Back Modifications (2)
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I've got my eye on you!

By briantjjones
American Bald Eagle captured sitting on top of navigation lamp post sited in Skagway harbour in Alaska. It was a misty morning and I wanted to get the colour of the trees and mountainside as a background rather than the sky. It was the first trip using the Canon 100mm - 400mm lens I bought specifically for the trip to Alaska.

Tags: Birds Alaska Wildlife and nature Telephoto lens

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


Hermanus 5 4 South Africa
14 May 2013 1:21PM
Beautiful ! A classic eagle portrait this Smile

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banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3894 Canada
14 May 2013 2:16PM
The pose is good, looks quite angry.

The image looks like a smaller crop from the original image,as there noise in the background I wouldnt expect to see at ISO 200.

The white are blown at the top of the head, but you can recover some detail in the head feathers by reducing the highlights.

A tiny catchlight works wonders in the eye, - just a 1 pixel white brush touched on in the right place.

I removed background noise in the mod, recovered some, but not all of the white feather detail, and the cachlight.

The Canon 100-400 lens has mixed reviews when at 400mm. There a general opinion that theres a wide range in quality between individual lenses, some excellent, some not great, but they are all consistently sharp at 300mm. Keep an eye open for this as you use it, as if you notice it soft 400mm shots, you may be able to exchange the lens if you want to.


14 May 2013 3:54PM

Thanks for great advice, especially the catchlight in the eye, what a difference Wink It was a crop as the post on which the Eagle was sitting was at least 120 yards away. I have noticed in the past that images shot at 400mm seem to be 'soft' and noisey at low ISO. I'll take a look at some other peoples photos with the 100mm - 400mm lens. Again thanks for help.
Trev_B 11 151 68 England
14 May 2013 6:36PM
As Wiillie says noise has crept into the BG and some life needs to be added to the eye. There is little point in repeating his good advice. I have uploaded a mod with the BG softened and a slightly tighter crop as there is little in the right hand side to hold the interest.

Just another view of this majestic bird.

Sooty_1 8 1.5k 221 United Kingdom
14 May 2013 6:53PM
The detail is there, it just needs a bit of work to bring it out.
It's a competent shot, and more special for you because it was captured in the wild, though unfortunately you can get just as good, if not better, an image with a tethered bird!
As you have seen, tiny differences can make a big difference, and one difference I'd make is to trim a small amount from the top. I think you need a little room for the eagle to look into, but the small change of picture aspect means less wasted space, though Trev's crop looks ok too.

paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
15 May 2013 7:16AM
There is no way images will be soft and noisey at low ISO just because of the lens. It is another factor, such as movement and focus that gives these effects. Could actually be the nature of the background itself or how being grossly out of focus effects those colours digitally.
This is a good effort and I realise there is already a crop factor. It would be better to have a touch more off the top though as it is currently out of balance.

15 May 2013 11:17AM
A big thank you again to all for your comments, advice and suggested adjustments. I'm relatively new to ephotozine and DSLR photography and I think it's a great site and you folks make it even better.

Kind Regards, Brian Smile

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