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Chaffinch in Flight

By Bajob3
Was trying to capture birds in flight and managed to capture this one. Critique more than welcome

Tags: Wildlife and nature Exhibitions 2020



dudler Plus
19 2.1k 2018 England
2 Apr 2021 10:45AM
This is way outside my area of competence, so others' comments should carry more weight.

I'd be very pleased with this if I'd shot it - and also aware that there's another step to go to reach the technical quality of the best wildlife images we see here.

And the sense of a frozen moment, of action, is great.
mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.1k 2606 United Kingdom
2 Apr 2021 11:13AM
This is outside my comfort zone too, but I like it a lot. It's the mix of sharp face and motion blur in the wings - that conveys life, animation, energy. This is about something that humans can only dream of - self-propelled flight. So many Wildlife uploads say neither wild nor life to me, this says both.

I wonder if you have cropped this? Also what processing you have applied? I like the space that you have allowed top and right, that's space to move into; but I would prefer a bit less cramped left and bottom. And a bit less contrast. And maybe reduce noise particularly in the background. Will have a look at a modification.
Bajob3 2
2 Apr 2021 11:28AM
Many thanks for the feedback, greatly appreciated
mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.1k 2606 United Kingdom
2 Apr 2021 11:34AM
Modification added, with notes - only minor tweaks as suggestions, it's a good image.
chase Plus
17 2.5k 676 England
2 Apr 2021 11:40AM
This is well captured but quite noisy, I would have thought the D750n would have coped better with that. So, have you cropped here ?
I like the movement in the wings, these little birds move so very fast and an inflight image is really difficult to get right, especially with backlighting.
I did do a mod, reduced the highlights in the camera raw filter.
Invented a little more space at the bottom.
Attempted to calm down some of the noise with Nik Define.
I did use a selective levels layer to brighten and add more of a catchlight in that beady eye a little, which is really important as without a catchlight, the eye just looks like a black hole and takes away the life from the bird.

The light coming from behind the bird is not doing you any real favours as it leaves the main body and head in shadow.

Maybe a thought would have been to use shutter priority on a very fast moving subject.
Bajob3 2
2 Apr 2021 1:15PM
Many thanks for the feedback and the mods. They image was cropped a lot and was quite dark. I will upload the original. It was take in a graveyard so there were a lot of bright headstones catching the light. I should have used single point metering rather than pattern. Love the mods and feedback.
banehawi Plus
19 2.9k 4354 Canada
2 Apr 2021 1:22PM
Nice though certainly a close crop that amplifies noise.

Can be a little brighter too. Uploaded mod with noise reduction, a little brighter, and reframed.

mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.1k 2606 United Kingdom
2 Apr 2021 1:37PM
Thanks for getting back to us. You can add the original as a modification here, go to that blue Modifications button and follow the instructions.
dudler Plus
19 2.1k 2018 England
3 Apr 2021 10:40AM
That's a big pull-up from the original! Thank you for the conversation, and I'm glad we've been able to help.

I reckon the exposure problem is less to do with light tombstones than using Manual mode, and not having time to adjust exposure. I'm guessing, but that happens so often...
chase Plus
17 2.5k 676 England
3 Apr 2021 11:31AM
Blimey, that's some heavy crop, i think you did well to get anything out of your original !
mrswoolybill Plus
16 4.1k 2606 United Kingdom
3 Apr 2021 2:43PM
I was expecting a hefty crop, but not that much!
I agree with John - this was not an occasion for manual. This would be shutter speed priority all the way for me...
Bajob3 2
3 Apr 2021 5:45PM
Will def give it a go next time. I had some with better exposures but the birds just werenít sharp enough - Sodís law. Was also using pattern metering rather than single point. It was my first time at the location so will try different vantage points next time and my bigger lens. Had put it away safely in the house and forgot where I put it. I reckon the 150-600 will give me a better go
dark_lord Plus
19 3.0k 836 England
3 Apr 2021 8:36PM
I'm not surprised it's noiosy given the size of the crop and how underexposed it is.
That underexposure is due to Manual mode and not the Multisegment pattrn as if you'd metered this as shot the original would be lighter it's much darker overall than mid grey).
The danger in using Manual is that settings from a previous shot are still set and it's easy to foret, in the heat of the moment, to check and adjust, or not have time o.
Gravestones are close to mid grey so there shouldn't have been a great problem exposure wise. As fae as I can tell it's not 'tricky' lighting so Auto exposure would have done fine. That said, I'm happy to use Manual exposure where light om th subject is uniform but the background can change from dark to light when you're following a subject. I wouldn't immediately go for shutter priority. Even in Auto I'm nomally on Aperture Priority and just turn the control wheel to get a fast shutter speed because at least then when I can't open the lens any wider that's the fastest speed I know I'll get without umncreasing the ISO. It just works faster for me that way.

The fact it's still sharp even after that much enlargement shows your focus and timing were spot on.

The crop in your lead image is a little cramped and the bird would be better with more space below it than above, which you have plenty of freedom to do from your original so that's a benefit of not being too close to start with. Somewhat closer would have been preferable so that's a case of observing where the birds go, getting in position and waiting. Some seed or crumbs from a sandwich should eice them a little closer.
paulbroad 15 131 1294 United Kingdom
8 Apr 2021 10:27AM
All opinion is personal. Ideally, a longer lens in the first place and thus less need to crop, but this is pretty good and I like the positioning of the bird , bottom left. Gives room for a bird taking off to move into - above and right. There is a wide tonal range and dark background so exposure is going to be difficult. I would have been on manual too, based on a shutter speed of about 1/1000 and pre-determined exposure assessment.

Spot metering is dangerous on any auto setting. The spot must be on a tone equating to 18% grey for correct exposure. Too bright, gives under, too dark gives over.

It's just the head too dark, and in need of the dodge tool to brighten head, eye and some feather areas. Experiment and do what works.

Bajob3 2
25 Apr 2021 8:48PM
Thank you all for your comments. I have been back and tried various metering modes and also using a longer lens. I have also tried to capture a couple of birds in flight rather than a single bird.

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