Back Modifications (2)
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By manorjim
would like some critique to improve my photography of birds

Tags: Wildlife and nature

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JuBarney Plus
11 36 6 United Kingdom
24 Mar 2013 8:49PM
Super capture
Ade_Osman 19 4.5k 36 England
24 Mar 2013 9:01PM
It's a grand effort of a rarely seen bird, however, I'd have used the centre focus point and tried to get a lock on the eye, which IMHO is the most important part in an image like this and you've missed it quite somewhat. I'm not sure if you've cropped it like this or if was how you've framed the image when taking the shot, I assuming it's how you framed it at time, but to state the obvious, you've clipped that tail Blush IS02000 and a shutter speed of 1/4000sec seems a little excessive. I'd probably gone for an ISO800 and a slightly smaller aperture, F8-9 which would have helped in keeping things sharp especially the around the eye. Having shot the same species in the same kinda of light I know they ain't easy....Never mind, better luck next time.
pablophotographer 11 2.1k 432
24 Mar 2013 10:30PM

I come from the time people read paper encyclopeadias instead of "googling" in the internet. Your picture reminds me of photos of animals/birds/sea life in their natural habitat, looks informative and well timed.

Birds are not my interest subject at the moment and my equipment (apart from the manual film cameras) consists of a camera that suited both my needs/subjects and my finances. It's not a DSLR, so my contact with them is limited. I suspect, since the Nikon D3100 of a friend I have used hd this feature, your camera can magnify the subject on the camera's screen? I sympathize with you because I realize that focusing on a tiny bit of a bird's body may be too much to ask for, (and would be too much to ask for if seen in an optical viewfinder of a film SLR) it's a lot easier when people look the image on their big screens at home. Yes, you did crop a bit of its tail but again does your viewfinder give you 100% field of view? I am sure you know tat yourself and we don't need to be unforgiving.

Don't shoot the pianist!
cats_123 Plus
18 5.1k 31 Northern Ireland
25 Mar 2013 7:49AM
fabulous timing...have had ago at a mod which (I think) lifts some of the detail Smile
chase Plus
17 2.5k 669 England
25 Mar 2013 8:57AM
Well done for capturing this elusive bird & in a typical pose too.
Just very slightly underexposed but the conditions look for from ideal.
Ade has given you some good experience tips.
Such a shame you clipped the tail but it's difficult to get everything right first time.
I would have had a go at getting rid of the OOF reeds in the left fg,one in particular is very bright ,your clone tool would be the best way to go,nice & slowly so that you don't obviously repeat any of the surrounding area.
I think you have framed the bird well & he has some space to look into.Not quite pin sharp,perhaps the conditions & location dictated the non use of a tripod..I don't know as you haven't told us.
I would have liked to have seen a clearer catchlight in his eye but as there is some movement there it's a tad blurred.
Just a slight tweak on the levels would help this no end,just to brighten the whole thing up & give it a bit more punch.
I do like the drops of water which gives the bird a sense of movement.
paulbroad 15 131 1294 United Kingdom
25 Mar 2013 7:04PM
A very difficult bird to photograph. I've heard one but never seen one. Your EXIF has problems. 300mm lens, that's 450mm on a Nikon. The problem is a slight lack of sharpness. Must be focusing at 1/4000 although, if hand held you can still get softness. The lens would be better at f8 and you should try and avoid anything above 800 ISO even with modern gear.

Thus, super content. I can live with the clipped tail, but I've seen such images needle sharp and thats where you should aim.

manorjim 15 5 United Kingdom
25 Mar 2013 7:50PM
hi all
thanks for the comments ,starting to digest them,the picture was taken hand held with a 1.7x converter on the lense, looks like i will have to go back and try again(unlucky me)not !i will use a tripod this time
NEWMANP 14 1.6k 574 United Kingdom
25 Mar 2013 8:36PM
hi, im a little confused with the exif data. the 300mm lens stated is showing as 500mm in the exif, i think the 7000 is a crop sensor. so im unsure but this looks a very tight framing crop for the skittish bittern on a 300mm, id have expected to be smaller than this with a 500 mm lens, so has it been cropped in computer by quite a fair bit and if so, was the tip of the tail in frame?

its a little underexposed but there is also a lack of brightness or direct light to help bring out detail.

i loke the droplets and the pose, the beak is sharp as it needs to be, but rather than beak and forwards , i think the sharper zone is behind the beak which has taken away from the overall quality on the bird. tricky i know with a long lens but i also think the aperture of 5.6 is a little wide and limiting in depth of field and it could have taken a slightly slower exposure say 1/1000sec to compensate and allow a smaller f stop. with speed used the tripod wasnt needed but a monopod may have been useful -- but knock the image stabiliser off if you do.

compositionally id have tried to give a little more space around and had the whole bird in frame and tried to lose the oof reeds in the fg. id have fired a birst too to try and get several frames and the focus may have locked better on a predictive focus screen.


still well done because i would like to have been next to you.
25 Mar 2013 9:29PM
I'm no photography expert, just an amateur who feels that computer manipulation beyond cropping is not really photography. I do know though just how difficult it is getting to even see a Bittern, let alone capture it with a camera. A brilliant job under the circumstances. Very well done
paulbroad 15 131 1294 United Kingdom
26 Mar 2013 10:41AM

Do you accept a good wet darkroom black and white print as photography? I spent many years using such facilities and, believe me, very few images you saw then, or see now would look the same without a bit of post work. That work, within reason, is part of photography and always was.


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