, or if I don't. It is always a personal oppinion.
Don't worry now Alan - I like this one very much! Smile
The kingy's pose is brilliant, and the detail in its plumage absolutely striking.
Johanna
I always shoot in RAW, convert to J peg for ePHOTOzine!
My pictures are always as taken, I do not use photoshop
as there is always a side effect, eg If you sharpen you get a halo that sort of thing. I use a Sony full frame, because the detail when printed is amazing with 24 mp. For Kingfishers I can be 4 ft away, and use my prime 100Mm this was taken with my 70-400 at about 3 1/2 mtrs from the bird. I beleave closeness gives the best pictures,
no lens will take a good picture of a 6" kingfisher at over 15 mtrs.
I hardly crop pictures because that errodes quality.
Taken at F8 would have preffered more. 1/125 of a second would have preferred more as the kingfisher is very active when preening, ISO400 would have preferred less. as you can see the light was poor. As for sharpness, the perch is not the subject!
I am thinking of calibration!
Malc Kingfisher121 has just had his canon calibrated and just look at his sharp pictures, He was a bit father away from me as he uses a 500mm it's the same perch, as I invite him there most weekends.
And I never clone, Why bother to try for a good picture?
Just take a bad one and photoshop it! Last remark is tongue in cheek. I have a friend who is brilliant with photoshop.
Shroomer 9 14 167 England
2 Nov 2010 6:03PM
Thanks for explaining Alan. I'm in a dilemma now as the minimum focus distance on the 800 is 21 feet. The quality always drops in reducing for web, printed from the large files should be very good at that size
Richard,
800mm has a place and so does a digi-scope?
But the best Kingfisher shots I have ever seen were taken with a Sony 300mm 2.8. It's on my wish list!
Kindest regards Alan
teocali Plus
8 441 18 England
2 Nov 2010 6:18PM
A beautiful Kingfisher image illustrating a lovely natural and not often seen pose, busy preening itself. Lovely plumage tones and electric blue iridescence - this bird really lives.
On the technical side, however, I feel that a picture speaks a thousand words and IMHO Terry L's mod, accompanied by his description of the tweaks applied, has turned a super image into a stunning one.
Uploading for critique and modification only and inviting the constructive comments of others, whether negative or positive, is the best way of improving one's own skills.
Sylvia
pluckyfilly Plus
10 351 33 United Kingdom
2 Nov 2010 8:19PM
a vote from me - no need to add flame to the fire
ringyneck 10 315 18 United Kingdom
2 Nov 2010 10:48PM

Quote:A beautiful Kingfisher image illustrating a lovely natural and not often seen pose, busy preening itself. Lovely plumage tones and electric blue iridescence - this bird really lives.
On the technical side, however, I feel that a picture speaks a thousand words and IMHO Terry L's mod, accompanied by his description of the tweaks applied, has turned a super image into a stunning one.
Uploading for critique and modification only and inviting the constructive comments of others, whether negative or positive, is the best way of improving one's own skills.
Sylvia


I agree with Sylvia that the mod has just put the icing on the very rich cake......but i applaude your philosophy of attempting to "get it right in camera" as I cannot get it right anywhere and I am in awe of your original and Terry's mod.
Keith
2 Nov 2010 11:15PM
Many thanks for comments, I am trying to sort 4 pictures out of about 20 for my local camera club competition. and welcome sensible critique. Im also trying to get natural shots, and hope to move away from perches planted for the kingfisher to land on,such as cameras etc,which are fun shots. but not yet. After a year of almost total Kingfisher photography I feel I have some way to go. ePHOTOzine is a wonderful site, and has taught me a great deal, I am sensitive and hope to ride critique which is not posted with good intention.
Best regards Alan
malc_c 10 2 167 England
3 Nov 2010 4:48AM
Hi Alan,
Fabulous capture with that wonderful sense that you can almost feel the softness of the feathers. For me (at the size presented here), your posted original is the best - I want nature pictures to look natural, not 'popped', and I personally don't find the broken area of the perch particularly distracting, the most I would do is suppress the brightest highlights.

For the bird itself my only crit would be that lifting the facial area slightly would possibly help lift the image overall, and also lighten the catch light slightly. I personally use a selective curves adjustment for these. However, these adjustments are slight enough that they may be completely unnecessary in a full size competition image, especially if you're working in print rather than PDI. I've posted a mod to illustrate what I mean, but I have to confess that having copied the large version to work on I did apply some sharpening to compensate for reducing the image back down to post the mod.

So, brilliant images, and good luck in competition. Bear in mind for competitions that judges see many bird and indeed many Kingfisher images, so to stand out, at least at a regional or national level, you need to present images showing natural behaviour, like this one, rather than the more common static 'bird sitting on stick' images. The bar at the moment for kingfishers seems to be pictures of the bird emerging from the water with prey in beak, which I guess is the sort of thing you mean when you say you have 'some way to go'. For internal club competitions I imagine you'll already know how your work compares to others in the club.

ps what a shame you're not nearer my club, we have some very strong wildlife workers.
Lillian Plus
7 22 17 United Kingdom
3 Nov 2010 8:54AM
You certainly had a day of advice here Alan...For me this is a wonderful shot of the kningfisher, and cannot recall anyone having captured anything about the bird preening him/herself to this standard before, a truely FANTASTIC shot
Lillian
DRicherby 8 269 725 United Kingdom
6 Nov 2010 5:55PM
Sydney2 wrote:
> I always shoot in RAW, convert to J peg for ePHOTOzine!


So your 'film' is RAW and your 'print', so to speak, is JPEG. Obviously, you have to convert to JPEG to post to the web because that's essentially all that web browsers understand. Knowing that you shot RAW is useful as it presents more options for editing the image, should that be necessary. Likewise, when you're asking for critique, it really is necessary to post your shooting details — camera, lens, focal length used, aperture, shutter speed, ISO and anything else that's relevant, though I see you've now done that. Your photography is of an extremely high standard but it's impossible to know whether a suggestion of a slightly faster shutter or slightly narrower aperture is feasible without knowing what you did.

Having said that, I think the biggest opportunity for improving this shot is in a little editing, as has been done in the mods. It doesn't need a lot but, as in the mods, a bit of a curves adjustment to counter the slight dullness in the colours and a bit of a sharpen does make the photo just that little bit better. That tends to brighten the broken part of the perch so toning it back down (or applying the adjustment selectively) works well.

I agree that the kingfisher is the main subject but it would still be nice if the perch was fully sharp. Not as important as getting the bird sharp but still something to aim for, I think. (For example, it matters that the background is as far from sharp as possible so the degree of sharpness of something that isn't the subject can still be important.)
1 Dec 2010 4:16PM
Beautiful. Well done.
14 May 2011 9:26PM

Quote: for my local camera club competition.
As a foot note: This picture won my clubs best Natural history print and the Best print of the year.
Best regards Alan

Lillian Plus
7 22 17 United Kingdom
14 May 2011 10:26PM
.CONGRATULATIONS there AlanGrin
I am so pleased for you and that is so deserving for this image
Lillian
malc_c 10 2 167 England
15 May 2011 7:04AM
Well done and congratulations Alan.
As a matter of interest, have you entered this into any of the Salons this year?
malc
10 Jan 2012 5:21PM
This picture has now had 10 out 10 by Three professional photographer judges.
Good job Mossyoak is not a judge or a professional photographer.
Lillian Plus
7 22 17 United Kingdom
10 Jan 2012 6:30PM
Ditto to that!
Well done
25 Feb 2012 12:28AM

Quote: guessing that you were on a small aperture due to the light and thus dof is minimal.
Richard



Must put you right on this Richard.
Small aperture = large DOF.
Large aperture = Small DOF.

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