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By csurry  
Another of the merlin with mush Wink

This time more of a rear view, which I like as it shows the feather detail. I love the metallic blue-grey colouring.

A few people lower down thanked me for the description, but apart from saying I was laying down to take this I did not say much else, so I'm adding a bit more detailed info in case anyone wants to recreate this look.

Basically the foreground blur is caused by elements, in this case grass, which is too close to the lens for it to focus on. Then by using the lens wide open, in this case f4 the DOF is very shallow such that the background also blurs significantly. The key is the focus point, in this case the eye.

The difficulty is getting enough foreground elements to blur, but not so much that it obscures the subject. It works best with natural elements, so in this case a slight bank of grass in front of the bird, and I mean slight, only a rise of 4-6 inches. You can try to fake it by obscuring the lens with a handful of grass, but it does not work in quite the same way and tends to obscure the subject a lot more.

If you want to try this look for yourself one of the easiest ways is to plant a long thin container with grass seed, and wait until the grass is 3-4 inches high. Then place this a few inches in front of your lens with the composition of choice behind. It will help ypu learn about the effect and to begin to compose in this style.

If you do try this in the field, so to speak, an angle finder can be a real plus, especially if you wear glasses.

HTH (I'll post a similar description on the next upload of this style as I know not many people may revisit this one)

Tags: Pets and captive animals

Voters: Shroomer, BrianSS, adammd and 52 more

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Shroomer 11 14 167 England
26 Feb 2010 6:33PM
Oh Boy that certainly stands out well from the fg and bg Cheryl. Superb detail and eye and love the low pov
Bet your glad your not still in Scotland

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STUARTHILL758 16 37 1 United Kingdom
26 Feb 2010 6:36PM
a great capture sharp as a pin
BrianSS 11 400 39 England
26 Feb 2010 6:37PM
Superb, absolutely superb . . . . . spot on DOF.
26 Feb 2010 6:42PM
Hi Cheryl,
Your PF is quite simply superb & consists of some of the best and varied wildlife captures I have ever had the privilege of viewing.This image is no exception,a fantastic 1st class capture in every way !! Gets my vote all the way.....
Paul_R 9 5 2 England
26 Feb 2010 6:45PM
Stunning. Paul
edrhodes 13 547 12 United Kingdom
26 Feb 2010 6:49PM

26 Feb 2010 6:49PM
Wonderful low pov pin sharp detail and great colour. Fantastic take
Regards Charles
Stuart_B 9 5 England
26 Feb 2010 6:52PM
Excellent capture!
LukeParkinson 8 30 3 United Kingdom
26 Feb 2010 6:54PM
Very good capture Cheryl. Very well done
TonyDy Plus
9 10 3 United Kingdom
26 Feb 2010 6:59PM
Great shot, well captured.
csurry 16 9.2k 92
26 Feb 2010 7:06PM
Thanks all.

Thanks QfQ for the award, most appreciated, and for the kind words. I am lucky to have some of the opportunities for images, but some of it is also down to the hard work of others. This shot for instance was conceived by Pete Cairns (actually taken on the football pitch behind his house) and it then needs the co-operation of bird and faconer. Having been presented an opportunity it is about making the most of it, which this shot I think has achieved.

Even though captive it is not the easiest shot for me to get, as I wear glasses laying down on the ground and trying to see through the viewfinder is not easy. The glasses tend to skew and make focussing and composition difficult. I do have an angle finder, but did not have it with me at the time.

The blue-grey colour always reminds me of armour on a knight, kind of apt with a Merlin Smile
Paintman Plus
11 1.2k 177 United Kingdom
26 Feb 2010 7:09PM
I could tell from the thumbnail this was yours. It has your stamp of quality all over it. A superb image.

Vince_S 8 10 England
26 Feb 2010 7:15PM
Fantastic shot. Even though other people help it is still the person behind the lens who controls what comes out of the camers.
tomcat 12 6.4k 15 United Kingdom
26 Feb 2010 7:37PM
your images are always top class Cheryl, but this is one is exceptional.
The feather colour is a sight to behold

shandoor 9 1 United Kingdom
26 Feb 2010 8:51PM
Wow another top class image congrats one to be very proud of
Mari 14 1.8k United Kingdom
26 Feb 2010 8:54PM
Fantastic mush Cheryl Wink

teocali Plus
10 441 18 England
26 Feb 2010 9:36PM
Wonderful image - the magic of Merlin! Incredible detail, light and tones and composed to perfection. Loved your description of how the shot was achieved.
HenB 10 2
26 Feb 2010 9:58PM
Beautiful image and i,m jealous of the opertunities you talk about.
bfgstew 11 668 105 England
26 Feb 2010 10:09PM
One for the shortlist Cheryl, simply stunning.
9 10 10 England
26 Feb 2010 10:18PM
First class image.
tigertot 15 36 England
26 Feb 2010 10:50PM
Awesome shot Cheryl, I love the colouring in this, and thanks for the description, always helpful to those of us learning!
franken Plus
15 4.6k 4 United Kingdom
27 Feb 2010 8:58AM

csurry 16 9.2k 92
27 Feb 2010 9:14AM
Thanks all. Not sure if everyone knows how this effect is actually achieved so I'll add a proper description in the box at the top.
James_C 9 36 56 United Kingdom
27 Feb 2010 9:29AM
Lovely picture Cheryl and thanks for the most informative explanation of your technique.

28 Feb 2010 11:11AM
Fantastic shot, awesome photograph./


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