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Another Robin for advice (see previous post)

By hobbo

Tags: Wildlife and nature Robin bird wildlife

Voters: norton, Glostopcat, banehawi and 2 more


norton 15 6 United Kingdom
18 Feb 2011 9:54PM
Hi Cyril,
Having looked through your portfolio all of your shots seem to be over saturated with the colours popping out at you a bit to much, try lowering your saturation levels a little so that images look more natural.
Your Robin images are also suffering from far to much noise because of the high ISO's that you are using, ISO1600 is a very high setting and can degrade the images quite a lot.
I mostly shoot in aperture mode @ F8 and ISO400 and i tend to get good results most of the time, i do use a Canon camera though and you may have to experiment with F-stops and ISO with your Sony till you get the desired results.
I hope this info is helpful to you and good luck with your experiments........Smile


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Jestertheclown 11 8.0k 252 England
18 Feb 2011 10:22PM
This one's far too noisy and that has to be down to the high ISO that you've used.

Instead of setting everything manually, try a few shots with the camera set to "auto".
The shots ought to be of reasonable quality regardless of the conditions when you took them. Open them and look at the EXIF. From that you'll be able to see the shutter speed, aperture and ISO that the camera chose to use and which, in similar conditions, will produce similar images if you replicate them.
Once you've got the hang of using "auto" and understand what the EXIF is telling you, set the camera to "P" and try again. Keep the ISO down. No more than 400 should suffice. Less would be better. This time you'll have some control over the settings. Use the histogram to gauge how your shots will turn out. Again, open them and check the EXIF.
The next logical step after that would be to use Aperture priority but that's a story for another day!
You'll soon learn how the various settings and controls can be made to work together to make (or otherwise!) an image.

As I've said beneath one of your other images, please upload a few images to the critique gallery. There's a wealth of knowledge to tap in there.

banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4044 Canada
19 Feb 2011 12:26AM
There are a few basic rules for photography that apply to birds as well as everything else.

Your friend may have had success with the settings youre using, but you are not, so it will help to understand the basics no matter what camera you use.

Taking a pic is capturing light.

There is an optimal amount of light needed for a good exposure or photo.

The shutter controls the amount of light; the aperture controls the size of the hole the light goes through; and the ISO controls the amount of light needed.

ALL cameras respond the same way to shutter speeds and apertures.

Heres a useful analogy:

Filling a tub of water: the amount the faucet id=s opened = shutter speed; the diameter of the faucet = aperture; the size of the tub = ISO. With ISO, - the smaller the number, - the greater amount of light thats required, contrary to what might be obvious. So ISO 100 = the biggest tub, and the one you want in ideal conditions.

1. If the object you are shooting isnt moving, - like this half tame Robin, you dont need a very fast shutter speed like 1/500 you used here. If you have reasonably steady hands, or something to rest the camera on or against. 1/200 is fine. This would have allowed you to use ISO 800, and get half the noise. In addition, if you had used f/4 rather than f/5.6 (f/4 is a larger hole (larger diameter tap) that 5.6, you could have used ISO 400, since you are allowing more water in, the tub can be bigger, and the bigger the tub, the more water you have = more digital data for the image.

2. If the objects you are shooting are moving, you need fast shutter speeds.

3. If the weather is dull and miserable, dont take these type of shots, - there just isnt enough light no matter what you do.

The rest of the basic rules:

1. Theres a minimum speed for hand holding your camera to avoid shake induced blur, and its directly related to the focal length of you lens. If you ever looked through a pair of very high power (20X) binoculars, you would have noticed they are very hard to use as they need to be held super steady. This minimum speed - 1/(focal length * crop factor); so for a focal length of 130, its then 1/(130 * 1.5) = 1/200 (I believe the Sony is a 1.5 crop, - might be 1.6, then the speed is faster)

2. Theres a relationship between aperture and depth of field, which you can read about at Notice also that theres also a relationship with the aperture size, the focal length, and the distance from the subject. This site is well worth reading.

3. Unless you have a pro camera and super expensive pro lenses, ISO 400 is as good as it gets.

Take Brens advice also as a way to learn, - and if this Robin is so friendly, pop up your flash for a shot set on auto and see what the result is. If its a dead Robin its Brens fault.


hobbo Plus
8 1.3k 2 England
19 Feb 2011 8:39AM
A huge thank you to all ................your feedback is just what I wanted and will be acted upon .............acted upon that soon our local UK weather lets us see the sun has been an overall dark, damp, cold, miserable, colourless grey for a few days now Sad ...............almost like a mono photograph in fact: Tongue

Sooo........................I am staying in until the sun comes out again:


A HUGE thank you too for that watery analogy of photographic settings..... ..Wonderful!!! should be printed in all basics hand books................I have taken it all on board:

How do I get all that water out of my camera now please??

Jestertheclown 11 8.0k 252 England
19 Feb 2011 10:27AM

Quote:If its a dead Robin its Brens fault.

Love it Willie ! ! !

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