Back Modifications (3)
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Woodpecker, Loch of the Lowes

By flatfoot471    
Greater Spotted Woodpecker at Scottish Wildlife Trust centre Loch of the Lowes near Dunkeld

Tags: Scotland Nature United kingdom Bird Normal April Perthshire Dunkeld Wildlife and nature 2018 150 - 600 Sigma Loch of The Lowes Perth & Kinross

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dudler Plus
16 1.1k 1642 England
21 Jan 2019 1:58PM
It's been a while since you posted in the Critique Gallery, David, so welcome back.

This is very much outside my area of expertise, so I'll stick to hte theory part.

At 600mm, 1/100 is dangerously low for a shutter speed. Subject movement is a constant risk, and IS and tripods do not help at all with this. As the light wasn't great, you needed a far higher ISO setting, and that may preclude a really high quality image.

Others, with practical expereince of wildlife and very long lenses wil lbe along later: what they have to say will be far more important than my comments - and, I hope, far more helpful.

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banehawi Plus
16 2.2k 4123 Canada
21 Jan 2019 2:09PM
Amazing shot for a 40D!

I would brighten the sgadows slightly and enhance the eye catchlight, as in the mod.

You can upload much larger these days, - essentially no limit. Though keeping it small helps with ISO noise.


mrswoolybill Plus
13 2.1k 2208 United Kingdom
21 Jan 2019 2:55PM
A really attractive image, it's a pity we aren't seeing it larger.

It's way outside my territory but my main thought on opening was to wish that the bird was further to the right in the frame. A bit more space on the left to use the full diagonal and to allow distance for it to look into; much less on the right because space behind a back is generally wasted space.

So I have taken a few liberties... Apart from the change to the framing, I used the burn tool very gently, set to midtones, on the breast feathers, where there is lovely detail; and like Willie I wanted to dodge the catchlight in the eye, because that brings any face to life.

No other changes.
paulbroad 12 131 1288 United Kingdom
21 Jan 2019 3:17PM
Nice effort. A tripod I assume. I get away with this sort of shutter speed, or even slower but subject movement is the problem, often. I have thrown out many images with a nice sharp bird other than a blurred head. In this case, I would crop a bit tighter and use the dodge tool carefully on the eye.

I think you have already cropped this a lot.

HenB 12 6
21 Jan 2019 3:55PM
Hi David
although not an expert, I do produce some fairly good images at times with wildlife my ultimate genre and offer the following out of my experience so far.. As a rule of thumb you need to get your Shutter speed up to the same as the focal length you are shooting with. IE in this case your lens will achieve 600mm at maximum extension so you need to be at 1/600 th sec. shutter achieve consistent sharpness, even if it means increasing ISO. At 300mm 1/300 sec and so on.
Any way, in this case you have achieved sharpness throughout even at 1/100th sec and fortunately the subject has possibly been still
when you have exposed. Tripods will not always solve the slow shutter speed problem , it is the shutter speed that will really make the difference and even if your image is grainy due to High ISO , a grainy image is better than no image at all.
Hope this is of value to you and helps you get some stunning images
Regards Harry
dark_lord Plus
16 2.5k 663 England
21 Jan 2019 9:06PM
A very decent shot. One which many would be pleased with.

Despite John's protestation about not being his area it's just what I would say!

Slow Shuitter speeds (relatively speaking) can be used but your hit rate will be lower. The parameter that then starts to have greater influence is subject movement. The 40D is quite old tecnology but modern software's noiose reduction is very good so if you need to use IS 800 or 1600 don't be put off - as has been said a sharp image with a little noise is preferable to an indistinct blob.

A strange crop, leaving so much space behind the bird (though a good place to insert text depending on how the image gets used).
The aspect ratio is not the same as orioginal frames from the camera and I suspect the eye was originally in the centre (in order to get that important area sharp, no issue with that) so I guess there'd be more image to the left that coiuld have been included. In most cases it looks better to have the subject having some space to 'look into' (and that goes for animals as well as humans).

You can always post the original as a modification.

Try a different crop and epost in the main Gallery and it will get votes.

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